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Fight Before You Flee

New situations can be daunting; even when those situations are clearly for your own good. It can be scary to embrace change, to ride the waves of uncertainty and continue to forge on when you find yourself faced with new faces, new challenges and/or new surroundings. It can be tempting to flee what is new and go back to what is familiar. Even when what is familiar is what we have been hoping would change. When the change eventually comes it often comes with factors we did not anticipate, feelings we cannot quite articulate and a temptation to flee.


Do you know that the longer you stay in what is unfamiliar the more comfortable you become? That first flight, that first meeting, that first class, that first assignment might have you coming up with a million reasons to run, but if you stay put things eventually start to look and feel familiar. By the time you’ve gotten lost three times, you start to notice landmarks and signposts that will always be there to guide you on your way. By the time you have blank stared at people talking to you in tones and tongues you do not understand for a month – you soon start to catch words and phrases, you learn the intonations and your tongue becomes more flexible to speak the language of the place that was once such a mystery.


For many of us, especially if we do not “like” change, our initial response is to want to go back to that which we know well. However shake-ups, new places and new spaces are necessary for growth, for progress, for promotion. Sometimes the new environment or opportunity may truly not be right for you and there is wisdom in retreating and waiting for that which is for you, however there is also a need to know the difference. Before you give into your impulses that are screaming at you to flee back to safety – stand your ground and fight.


Fighting means not leaving too early. Fighting means not leaving any “what ifs” on the table. Fighting means giving the best of your talents, skills and courage to the task before giving up on it. Fighting means allowing yourself time to assess the opportunities, developing a tough skin so you are not chased away and always leave situations of your own volition. Fighting means trying to see if this unfamiliar situation is what you were praying for and if it could be the break that will propel you further before you abandon ship because you are uncertain of the previously unchartered waters.


It is hard to anticipate what is around the next corner when you are traveling on a road you have not been on before – but that does not mean it will not be worthwhile. Everyone wants something they do not already have. We all desire some kind of growth, progress, promotion, increase, etc. This will only come when something changes. If every single thing stays the same then there will definitely not be any change. We cannot always anticipate how this change will come, that is why it is necessary to embrace opportunities, allow yourself to dwell and expand into uncomfortable places and eventually get comfortable enough to set your own pace.


When we look back on monumental, pivotal moments in our lives they did not always start that way. Many breakthroughs looked like burdens until they were lived through and looked back on. Therefore it is important to fight before you flee. If upon fighting you realize “this is truly not for me,” there is nothing wrong with walking away – as long as your decision is no longer rooted in fear. Uproot the fear that comes from unfamiliarity, examine the situation objectively, invest in it while you are in it, and then decide. Decisions come to all of us. These decisions are when we actually chart our overall course. So decide wisely. Keep your goals and your desires in mind. Be bold and be courageous – even when you do not feel like it internally and enjoy the transformation that will come through trials, trying and staying.


I understand the desire to flee when something does not turn out exactly how you planned it in your head. The truth is however things rarely do. Sometimes we get to milestones and progress markers and what is waiting there for us does not look like what we thought it would. That is okay. Give it a little time, adjust, get familiar and then make informed decisions. Informed decisions are infused with information and experience, this is what makes them wise ones. If you flee before you know then you will never know.


Imagine running away from a problem, person, opportunity, promotion before understanding everything that exists in that context and then running into someone that made the opposite decision. If their life and progress happens to be everything you ever wanted you might be filled with a deep sense of regret wishing you had seen it through. So see it through! Stay and look before you leap away. Thoroughly examine things before you make declarations. This is your prerogative and it will surely be to your advantage.


Ignore the emotions that seem to be rushing you to make a definite decision immediately. Ignore the fear and adrenaline screaming that this is not how you thought it would be and therefore it is not for you. Quiet your mind and quiet your spirit and give yourself some time to fight before you flee. You owe it to your destiny not to make decisions based on fear or unfamiliarity. As you progress and reach decision points in life, be still and stay, fight before you flee as you embrace the unknown and move deeper into destiny. Cheers to quiet courage and staying power. Wishing you all the best and a sense of peace and rest from which to decide wisely in every unfamiliar hour.


Zeni St. John

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