On Fear Holding Me Back

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I think I had a bit of an aha! moment this week.
Let me backtrack a little first, though.
I briefly mentioned here in this post that we are trying to figure out some things for school
next year, stay at our current school or switch to our neighborhood school.
It's a really tough decision.
We are happy with our current school, it is a K-8 magnet school and we have not really had any
complaints at all and we are nearing the end of our second year there.
Wyatt has had two fantastic teachers that I honestly feel like I couldn't have picked better myself.
Friends, cousins, good teachers, love the principal, staying there for middle school--
lots of positive things.
The neighborhood school is K-6, smaller, in walking distance and is becoming/has become a
University affiliated Laboratory school--I will spare you all the details here but it sounds like they
will be doing some really cool things and would be a great opportunity for the kids.
And they can walk there.

Charlotte will be starting kindergarten in the fall, so to me,  this would be the time to switch.
I think it would be an easier transition if they were both starting the new school together.
This is my big dilemma.

We have discussed it and discussed it and made lists of pros and cons and tried to guess what life
might look like five years from now when it is time to decide on middle school and asked for a sign
and thought about the benefits and what would really be best for the kids and for the whole family.
It is a big decision and a big deal but maybe I am analyzing it all a bit too much.
I am scared of screwing up.
Of making the wrong decision.
Of regretting it later....wishing I could go back.

The funny thing is, I have asked for a sign, waited for that gut feeling to just know what to do...
and thought it hadn't came.
But this week I realized that maybe I do know what the right decision is, that I did get that
"sign" I was looking for and I have unintentionally been ignoring that gut feeling simply
out of fear.
Not acting out of fear.
Not taking the leap of faith because I don't know exactly what life is going to look like five
years down the road.
And then I think about what other things I do or don't do simply out of fear...fear of being wrong,
of looking dumb, fear of failure....I'm thinking that this happens a lot more than I even realized.
I told you, I have been way over-analyzing all of this stuff lately, including myself.

I don't always do well with change, I think it is the fear of the unknown.
Things change, schools change, thoughts change, values change, wants
and needs change...
and I don't think that being afraid of what may or may not happen, how I may
or may not regret a decision later or how we may or may not screw up our kids is any way to live.
I think it is all something to think about and then let go.
That's where I have trouble though.
I especially don't want to not do something that might end up being really good or really positive,
out of fear.

Any thoughts or experiences here?
changing schools
making hard decisions
following your gut
dealing with changes
acting out of fear
not acting out of fear...?

I would love to hear what you have to say.

Happy Sunday to you.


  1. It seems to me that life always works out for the best ... just try to choose from your pros and cons list the three top things that are important to you ... sometimes proximity is a big determining factor.

    My girls go to a small Charter school ... there are bigger schools around us that offer every language program under the sun, electives galore and millions of advanced and AP classes. I decided with the same fear that you write about 4 years ago when we moved from Italy to the US, that for me having the girls in small classes where the teachers could actually give them individualized attention outweighed the sports and academic programs the Charter school was lacking.

    I would not change a thing ... BUT if you do believe you have made a mistake along the way ... you can change. In Italy I changed the girls after a month of being in school ... they adapted, they thrived, they were happy ... so after my choice I changed and chose the right one.

    ... the beauty of it all is that kids adapt to change a whole lot better than we do ... and two ... there is always time to change ... believe me if I made a move in 6th and 8th grade to another country, language and system ... a child at a younger age will have no problem at it.

    Good luck and the kids will do great!

  2. Well, I truly believe in leaving everything in God's hands and trusting that he loves you and wants what's best for you and your kids. Since you say you've been asking for a sign I'm assuming that means you've been praying about it. My Dad has always taught me that when we pray for God's will, he will give us a sense of "oughtness" about what direction to take. You will know that this is what you ought to do. It doesn't mean that the decision will be easy or that even the outcome will be what you had planned, but that is when you fall back on that simple child-like faith that He loves you and His plan is always best. I've let fear paralyze me too much in my life. If you are making the best decision you know how to make you don't need to fear the consequences. Your kids have a loving family to support them and sending them to the "wrong" school will never ultimately harm them when they have such support. I think if you pray and then move in the direction that gives you that sense of "oughtness" you'll be okay. Sorry to get so philosophical, but life is just too big for me to handle on my own. Paying and trusting are the only way to go for me. I hope this helps!

  3. I have to tell ya girlie that stepping out in faith is always scary. Always. Sometimes you just have to blindly leap. When we were trying to decide to move or not Honey would mention this quote...the enemy of great is good. Good is comfortable....familiar. It's just fine. But what if you are missing out on GREAT because you are comfortable. That's just a blind step that is worth it.

  4. I dont know which is the best fit for you so I hope the answer comes. But, I can tell you we live across the street from school and I love that the kids can walk. Another plus is your kids will get to know all the neighborhood kids, people you didnt even know where neighbors before. Its fun to have a bunch of friends in the front yard every day! Good luck with your choice, dont make yourself to crazy.

  5. On taking a leap, despite the fears...I guess the closest thing I can offer to relate is when my hubby & I decide to take the leap and leave our comfy (but expensive) home in Santa Barbara and move to a wildly different (but fascinating and challenging) home in Thailand.

    And what we told ourselves is this: no decision is permanent. You CAN always go back if something doesn't work out. We told ourselves if we just hate living in Thailand, we can always come home. And it turned out we really do love living in Thailand and it has been so worth the leap.

    I don't know how well that works with your situation and changing schools, but maybe if you do make a switch and really doesn't work out, you can go back the next year? Anyway I wish you the best of luck making the decision...and trust your gut instincts, no matter how much you want to ignore them. Worse than making a mistake that you learn from, from my perspective, is having regrets for the things you didn't do. Live life without regrets is my motto.


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