Shake Off the Fear and Fly
Many people don’t try to break free of sameness because they fear failing. I’m learning that isn’t me. In fact, I’ve taken a lot of risks fearlessly without even weighing the odds, counting on my own indomitable spirit to support me through many a leap of faith. It’s when I get close to success my fears kick in, turning my stomach to a tsunami, and my nerves to high voltage wires.
Interestingly, I don’t focus on anything in particular about the ramifications of success. It seems to be a combination of factors running the gamut from fear of letting someone else down, to how success might change my life. I wouldn’t even call it fear of change, as I’d never take those leaps of faith if change caused me anxiety. Instead, I’d be like so many who cling to sameness long after stopped retaining any beneficial qualities, or even showed it was still a viable contributor to the life they envisioned.
Those butterflies and tidal waves start inhabiting my stomach at what I consider the most inopportune times:
When I’m ready to edit one of my books
When I need to submit a proposal to a new client
When I’m writing for a new publication
And many more which are hiding in the depths of my brain at the moment. I start questioning everything from whether it’s the right move for me, to my ability to deliver, to my own intelligence. I know every single argument is unfounded, and yet, the part of my mind that still seeks to convince me change is bad, and anything outside my small, insular world will bring disaster shrieks loudly in protest.
A Time to Tell My Gut to Shut Up
I’d prefer not reacting to the internal battle physically, but as a swirling stomach has long been one of my early warning devices, it’s typically the first place that reacts to a mind being dragged into madness. It gets worse when the change I’m contemplating involves someone else, and I have to wait. I’ve never been good with anticipation, and it doesn’t matter if it’s for something amazing, or something terrifying (or both). My stomach dances the same frantic jig, perhaps because I’m simply lousy at waiting for anything. I’m of the “just rip off the band-aid and be done with it” point of view.
It isn’t that I expect bad news. I truly don’t. I’d rather have an answer of no than to have to wait. But in most cases, I’d rather hear yes, and feel horribly let down when I don’t get the answer I want. Though I’ve been training myself in positive indifference for awhile now, it doesn’t mean I don’t feel let down. It doesn’t mean I don’t run all the alternate scenarios through my mind, or ask what I did wrong. If nothing else, I try to learn from the nos as well as the yeses. But it’s often harder to figure out why someone chose another person over me than it is to see why I was the one chosen.
I have learned the best way to survive the anticipation, the anxiety, and even the subsequent internal questioning is to keep busy, and in cases like this, write out those fears and anxieties. Many people experience the same feelings, and putting it out there not only helps me, but might resonate with someone else, and help them get off this merry-go-round and move forward themselves.
The Choices You Make
“Forward” is relative, too. At any point in time you stand at a crossroads where there are several options as to where to travel next. Each will take you in a different direction from which you might or might not be able to return. Yet in most cases, you can always return to the crossroads and choose differently should you hit a dead end with the choice you made.
You can only see so far down each road. Even the safest ones eventually fade into the distance, leaving the future uncertain. It’s up to you how much you need to know before setting off. If you feel you need more guarantees, you might choose a road that allows you to see further ahead, or that perhaps offers a smoother path. More guarantees might mean less risk, but they also mean smaller rewards. You have to be willing to engage patience and persistence to reap greater rewards, and those rewards aren’t limited to financial gain.
If your crossroads includes choices to launch your own business, or accept a relatively lucrative job offer that gives you stability, benefits, and a regular paycheck, you might choose the short-term gain. However, you give up a lot of freedom, flexibility, and above all, the satisfaction of building something yourself. There’s no right or wrong answer. It’s a matter of determining how much risk you’re willing to accept, and which factors are most important to you.
Life is a Constant Series of Changes
When my daughters were growing up, I chose the path that allowed me to provide for them with as little risk as possible. That didn’t mean I wasn’t trying to be my own boss, or that I didn’t have periods of unemployment. It meant I was willing to accept things like less time with my daughters, dancing to the whims of a boss who might not always make the most ethical choices, and taking jobs that were close to home, but a terrible fit. In hindsight, I paid a high price for that choice, but in the end, it allowed me to finally leave the rat race and take my time building my dream. It also meant re-envisioning that dream when I could bring in the non-financial factors.
That’s the beauty of dreams. They’re allowed to evolve, and you’re allowed to change your mind, or follow a new path when things change in your life, or in your mindset. You’re only stuck on the same road if you choose to be. You can take a side trip, or even a whole new road any time you want, as long as you’re willing to accept that doing so means you’re subjected to unseen factors and challenges. It means trusting in yourself, or any outside force you believe in to get you safely to the other side…eventually.
First you have to decide, though. Are you more afraid of falling…or flying?
Gratitude Eases the Pain and Smooths the Path
My gratitudes today are:
- I’m grateful for the time and inclination to do some soul searching to determine where I’m really getting in my own way.
- I’m grateful for people in my life who understand and support me when I’m struggling to figure things out.
- I’m grateful for opportunities to spread my wings and fly even when my anxiety tries its hardest to ground me.
- I’m grateful for a life full of experiences, obstacles overcome, and proving to myself I can land on my feet in any situation if I give my world time to re-right itself.
- I’m grateful for abundance; love, joy, opportunities, confidence, knowledge, wisdom, supporters, community, friendship, health, peace, balance, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a Holistic Ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income.
If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward