Close the door, change the record, clean the house, get rid of the dust. Stop being who you were and become who you are.Paulo Coelho, The Zahir
The fear to jump in
We’ve all got something that we want. A change in our lives, a change in our selves, or a change in the world. For most of us, deep down, we recognize that it is up to us to make that change a reality, nobody is going to do it for us. So what stops us?
For one thing – it’s scary. That voice in our head is telling us all the ways that things will go wrong if we create action towards that change. It will create inventive ways to convince you that everything in your life is at risk if you take the plunge. It will tell you that you can’t swim, that the water is too deep, and that you will drown out there. Why? Because it wants things to stay the same.
For another thing – we don’t know how to do it. Nobody handed us a manual on how to change the world, our lives, or our selves. We convince ourselves that learning how will not only be painful, but will take WAY to long and we simply don’t feel like we have enough time to do it.
There are hundreds of reasons why we fear to jump in. It will be uncomfortable. The people we care about won’t understand. We will fail, etc. Pretty soon we rack up so many reasons NOT to change, that we tell ourselves that it is simply not possible. We take the easy road and stay our current course.
What’s the cost of the easy road?
To put it simply, it costs us something to not create the change we want in our lives. It costs us regret and maybe some personal shame, feeling like we’ve let ourselves down. It costs us wondering ‘what if I had’ for the rest of our days. It costs us the joy and excitement of taking control of our lives instead of letting fear run the show.
At the big-picture level, it costs us the life that we deserve to live. One full of purpose and passion, where we get to learn and explore and collaborate with joy in our hearts.
We reach a point though where that cost is too high, and we decide that it’s time to jump in.
What’s the best way to take the plunge?
So, what’s the best way to start creating that change in your life?
First – gather your courage, because that voice isn’t going to stop telling us how hard this is going to be any time soon.
Next – figure out what it is you really want. You can do this by going through the ‘first step to the life you want‘ post, or just jot it down on a piece of paper.
Then identify what a good first step is. A good first step should be a little scary but the consequences, if it goes ‘wrong’, should be low. It can be as small as letting your best friend know that you’ve made a decision to change, or as big as changing your entire life. The key here is to make sure that it feels like a stretch according to you. Don’t let others tell you what your first step is, you get to come up with it all on your own.
After you’ve got your first step identified comes the hardest and most rewarding part – go do it. Take the plunge with that one slightly scary step. Dive into the life that you deserve to live and show yourself that you are fully capable of overcoming the fear that keeps you stuck.
When others start to notice how much better your life is becoming, then you can help them take the plunge too.