“We all find ourselves in situations that at times seem hopeless. And we all have the choice to do nothing or take action.” ~ Catherine Pulsifer
If you’ve reached a point in your life where you know you want more, you know something has to change. In all my years of personal and spiritual growth, I’ve learned that the only thing that needs to change is me. If anyone is going to change, it must be me, not other people. You can’t change other people but you can change yourself. One of the major steps in life is action. If you don’t act, nothing gets done. We can talk about it all we want but until we DO, it won’t change. However, action is actually one of the last steps in the journey (or middle depending on your practice). There are many people who act and still get many of the same results they had in their past. But why? What’s holding them back? Would you believe it if I told you… it’s their FEARS! So I ask you this:
What are you afraid of?
You may think that’s a silly question especially if you’re at an age where you can say “I’ve been around long enough for___. I’ve seen it all.” The truth is that we’re all afraid of something and that fear plays a large role in our lives regardless of age. It’s stopped you from seizing many opportunities in life from jobs to relationships and so on. This must be dealt with otherwise, you’ll keep recreating the same problems in life, just in different forms. Those forms may be the same scenario but with different people, places and things. Keep in mind, that fear is a belief. So you’re actually changing your beliefs to alter your actions.
Facing your fears
The only way to conquer your fears and change your beliefs is to face the fear head on. It’s that simple but not always easy. So I’ve compiled a few tools to help you in that quest:
1) Write down your fears
If you want to conquer your fears, you must write them down. Get them out of your body/mind/spirit and put them in black and white. You can’t change a belief without identifying it and this is the best way to do such. If you want to use your computer you’re welcome to do that too. Whatever works, just get it out of your system. You need to be able to physically look at it either daily or occasionally.
2) Embrace the fear
Yeah, you read that correctly. Embrace it. Accept it. It’s a part of you as of the time you wrote it out. Take it in and notice how it feels. Take some deep breaths with it, absorb it and merge with it. Then, accept it as a part of you… now you know what you want to get rid of. This is one of the most overlooked steps in personal/spiritual growth. There are people who would try to tell you to ignore your fears. While it’s good intentioned, it’s also unrealistic. You can’t conquer your fears by ignoring them. You must face them standing up otherwise, you won’t change the belief. Remember, this is who you are as of now. You don’t have to continue being that person, unless of course, you choose to.
With all of the inner work mentioned, this is really the last step. Believe it or not, most people think you can just act without some ground work laid. This is a mistake. Any spiritual teacher/master will tell you that you must be in the state of “being” first. Be then Do. What I gave you first were the “being” steps.
What I will caution you on is staying there. There are some spiritual practices that tell you that you can just pray your way out of any situation and that God/Source/Creator/Universe will take care of everything. While I’m all for prayer and meditation coming from a spiritual background myself and I encourage daily practice of that, you can’t sit there forever and “just” pray/meditate. As some point, you must act. The Universe will always put opportunities in front of you because you asked for them. It’s up to you to be aware enough to identify them and act on them.
Proof of Concept
I was recently introduced to this term a few weeks ago. I mentioned that the only way to conquer your fears is to challenge them. A proof of concept is a way to do just that. It’s used to build confidence in something that you’re not sure about. For example: My business partners are involved in real estate as a side project and they weren’t sure if they were going to make money on it. They were advised to purchase a small, inexpensive property that if they made money on, great. If not, they didn’t lose much. After they made money the first few months, they gained confidence to continue to repeat the process. In otherwords, they started small and gained the confidence to move forward to do more. If you want more out of your life, you’re going to have to apply this method in everything you do. I like to tell my saxophone students in my lessons to give themselves the opportunity to learn. It’s the only way to move forward in life. Sometimes jumping all in isn’t the best decision. You do need to test the waters and lay the ground work but as I mentioned earlier, at some point you must act. Find out if things work or not, then see if you need to change directions or alter some decisions.
I was inspired to write this because I’m currently going through this in my life. I wanted to get more out of life but there were certain fears hindering me from taking action. Until I identified them, I wasn’t able to figure out what steps to take next. I hope this post resonated with you.
What was the thing event or situation that inspired your call to action? What fears did you have to face along the way? I’d love to hear your feedback.