Sometimes what we resist is the medicine we need most. I've been resisting embarking on a different life for myself, scared to jump. What's stopped me for so long? What's stopping so many of us? Last week's post had the most hits this blog has ever seen so many people read and commented that I know I hit a nerve, it's something that many of us are feeling. We're choosing to not move forward towards our goals and dreams because we're afraid, absolutely terrified.
Fear is a feeling, an emotion I've felt creeping around the corners of my life entering uninvited like an unwelcome house guest such as fleas. Unwelcome and yet must still be addressed and attended to. Fear manifests itself in different ways, the voice in my head telling me to see if I can get my money back for the plane tickets I bought two months ago because I'm not sure if I can actually vacation alone. The feeling creeping up my throat that whispers "don't kiss him" not because i don't want to but because I'm scared of where it might lead and what that might mean. It's the conversation I dreaded having with my business partner because it was uncomfortable and honest. Fear is always circling us like a vulture ready to land. I believe Fear is necessary, needed in order to do the important work. It's a signal that something is really important and we need to stop and pay attention, fear is the signal that this could change your whole world. If you don't want your world to change if you want to stay stuck you can ignore it, but if you want to change it's like Brianna said yesterday, "You have to feel the fear and do it anyway".
If you're in the yoga world and have had the chance to work with or for Lululemon you might have done your "Vision and Goals" with them. Lululemon asks all of their employees to think about where they want to be 10 years from now, 5 years from now, and 1 year from now. Dream big and make goals and plans around those big dreams. They state your goals should scare you. I agree our goals should scare us, if they don't we're not dreaming big enough but fear can be paralyzing. It can stop us from doing the big work that same big work that we're dreaming of.
Things that scare me right now: Knowing I have to quit my job, traveling alone, riding a ferris wheel in the middle of elm street in downtown greensboro, getting what i've always wanted in a relationship, making bad art, having difficult business conversations, possibly having to put my dog down.
For the majority of this list, the fear is necessary and signaling that something important is about to happen. Fear is telling me I'm about to grow. Growth is uncomfortable, do you remember having growing pains when you were a child? I recall waking up and my skinny little legs aching and my knees feeling destroyed, it was incredibly painful, really uncomfortable, but gosh I'm glad I'm 5"5 and not 3 or 4 feet tall. We're afraid of the hard important things because growth is terrifying and painful, and I know acknowledging the fear and doing it anyway is where the magic happens.
If I didn't "feel the fear and do it anyway" I wouldn't have learned that I can travel alone and have really fun adventures. I wouldn't have opened Greensboro Downtown Yoga, I wouldn't have bought myself a 75 year old house, I wouldn't have felt the joy of playing on a ferris wheel in the middle of downtown. Fear is signaling growth, fear is important but don't let it hold you so tightly that it allows doubt to creep in. "The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever being able to do it. -Peter Pan J.M. Barrie. Allow the fear to be a signal that what you're about to do or feel is a place that you need to explore.
I'm really curious, what are you afraid of? What are you putting off, how are you allowing yourself to stay stuck? We all do it or have done it. Please share with us what you're afraid of in the comment section below.