You can believe your inner voice telling you it’s too risky—or you can prove that voice wrong.
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.E.E. Cummings
Courage and That First Step
I am fascinated by people who take bold action during the most challenging of circumstances. People who have zero evidence that the dream or goal they have is remotely doable, “sane,” or within their capabilities, and yet, they step across The Threshold and begin their journey anyway.
There is an alluring, scrappy quality to these explorers. They hold a magnetic energy that compels our attention. We cannot look away.
We hold our breath on their behalf and wonder if they’ll make it, or if it’s too risky a leap they have taken. What will happen if they don’t. We study them for signs of fear, cracks in their resolve.
We eventually turn our attention back to ourselves, to our own lives, and feel the letdown. “Why can’t you be more like so and so?” we say to our reflection in our best, berating and disappointed, parental voice.
Head down in shame, we point to the monsters under our bed.
“It’s Too Risky” And Other Monsters
These aren’t real monsters, of course. They are our thought constructs. Our limiting beliefs. We’ll demand that their viability, their power are insurmountable and evidence we must choose the safe and practical path.
- The time is not right—yet.
- We aren’t ready.
- We don’t have enough money saved.
- It’s too risky right now.
- How would we even get started?
- Wouldn’t pursuing this right now (in this political climate, this economy, this time of personal transition, etc.) be foolish?
There are a million reasons why it makes sense to wait.
And yet, when we look at our courageous friend who set sail during “impossible” weather conditions, we see her making measurable progress. We see her setbacks as well as her willingness to keep going.
We witness her squeezing from her failures all the juicy knowledge and intel she needs to iterate, improve, and get that much closer to success.
We crouch down and peer under our bed. Since we last peaked into the darkness, the monster population has grown, both in number and level of sophistication of their warning chants. We pull the bed skirt over the darkness and stand to leave the room.
Something stops us from turning away from ourselves.
We catch our reflection in the mirror near the door. Our disappointment has fermented into first-class Regret. We are wearing it like a woolly shawl, hot and heavy, trapped beneath it.
The monsters chant and snarl and screech their warnings. Our heart pounds. The weight of Regret is too much to bear. We slip out from beneath it and let it hit the floor.
Doing It Anyway
And in a final, defiant move, we kick the shawl beneath the bed and muffle the cacophony of doom, shedding the refrain of “it’s too risky”. There’s room for us now to hear the thoughts emanating from our true self, the ones that solve problems and connect us to our intuition and creative ideas.
We leave the room that held us hostage. We have chosen freedom.
We step into the golden light that is arcing through the trees and begin.