How many times have you let fear hold you back? You knew what you wanted to do but you were afraid people would judge you. Or thought you might fail, and rather than risk failing, you just never took the first step?
Fear is such a powerful emotion that holds us exactly where we are today. We’ve all seen the famous meme about how the magic happens outside of your comfort zone.
Fear is a protective measure. It aims to keep us exactly where we are. Where we know the battles that we face, and where we are 100% sure of the tools and resources we need to get through each day. Fear reminds us that the unknown is scary and we might not handle it gracefully. We might make a mistake. Worst of all, we might FAIL.
I have experienced this fear throughout my life. Sometimes I just know that I need to make a change, or make a move, but I am so afraid that the situation I’ll find myself in will be worse than where I am currently, and so I stick it out. “Just a little bit longer,” I tell myself. I’m not quite ready yet, but soon I will be.
There is always another excuse to wait and see. And inevitably, that moment in time never comes. I always hope for a clear sign from the universe that NOW is the time to take action. But only when I actually start moving forward in the direction I want to go, does the energy shift around me and open doors that never would have been opened had I decided to stay put.
Every single major life change I’ve ever made (quitting my advertising job in NY, moving to Paraguay to volunteer with an organization I admired, moving to Berlin, starting a masters program, leaving a stable job, taking a riskier position at a company, starting my own business...shall I continue?) has come with a deep-seated fear and months of questioning whether or not I was in the right place, doing the right thing and then the reassurance that I was simply being impatient and should “wait it out” a bit longer.
And yet, every single time I decided that the unknown could not be worse than the present circumstance, and actually took a leap to of faith IN MYSELF, it has paid off. I have felt the relief that you can only ever feel when you finally shake yourself free of the chains that have been holding you back, and allow yourself, finally, to experience freedom and courage through choice.
When in your life have you made a courageous move towards an uncertain future? What was the outcome?
Amanda is a Leadership Coach who specializes in empowering women to clarify their vision and unlock the courage to make transformational changes in their lives.