Thursday, August 9, 2012

lessons from who moved my cheese?

as some of you know, i have been thinking a lot lately about the idea of fear versus faith. it's something that stumps me most of the time. for some reason, it's really easy for me to get bogged down by fear, paralyzed, if you will.

i let it get to me on sunday. i may or may not have had a freak-out, which included crying to one of my guy friends who, though maybe taken off guard, handled it like a champ and did his best to cheer me up and be supportive. but i started thinking about how much things are going to change in the next couple of weeks and how much things need to change in order for me to be doing the things i need to be doing. and that gave me crazy anxiety.

during one of our several conversations that day, i told my friend about these anxieties, and he said, have you read who moved my cheese? and my first thought was

but i said, um, no. is that a children's book? and he said, you need to read it. go get it from the library tomorrow. because if you are interested in the whole fear-holding-you-back thing, you need to read who moved my cheese?.

so, the next day, i headed on down to the provo city library to pick up a copy of this book. and it's awesome. i have decided i need to buy a copy myself and pass it around to everyone i know.

i don't want to recount the whole story, since it is a short parable to begin with, but i do want to share a couple thoughts that i really like.

"he knew sometimes fear can be good. when you are afraid things are going to get worse if you don't do something, it can prompt you into action. but it is not good when you are so afraid that it keeps you from doing anything."

"when you move beyond your fear, you feel free."

"he wondered why he had always thought that a change would lead to something worse. now he realized that  change could lead to something better."

"[he] realized again, as he had once before, that what you are afraid of is never as bad as what you imagine. the fear you let build up in your mind is worse that the situation that actually exists."

"what would you do if you weren't afraid?"

i love all of that! they are all things i need to remember. and think about that last question: what would you do if you weren't afraid? how often are the choices i make out of fear actually totally uncharacteristic? how often does fear hold me back from doing the things that will help me be successful and happy?

so, i recommend who moved my cheese?. it has a silly-sounding name, but it's already been helpful for me.


  1. i needed this post today. thanks courtney!

  2. Courtney, we had a boundary realignment back on Feb. 5 of this year and my ward was dissolved in the process. Part of us went to an existing ward already all settled with its leadership and callings (that included me), and the rest of my ward (including most of my closest friends) merged with an existing ward and they created an all new ward with a new name. My best friend became the RSP of that new ward.

    My point is after this all happened so abruptly, I didn't even know why I had even bothered to reactiviate myself in the church at my age after so much time. I figured the ward had been stable for 30 years and I'm there for 11 months, and that safe, comfortable, loving ward family was simply "dissolved" and ceased to exist! The new ward was huge; I knew almost no one; there were major "cultural" differences; they felt we had been dumped on them, and we felt it was THEIR world and we were just in it. I hated it all and began to think it was just too much, not worth it, and I really might just leave soon.

    Long story short, in March, right as I was on the verge of not attending anymore, I met the sweetest sister who is in the Bishopric and she has the same vestibular disorder as I do--Menieres Disease. She bore her testimony that Fast Sunday and talked about life with the illness. That night, she reached out to me and became my friend and still is very important in my life today. Some kind of miracle happened that day, however, becuase I immediately went into a remission from illness. But one of the first things this sister did was to use the term: "They moved your cheese!" I understood.

    So, yes, I really understand the term (having your cheese moved) and what you are writing about. And, I have also now realized that as soon as things get settled and comfortable again, your cheese may well be moved over and over again. Its just how things work. I know everything is working out for the very best for you. Great things are happening in your life and nothing is a coincidence. Thank you for the very awesome and relatable posts lately. You're really great!