A Leap of Faith
Saying "yes" to living your dreams doesn't necessarily mean that everything turns out just the way you imagined. A lot of the time, your big "yes" to your dreams also means a big "yes" to change. Conceptually, I think we can all agree that change is inevitable if you're taking actions towards pursuing something bigger and better for your life, but sometimes....
It can be terrifying.
I've spent the last year knocking down mental roadblocks to my dream of becoming a writer. I had to find ways around deep set beliefs about myself and what I'm capable of, prioritize my time so I can write every day, and generally sacrifice the life I had before for the one I've only ever dreamed about.
I've transformed, enough to be able to look back and shout in triumph at how far I've come. I've written a book, which will shortly be turned over to an editor before publishing. I have slowly (and sometimes painfully) built a website for my platform. I have started to blog, writing about various topics that I find interesting. Yet when it came time for me to hit the publish button... I stalled out.
I envisioned it to be similar to standing on a mountain peak. I'm standing at the very pinnacle, and I look down at the view. My legs turn to jelly, my breath catches in my chest, and slowly, I turn around to see that the path that led me here is gone. There's only one way down now. I have to jump. I felt frozen by a wave of fear. This was quickly followed by frustration with myself. After all, every step I had taken was taken with the intention of reaching this point!
At first, I thought the fear came from knowing I had reached the point of no return. Not that I'd turn back now. It was more of a realization that once I truly began to put myself out there, I couldn't take it back. I would no longer be able to play it small and safe ever again. Yet the question came up - why would I want to?
What exactly was I so afraid of?
That took some reflection, and the answer was surprising.
I'm afraid of feeling my fear. It's uncomfortable, and I don't like it. I avoid feeling afraid at all costs. I hate it when people jump out at me. I never go to haunted houses. I don't ride roller coasters. I'm not a thrill seeker in the slightest! I don't even like to run past my fear... I prefer to run in the opposite direction!
The problem with that method? It just wasn't going to work this time.
I purposefully did another visualization exercise. I stood still on that precipice in my mind. I peeked over the edge to look down. To my surprise, my legs stopped shaking as I took in the view. In that moment, fear lost its grip on me, and wonder took it's place. I wasn't meant to be small and safe. I was meant to fly. I spread my wings in preparation... and broke out of my visualization to write this post. My apologies for the flight delay, everyone. I was inspired, so I had to get this down and out first.
This moment I'm describing is commonly called a leap of faith. You hear people use it to describe any action you take where you can't predict the outcome and you just have to trust. I just didn't realize how little faith I used to have in myself. I also didn't realize that out of all the changes I had made over the past year, this is where I had grown the most. At least, I didn't realize it until I took the time to stand still on that precipice and acknowledge to myself that it may be scary, but it's worth it.
Do I believe and trust that I am capable of changing my own life? Absolutely.
So instead of fearing my fears, I have chosen to honor my fear instead. I see it. I acknowledge it. I'm letting myself feel it, allowing it push my heart to beat a little faster. I'm going to use it as a launching pad. As soon as I finish writing this post, I'm hitting publish for the website and blog. The book really does need time with the editor, so that part will wait for a bit, but for now?
I'll be flying.