This is a big one. I had no idea that I was even doing this until I read a Nelson Mandela quote:
Reading this quote not too long ago struck a very deep chord within. It forced me to pause and reflect on where I was in my life and where I wanted to be. The two were not the same.
For over a year I had been wanting to make a major life change that involved leaving the security of what I had for something I wasn’t sure I could have. I played the “what if” game a lot and in doing so I came up with a few different outcomes of how I believed the chips could fall. The problem was that my thinking was limited by my fear of taking a risk for a highly uncertain result.
And so I never took the leap, believing that I wasn’t ready yet. It wasn’t the right time. I just needed to save up a little more money. These were the stories I told myself to silence the internal voice that knew better. I told myself these stories for almost 2 years.
I was too comfortable in what I knew and paralyzed by my fear of what I didn’t know.
Until I “randomly” stumbled upon Nelson Mandela's wise words.
Was I choosing out of fear? Absolutely. How did that make me feel when I realized the root of my choices? Disappointed. Sad. And a dash of disbelief. How could I allow my life to reflect my fears and not my hopes? I should divulge that I had a pretty great life - on the surface. I was fortunate enough to do work I enjoyed with an incredible clientele. But on the inside I was yearning for more. I had been doing the same work for 15 years. I felt stagnant. I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere...that there was no more room for me to grow if I continued to do the work I was doing in the place I was doing it. I was in a very big comfort zone that wasn’t fulfilling me the way it used to.
That very day something inside of me snapped. It’s like Nelson's words cut the fear chord in one fell swoop. I didn’t want my life to reflect my fears. I didn’t want to play the “what if” game any longer. I was tired of waiting for the “right” time. And so I chose. I made very big choices with very little certainty. The only certainty I was able to find when I found myself in self-doubt was that I was certainly not going to live from fear. I chose not to think about what could go wrong and focused on what would make me happy.
I wasn't prepared for the support that showed up, and it showed up in ways I never imagined.
Something happened when my choices reflected my hopes. Answers to problems I was aware of but not focusing on were getting answered. And fast. And the solutions were easier than my limited fears could've ever imagined. I began meeting the right people. People who could help me. It became clear that when operating from a place of fear, which I like to refer to as my limiting-self, I was unaware of all the incredible possibilities that could happen. If I believed that there was only option A, B, or C; I now realized that the possibilities transcended the alphabet of choice. There was a correlation between my choices and my perception. The more expanded my perception was, the more choices I had. Because I was living small, my choices were minimal.
After making the decision to choose from hope, my spirit was ignited. There’s a new passion in my work as I explore past the boundaries I’ve moved on from. I'm excited about my life again and the unknown possibilities. There’s still fear. I do have days I wonder if it’ll all happen the way I hope. But then I remember Nelson Mandela’s words and I say to myself, “Perhaps it won’t. Perhaps it'll be better than I can ever imagine.”
After all, I know there are still boundaries to move through. What lies beyond them I'm currently unable to conceive. And although it can be scary, it’s exciting.
I’ll take exciting over stagnant any day.
It can be difficult to walk the path of vulnerability. To open yourself up to the idea of it all to come crashing down on you can be overwhelmingly frightening. But that fear is suffocating. The limited walls your fears want you to live within are slowly but surely closing in on you. You always have a choice to re-write your story of survival to a tale of thriving hope. Be inspired by your greatness that cannot wait to breathe and grow again.
Choose for your life to reflect your hopes.
If you're currently making choices that do not reflect your deepest hopes, it may be time to revisit those choices. I always encourage an open dialogue in the comments below and welcome any questions or stories of your own. As well if you've been able to switch your choices from fear to hope then I would love to hear about them. I welcome vulnerability and inspiration.
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