It seems too obvious to be reminded, but in order to move forward, to change, we must let go of what we were to become what will enable the change we desire to materialize.
I have shared the analogy in the past of swinging on monkey bars as a kid – in order to grab the next bar, we must let go of the bar we are holding on to with our rear hand to propel forward. Sounds simple enough, but . . .
We are hanging on to the rear bar because we need to keep ourselves stable on the bars. Letting go and swinging forward requires clarity of direction, the ability to know how to move one’s body to swing forward, and when we do have these skills, the trust in ourselves to focus forward – grateful for where we were and confident in where we are going. In other words, understandably, fear will rise up before we let go.
However, that very fear is a wonderful sign that your desire for the change you seek is exactly what you should seek. You are heading in the right direction. Many different writers and philosophers, contemporaries and from centuries ago, have shared this same sentiment – the deeply desired change we seek often requires us to do what we are afraid to do. In other words, our fears are the compass. (not our doubts as there is a difference between fears and doubts which is discussed in my second book and here.)
I shared the above quote ten years ago on the blog, and I have carried it with me over the past decade. Some years I remember its wisdom most vividly and immediately, other years, I had to take a breath, collect my thoughts and fears and remind myself of the truth I found in Shriver’s words.
When I began TSLL blog in 2009, the recession had begun and uncertainty swirled throughout the country and the world, and even shook my own life just enough to wake me up to stride out to try something new.
In 2020, each one of us finds ourselves being shook, whether just enough to remind us to be appreciative of all our lives entail or shaken so hard, parts of our lives are broken. Some historians have shared death toll comparisons to past wars, and while during each day of our lives throughout our lives, we are living through time which will one day be history, in 2020, history will reflect on a year of calamitous change, division, pain, awareness and hopefully growth in a positive direction as a result of the not only the pandemic, but social upheavals.
The growth within ourselves is what we each have absolute control to change, initiate and foster. So how do you want to grow? What have you learned, realized, decided will be the growth you wish to see in your life when we are on the other side of the pandemic?
Priorities crystalize during times of hardship but then we must have the courage to maintain and persist in our journey to understand why said priorities are important to us. Often it is not that you miss the specific dish at your favorite restaurant that is now closed, it is rather the ambiance, the service, the connection with others, the respect for quality ingredients, the freedom and financial ability to go out to dinner when you wish. In other words, the initial perceived priority will lead you down the path to understand what you truly value.
When I began writing twice a day for my blog in 2009 and continued writing in such frequencey for two years it was in an unconscious effort to figure out my direction in my life, to find the courage to live the life I only previously had dreamed about (even though I wasn’t entirely clear about that either). After the first two years, the journey continued, the writing continued and throughout my education of the world, myself, and so much more, I found the courage to change my life – most significantly to the outsider, I packed up and moved, sold my house and relocated in Bend, Oregon. The move was life-changing, but so was my shift of mind and perspective on what was possible and clarity about what was most important for my life. Rest assured, I still had and still do have much growing to do, but that is what drives and excites me.
Ten years later, the world has thrown us all into another unwanted situation, but there is value to be found for each of us as well.
Again, I find myself trying to understand and translate fears residing within. With experience, such feelings were quickly defined as fears rather than doubts, and as I shared above, fears are indeed a very good sign of opportunity’s arrival. A sign to let ourselves become excited, hopeful, to revel in and be grateful for as said fears are sign posts of where we want to go.
Perhaps you are feeling fear as well for a variety of reasons, each unique to every one of us. Today, I encourage you to explore your fears – look them in the face and dive deep. The answers for your most amazing life await on the other side of the unknown, and from there, the striving forward gains even more confidence.
SIMILAR POSTS YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
A favorite post from the archives: The Difference between Fear and Doubts