TAKING THE BIG LEAP!
Whenever we commit to changing something in our lives – whether it be a big external change (like a career change, leaving a relationship, starting a business) or internal change (who you are being in your life) one thing is for sure – you are going to have to step way out of your comfort zone. Many of you know this and have experienced it but for some it may be the first time you have taken this leap of faith. Either way, each leap of faith will always feel big. I say this not to scare you but to prepare you so that when it happens you can take a deep breath and make sure you continue moving forward.
When you are standing on the brink about to take that leap of faith it is not something you do lightly. That is a good thing because it means that a force strong within you—one that you may have been ignoring for a while until it got so strong that you simply cannot ignore it any longer—is prompting this move.
That feels good and it feels scary.
A friend of mine drew the illustration above and I loved the title: The Leap of Faith. This leap of faith is away from the comfort zone but look what’s below: the Sea of Dreams.
So how can you manage all the mental noise that accompanies the leap of faith?
We all have that mental noise. The voice that is trying it’s best to stop you taking that leap. The voice inside that is trying it’s hardest to ‘keep you safe’.
Trouble is, safe isn’t where we grow and expand our experience of life. Safe just wraps us up in cotton wool: we get to the end of our lives full of regrets for the things we didn’t do or at least try to do.
That voice inside tells us that it is better to stay safe than to take a risk. It would rather have us live a safe life than a fun and fulfilling life. So to support yourself through this wonderful, scary and exciting next step in your life you are going to have to stop listening to that voice for a while.
That is not to say you ignore it altogether: Listen once and really reflect on what it is saying to you. Question the assumptions it is making, see if there is any veracity in it. And if there is follow that line of thinking keeping on questioning it until you either agree with what it says (and take the appropriate action) or see that is just fear—False Evidence Acting Real—that is running the show.
Most fears are purely a mind construct and have very little provable evidence. They spring from a whole load of ‘what if’s?’ Best way to handle those is to shine such a strong light on them that you begin to see them for what they are: made up.
For example, if you are thinking of leaving your successful career and starting anew—maybe opening your own business—you might be feeling a little scared as well as excited. That voice just might be telling you all the things that will go wrong: That you will lose everything and be homeless on the street. That if you take this step that your life will be over.
See what drama queens our little voices can be?
Let’s just look at this one by one:
It will all go wrong! Can you absolutely 100% know this is true? This is always the question to ask. This is your scared inner voice trying to find evidence in yours and others pasts to try to stop you stepping outside of your comfort zone. Any statement that is an absolute—in other words something that seems overarching with no room for degrees of truth—needs to be questioned. Could it go wrong? Yes it could. But could it also go right: gloriously, wonderfully right. Yes it could.
You will lose everything! Another absolute and again another that needs to be questioned. Think back through your life to the times when things went right and to the times when things went wrong. Did you allow yourself to lose everything? Or did you take action to either create success or minimise failure? My guess is, if you are reading this article, that you took the appropriate action. As you step into your new life—whatever that might be—there will be things that go wrong. That is part of learning about yourself in a new space. But you can also trust yourself to look after yourself. Any change is a place of learning, expansion and growth, and you will be so glad you allowed yourself to take that leap.
Your life will be over, you will be homeless! Ok we are really into the horror stories now. This is the point where the ego is fighting to hold onto control and if you are thinking about your life being over, about being homeless, you are very close to the edge of the cliff. Get excited you are nearly there! Your scared voice represents a part of you that that does not like change, even if you are miserable where you stand right now. It will fight tooth and nail to stop you jumping off the cliff: telling you that your life will be over and that you will be homeless is the top of its arsenal. When it uses these big guns, don’t fight back. Let yourself feel the feelings. As long as you run away from the feelings, they will scare you. Best way is to lean into them.
Go somewhere quiet and breath deeply. Allow yourself to relax and breath into the thoughts. Let yourself know that what you are thinking is not really true. Begin to see that they are simply thoughts that your mind has made up. When you feel relaxed and have taken the panic out of the thought, know that by facing these thoughts, they cannot scare you any more. By seeing them for what they are, you have taken the power from them. Yes it could be possible that those thoughts come to pass. But is it likely? No. You are taking all the right steps to ensure its success: you can rely on you. Are you going to let a thought stop you following your passion? You are better than that. You are stronger than that.
I know—from all my work with my clients and from my own life experience—that when you follow your passion, when you follow your heart and go for the thing that you love, magic happens too. You will find the support you need, the resources to support you and the ideas that will bolster your success.
You can change fear into Feeling Excited And Ready.
The leap of faith is just that, but what is so amazing is the magic that awaits you outside of your comfort zone. Go for it!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jessica McGregor Johnson is an international speaker, coach & mentor and author of “The Right T-Shirt, Write Your Own Rules and Live the Life You Want” and “Remembering Perfection – Everyday Inspiration for Living Your Spiritually”. She helps people who are at a crossroads discover their true passions, and live them, whether it be in their work or personal life.
Remember you can access her free video course here l
Illustration by kind permission of Charlotte Reed