by Annette Bridges. ©2010. All rights reserved.

Change — some people dread it, and others can’t get enough. It may be much like the idiom, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” When it comes to what we would alter or why we would make a modification, the answers vary because we all have different things we value, want, need and consider important.

Unlike some empty nesters, I’m one of those who can’t get enough change. Even when I’m not actively seeking it, I feel a hunger for it. And this often results in my imagination working overtime, wondering what I could change — replace, remodel, reorganize or improve and do differently.

Certainly, there are things I would never trade about my life. I adore my husband — one fact that is firm and fixed. Unfortunately, my dear husband is one of those folks who dreads change, so there are times his feelings impact the possibilities of what I would and can change in my own life.

Furthermore, sometimes what I think I might like to change and what I feel I can or would are different. When this happens to any of us, I think it’s important to examine why we feel we can’t or wouldn’t make a change.

What’s stopping us?

When I mention to my husband something I’m thinking about changing, he often responds with, “Why now?” And my response to him is always, “Why not?”

I think it’s the “Why not?” question that must be answered when we’re hesitant to make a change. And when I find my hesitancy is based on a fear, that’s when I become determined to conquer the fear.

Many times in my life I’ve let fear stop me from reaching some goal or aspiration. Since I can’t go back and change all the things I wish I had done, and living in regret is completely pointless, today my resolve is fierce when I’m faced with a fear that is trying to hold me back.

In short, I simply can’t allow fear to be what stops me from making a change!

Now, I do believe in making informed and educated decisions. And there could be information that might stop me from making a change.

It could also be that certain changes really are better at one time than at another. So, if a desired change shouldn’t happen today, it doesn’t mean that at some point in the future, that desired change couldn’t or shouldn’t happen.

But one thing is for sure, my friends — do not let fear paralyze you with uncertainty, indecisiveness and inaction. We must stop fear before it stops us.

It’s helpful to look at your fear straight on and examine what it is telling you. Perhaps your fear is saying, “You can’t do it or it will be too difficult.” “You’re afraid of what others will think.” “You will fail.” “You will be wrong.” “You won’t like the outcome.”

Some people say that fears can be rational and logical and are a helpful instinct that protects us from danger. I don’t think it is fear that makes decisions and actions rational, logical and safe, but rather knowledge, understanding, common sense as well as divine inspiration and revelation that serve us well.

At least from my own experience, I’ve found that fear is irrational and baseless. It is some illusive belief that would stop me from making my life better — happier, more satisfying, more interesting, more productive, more fun.

Changes are a natural — and can be a progressive — aspect throughout our life. Making a well thought-out change need not be feared but welcomed, explored and enjoyed.

Asking ourselves “Why not?” when considering some change can be very telling. We just may find that there really isn’t a good enough reason not to!