That is a theme that is currently redefining the geography of my life. Its very close cousin, "All or Nothing," is also insistently hovering by my shoulder. There are many, many things happening right now that are nearly sweeping me off my feet: Things I have hoped for, things I have wished for, and things I have prayed for.
But as I've learned many times over (and will undoubtedly continue to learn), aren't those the things we often fear the most?
There is a tidal wave of change crashing down upon me. Which while terrifying, is also exhilarating and profound in the ways it is compelling me to grow.
Perhaps you're wondering, "What brought on this post?" Well, as a fitness professional, chef, and thoughtful listener, I have heard nearly all my friends and loved ones mention "things" along the same lines. Whether it's having a breakthrough, feeling like a breakthrough is just around the corner, or really wanting a breakthrough - there is a craving for change far beyond the scope of New Year's resolutions. They are craving transformation. And the common thread through all of their wishes, hopes, and prayers is one thing: Fear.
Which now brings me to the point I've been meditating on lately that will hopefully bring this all full circle. [rubs hands together and takes a deep breath] Before I started packing for the move, before I agreed to reestablish contact with my soul mate, and every time I am offered a role, I am filled with fear. And it isn't that general fear of the all-encompassing unknown. It's the fear of not knowing what I think I need to know to accomplish what it is that I truly want. The fear of not having prepared enough, the fear of working hard and still not measuring up, the fear of letting someone else down and failing in their eyes, which cuts doubly when you consider the sense of personal failure that inspires. The looming, "I don't know if things will turn out the way I hope they will, so maybe I shouldn't try."
But in pushing myself past those doubts, closing my eyes as the flapping of butterflies' wings in my stomach reaches an agonizingly fevered pitch, and passing through into the process of doing the very "things" I don't know if I can do, the fear begins to subside. From towering over me and blocking my view, it shrinks to the point where I can look it in the eye, sit down with it side by side, or hold its hand. And now I have a greater understanding that fear is a signal to me that something is important, and thus I should pursue it all the more. That the only person or thing that can stand in my way is myself, and that given permission, I can spread my wings and fly to any height I wish.
One of my favorite quotes is, "Do one thing a day that scares you." And my riff on that is we should do many things every day that scare us. Take that risk. Embrace the cold-sweated breathlessness of not knowing if you're making the "right" choice. Allow yourself the opportunity to say everything that you know you want to say. Be okay with "failing." Realize that taking the chance and putting yourself out there is infinitely more valuable than playing it safe and staying comfortable. That being remarkable is not a high percentage play.
So instead of shunning fear and running away from it, allow yourself to be with it, through both the valleys and the summits, and acknowledge its constant role in your journey. Instead of a barricade, allow it to be the hand that pulls you up or the shoulder you lean on. Allow it to push your forward. And through that trust and that faith, may you transform into the best person that you can be, not just for yourself, but more importantly, for all those with whom you share your life.