You've got to make a decision. Where to live. Leave this job and take a new one. Stay in the marriage, leave the marriage. Start a business, quit a business.
The paths of our lives are more like an infinite flow chart of "what if". How many times have you thought, "Thank God I did this thing, or I wouldn't be here today/have these kids/met this person?"
But life could have gone differently. We know this, and we've experienced it, and therin lies so much paralysis when it comes to decisions, big and little. Yet we need to cultivate an ability to take a leap into the unknown if we want to create a life less ordinary.
We know something greater lies on the other side of these decisions, big and small. So why do we stay, years and years, in the comfort of where we are?
We think that it boils down to the unknown. When we leave the comfort of what we know, even when it's a hell that we know, we think we're afraid to find out what's waiting. But that's not what stops us.
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After all, the unknown is probably something we've faced before. Visionaries, leaders, creatives, rebels - we are a people who take the unmarked exit off the highway to see what's there. We vacation off the beaten track. It's not the void of not-knowing itself that stops us from making decisions.
The thing about the unknown is that actually, it's QUITE known. You know that you don't know. There's nothing "unknown" about the unknown. It's a big, black void of "Who the hell knows?" and "Not this!" We might not know the line up - where the apartment will be, who our colleagues will be at the new job, if we'll ever meet our soulmate - but we know that it WON'T contain the things we have now. It won't contain our current boss, the house we know, the one traffic light in town that we could draw from memory, in our sleep.
The unknown isn't the problem. In fact, the unknown is exciting. Clarity isn't ALWAYS what it's cracked up to be ( (coming next week).
The problem is not even fear. Of course we're afraid going into the unknown, making decisions that might leave us in a prolonged space of "uhhhhh...." and "this really hurts so bad" and "I never should have done that". If we weren't afraid, we'd be nuts.
The problem is this:
We don't trust ourselves enough to be resilient in the face of the fear and the unknown.
What is there to fear if we know that we can always count on ourselves to be resourceful and creative? If we know that we will always step up to the plate for ourselves and our loved ones? What is there to fear if we know, deep down, that no matter how many times we burn to the ground we will always rise more beautiful, more evolved, more wise?
We are afraid we will let ourselves down. We are afraid we will not rise to the occassion of adversity and let others down. That we will not be able to think quickly on our feet when the time comes, that when the monster rises up out of the void of the unknown, we will not be able to brandish the sword fast enough.
What do I need to be resilient in the face of the unknown?
That's the question that gives us the bravery to take a leap, to leave the comfort (even the hellish comfort) of what we know in search of something better. To have resilience. To remember the times when we did rise above what we thought we could ever do. To know we are wise, we are creative, we are the ones who will step into greatness in the smallest and scariest of moments.
Share: What's a time that you surprised yourself with your resourcefulness, quick thinking, creativity, and/or wisdom?