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Recently, I’ve become aware of a long-standing problem (or life lesson) I have: starting things (with the best intentions!) and not following through on them, out of fear of the unknown outcome. It’s not specifically fear of failure (that’s certainly part of it); but of simply NOT KNOWING.
Pause to reflect on this question and answer honestly to yourself: how much of what you do right now is done out of safety and security, though you know it’s unfulfilling? No judging! Just listen and notice what comes up.
What I’ve come to understand about myself is that what I don’t know, I can’t control, and I find that terrifying. So rather than sticking with it, following through, and believing that the unknown could actually bring good, I start yet another new ‘thing’. Unfulfilling relationship? Push myself to succeed academically. Feeling emotionally unsupported? Start yoga. Experiencing burnout in my job? Become certified in yoga and health coaching. Fear of starting my own business? Teach more yoga classes and fill my time with unnecessary other projects.
Now, these may not sound like bad things, and they’re not! I don’t regret for a second that I was introduced to the beautiful practice of yoga, to group facilitation, or the inspiring world of health coaching. In fact, I find all of them deeply enriching (which is why it was so easy for me to procrastinate on following through with previous self-commitments!). The point is, there are endless ways you can distract yourself and fill your time to avoid what you are currently faced with: hobbies, family, cooking, exercise, cleaning, classes, social events, social media, etc. And they can all be good things. But what’s really important is WHY you are doing them.
Pause and ask yourself: What do I currently fill my time with? Why do I it? Write it down! Then sift through your Ego’s justifications, and get to the heart and truth of the matter.
Are you doing this new thing because you’re passionate about it; curious; because it ignites you; fills you or restores you in some way? Or are you avoiding; running away; dancing around what you need to face most? Trust me, you will feel a difference between the two if you really allow yourself to drop down and listen. And though it might be scary and painful, you owe it to yourself to find out, so you can spend more of your time and precious life energy doing what lights you up! The world needs more of that; the world needs it from YOU.
Does looking at it from this perspective change things for you? It did for me! It went from feeling selfish and silly to my duty and responsibility to follow through on my passions. What lights me up is teaching a yoga class; helping others arrive at their own conclusions to find the missing pieces to optimal health; and WRITING- sharing my life experiences through written word. I am not doing anything earth-shattering, or that hasn’t already been done, yet I feel deeply fulfilled. Why? Because when I do them, the best pieces of myself light up. And that’s what people feel and connect with. And you have that within you! So, what are you doing? Why are you doing it? And what passions will you commit to so that the world gets to experience your light?
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