The Secret to Rising Above Your Fear
You've been convincing yourself you're happy living small, haven't you? Playing it safe, keeping it comfortable, staying within the "norms"... whatever you want to call it... will take your life.
Maybe not in the sudden and dramatic way of an abrupt death.
But when you reach the end and are reflecting on the life you've lived, you'll become aware of when you were truly living it and when you let fear take the reigns. According to Bonnie Ware, palliative care nurse and the author of The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, people at the end of their life most commonly had this to say,
" I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."
Not long ago this was EXACTLY the life I was living. I was the girl trying to make everyone around her happy, people-pleasing my way through decisions left and right until I was crying into my pillow with no idea what direction I genuinely desired. Living according to the expectations of others feels easier in the moment. It allows you to avoid potential conflict and temporarily gives you feelings of relief... until you realize the only true conflict you're in is with yourself. Your anxiety rises, due to being disconnected from your Divine purpose here on earth and you feel lost. You end up stumbling around in a world you've let others create for you instead of growing it from your soul.
I want you to envision yourself in the middle of a circle. This circle is the place you live within every day. In your mind's eye, label this circle your comfort zone. Our primal brain was designed to keep us safe and ensure our survival, keeping us well within the perimeters of our comfort zone. We don't need to think about it. We instinctively spook at the sound of a loud noise and run away or freeze at the sight of a larger, potentially dangerous animal. As a part of a community, these instincts keep us from alienating our fellow women and men so we wouldn't be cast out on our own.
The thing about intentional growth and living out our soul's purpose is that it requires us to step outside of this comfort zone of primal living. Which is, more often than not, NOT dangerous... only slightly uncomfortable for a moment. Back to your visualization, picture yourself stepping a giant step outside of this comfort zone and looking around to realize nothing happened. Nothing except the expansion of your comfort zone, which now includes an extra few feet all the way around!
Think about the last time you did something outside your comfort zone. It was exhilarating, wasn't it? You stood taller, confident and proud that you'd taken that step and done that thing, despite the fear.
The only way to expand your comfort zone is also the only way to rise above your fear. It's not to ignore these primal instincts, as they exist for a reason. It's to acknowledge them, recognize that you are in no danger to do so and then lean in. Every opportunity where your programming is telling you to play safe and back away but your intuition is quietly but firmly guiding you, lean in.
That uncomfortable conversation you've been dreading. Instead of avoiding it for a week, leading to restless nights and an exhausted nervous system... lean in.
That position you want to go after but are afraid you aren't whatever enough for it... lean in.
That relationship that feels strained and you're unsure how to navigate... lean in.
Only when you have that uncomfortable conversation will you discover that it led to deeper understanding of one another. Only when you go for that new position will you have the opportunity of getting it, or discovering it wasn't for you in the first place. Only when you choose to lean into the discomfort of the relationship dynamics will you discover the potential for mending it. You'll be amazed at how quickly you grow comfortable within your new comfort zone and are ready to expand it further yet! When's the last time you intentionally rose above fear, having the courage to live a life true to YOU?