The fear of immediate loss

Loss is a fascinating thing. It taps into some of our greatest fears, and causes us to make irrational decisions. My past two posts have been on managing the fear of loss, and the fear of future loss. This post is on the flip side to the second topic: the fear of immediate loss.

This fear commonly occurs when we find ourselves in sub-optimal positions in life. We know that we need to change our circumstances, but know that this change will cause immediate loss, which leads to immediate pain.

This is the person stuck in a relationship that they aren’t happy about. Or stuck in a job that they aren’t happy about. They know a change is needed, but doesn’t it need to be right now? The immediate pain of a breakup sucks. Losing a current job, and a current paycheck also sucks. Beyond that, job hunting can be stressful. A career change can be even more stressful. We respond to this fear by procrastinating on making the proper change in our lives.

When we procrastinate on these changes, we introduce another kind of pain into our lives: the psychological pain of knowing we aren’t living the way we should. This psychological pain is initially small, but over time, it grows and eats away at one’s soul. With enough time, the pain becomes a large enough that we make the change we intended to make in the first place.

But do you see what has happens here?

The immediate pain is necessary. The psychological pain isn’t. It only exists because we wait and procrastinate. Sometimes it is days.. but more often weeks, months, years, or even decades. By then, we have (1) suffered an intense amount of psychological pain, and (2) potentially lost years or decades of our lives.

There is only one case where the immediate pain doesn’t occur, and that is when the procrastination is indefinite. This isn’t any better. In fact, it is much worse. Imagine living an entire life that is inconsistent with what you actually want in life. I wouldn’t wish this this pain on anyone.

The moral of the story?

If you know something has to happen, but fear the immediate loss, just get it over with. You don’t have any better options

P.S. This is post number #62 in a 100 day blogging challenge. See you tomorrow!

Follow me on Twitter @alexshye.

Or, check out my current project Soulmix.

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