What is Our Fear Trying to Tell Us?
I posted this graphic over on Facebook the other day and some of the responses looked like...
"Open my own interior decorating business"
"Audition for Saturday Night Live"
"Wouldn't be afraid to talk to people and put myself out there."
"Finish my GD novel."
"Share more videos."
"Figure out my why and my burning desire."
It got me thinking about all of the waiting we do in our lives. All of the checking-in with ourselves and others, looking left and right making sure it's safe to cross the street; but choosing to stay back because even though we can't see the oncoming traffic, we know it is bound to come barreling at us when we least expect it.
We convince ourselves that the risk far outweighs the benefits and we stay tucked, cozy in our own little safety net, peeking through the holes, admiring those who make the leaps, post the videos, say the things they need to say, all the while, comparing ourselves for not being brave enough to do the same.
When it came my turn to answer this question, I sat at the keyboard, staring at the blinking cursor thinking to myself, "Am I so afraid that I can't even come up with an answer to my own question? Really Amber?"
It has taken me a few days to wrap my brain around this one, but now that I'm here...and you've had the courage to come out of hiding, I think it's time I did too.
So here's the truth.
I am so grateful.
I am constantly astounded that this life thing is working out in this beautiful and magical way and I am very intentional about reminding myself of this daily. I spend a lot of time reframing the situations life hands me to find the sparkle as opposed to focusing in on the darkness.
Yet, sometimes, in this process, I find myself feeling guilty before I actually get to the sparkle. Rather, I use the guilt as the mechanism to get me there...and it feels icky.
It feels contrary to everything that I want to be.
Because what I want to be is present and receiving and open to what life is delivering me.
The lessons that are flooding in, even when that looks like tantrums and uneasy feelings when I have to tell someone I love a hard truth.
I want to be able to share my happy and not fear that it's going to offend someone else or remind them that their happy doesn't measure up to what they see me sharing on the screen.
Because, honestly, my happy has nothing to do with your happy.
We all have the right to live a fully present existence, to go for what it is we want and to choose to look our fear in the eye and do it anyway.
The last few days have been soul shifting on a lot of levels over here as my husband and I came to the realization that we want to move. There is a house that we have been lusting after for the last 6 or so years we have lived in this one. We told ourselves stories back then about why we couldn't afford it and why it was too small and why it just didn't make any sense.
And the truth is, on paper, all of those things ring true even more so now as the parents of a toddler and 4 furry friends.
But...the fact is, it's what we've wanted for our entire relationship and we convinced ourselves otherwise to fit in to the mold of what we believed to be right at the time...what we believed to be our truth based on the stories we had lived up until this moment.
So as we discussed this huge life shift, the implications, the work involved, the details, the other people involved...I started to feel myself get really overwhelmed. Fear kicked in and I started listing off infinite reasons as to why this was maybe NOT the right decision, after all.
I told myself it was impractical and rash and selfish.
I started to beat myself up and it got so intense I actually fell asleep in the middle of my own mental tirade.
The lightness and excitement that I've felt over the last 48 hours as we started to shift this new concept in to our potential reality, began to feel heavy and difficult.
I stopped dreaming and started deciding...for our realtor, for the future owner of our amazing home, for the sellers of our dream home...for SO MANY PEOPLE that I have no right to make ANY judgments or decisions for at all!
This co-dependent thinking, this strategizing and emotional management has been something I've become very adept at over the years and it has been a huge contributor to angst, stress and even physical illness at times.
And as I sit here tonight, contemplating all of you sharing your fear out in the light and mine finally making its way on to the screen, I want to challenge all of us to ask ourselves, "What's next?"
Now that we've identified what it is we would do if we weren't afraid...what are we going to do next?
This reminds me of a quote one my Launching Brand You students shared that her father used to say to her all the time. That quote is, "Do it Afraid."
And it gives me chills to think that, maybe, the fear isn't the big flashing red light, after all..maybe it's the green light telling us we're on the right path and to keep going...that the only right thing to do is to push down the gas, ever so carefully and press on...
That Mr. Carter's mantra, "Do it Afraid," is the only way to truly live the lives of our dreams.
What are you ready to DO AFRAID? Share your declaration in the comments below or over on Facebook.