I remember when my son was young and still sleeping in a crib. One night we had put him to bed, only to hear a few minutes later a shriek from his room. We went running in to find he had banged his chin on the side rail from jumping up and down, and put his teeth through his bottom lip! Lots of blood and tears from him, and freak-out from me. My husband had to remind me that the head region produces a lot of blood when broken open. Here he was, “safe” in his crib, or so we thought. Just walking this earth is risky business.
Things can happen anytime, anywhere—a car pulls out in front of you and you can’t stop in time—boom. You go to the doctor’s and a routine exam reveals a serious illness. You walk into work one day and they say, “Clean out your desk; we have to let you go”. Life is unpredictable, risky and to a very large extent, out of our control.
You can react to this unpredictability by hunkering down, hanging out in front of the TV and forgetting about adding any more risk to your life by even entertaining the idea of making changes that would bring you closer to the life you used to dream was possible. You know the one; where you are doing all those things that used to thrill you when you were a kid, back before life became so serious and laden with problems to solve.
Once you get in touch with those things that use to excite you, and you see the vision of the life you could have, the inevitable question is “Is it worth it?” Is it worth trying to find the energy and time to fit these things into your already overburdened life? Is it worth it to take the risk that you might be disappointed again by not getting the results you so deeply long for?
And probably the biggest question, it is worth it to challenge the voices from the past that say “Sorry, you can’t have that, you are not________________.” (good enough, smart enough, talented enough, attractive enough, rich enough, etc.; you fill in the blanks.). Those voices are so strong and you have listened to them for so long that they have become a part of your belief system. In all of my personal development work with others, I can tell you everyone has a version of this going on.
How do you manage the risks and move forward in spite of all the resistance? You:
- Identify what it is you want to do and what specific risk is involved.
- Then take the “big” risk and divide it into smaller, less risky chunks.
- Develop the skill of risk-taking, (because it is a skill) by taking small risks every day. Instead of pulling away from something that makes you uncomfortable, step into it and discover it wasn’t such a big deal after all.
- Get support from believing mirrors—people in your life that are also taking risks and creating the life they want.
- Make risk taking a habit; challenge your comfort zone.
I’ve been challenging my own “not good enough” voices lately by writing and recording some new songs. The thrill of getting to the other side of the resistance, taking the risk and discovering the fun of doing what I love is indescribable. It doesn’t get much better than this.
What if the hero/heroine’s journey of this life is to actualize the longing in our heart?
Go for it. Take the risk to reveal the fullness of who you are.
Where is the longing calling you forth
Can you abide and find the prize
©2011 D Ingram