I Will Survive.
To say I was a bit overwhelmed last week is the understatement of the year. Only those closest to me (you know who you are) knew the turmoil that took up residence in my heart.
The fears that kept popping up last week have been plaguing my heart since I decided to take this journey so many months ago.
- How can I leave a job I love
- How will I get a job when I come back
- How will I explain a sabbatical on my resume
- How will I get a car when I come back with no job
- What if no one hires me
- What if I can’t plan a retreat abroad
- What if I don’t pass my yoga teacher exams
- What if I fail
- What if something happens to me
- I don’t know what I’m doing
- I can’t speak foreign languages
- What if I don’t meet friends
- Will I have to live with my parents forever
- What will my friends think of me
- What will my family think of me
- I’ll be laughed at
- What will people think of me
- I’m a failure
Here’s what I learned though. Each of these fears is my mind’s way of protecting me. You see, what I had felt safe. My mind was protecting my heart in an order to keep me safe, keep me playing small. But when I applied The Work (thanks Byron Katie) to all of the statements above, I know (even though I don’t always believe) that not a single one of them is true.
When you look at all the comments above, they really boil down to one fear – What will people think of me? I think this is a fear we all face at some point or another.
One of my absolute favorite authors and speakers, Brene Brown, talks about the people whose opinions matter to us in her books Daring Greatly and Rising Strong. She’s also talked about it on my favorite podcasts Being Boss. Who are these “people” that have me so fearful?
Brene challenges you to take a 1”x1” piece of paper and write those names on it. Carry it with you at all times. When fear creeps up, ask yourself, do I really care what this person thinks? Is there name on the sheet of paper?
In reality, there are only 3-4 people whose opinions truly matter to me. And those people, they’ll never judge me, laugh at me, deny me or turn their back on me. Rather, they accept me time and time again with all my successes and failures because they love me for who I am, just as I am.
At the same time, my fears have been rearing their ugly heads, the universe has been giving me signs virtually daily to let me know I’m okay. That I’m on the right path. That I’m taking a risk and putting my heart and faith on the line, but I’ll be better for it.
The latest sign – Diana Ross’ I Will Survive.
I ventured out to the marina the other day. You see, I’m supposed to go sailing next week and thought I’d check out where I’m to meet the group. On the way, my fears began to pop up…you’ll fail. You’ll run out of money. You’ll have to go home early. Why are you even here? You don’t know what you’re doing.
Then, as I sat on the edge of a pier overlooking the brilliant blue Balearic Sea in the Mediterranean, a sailboat drifted by in the distance. While it was some ways away, I could clearly make out the words as Ms. Ross was belting them. I will survive. Whatever this journey is for, whatever it is meant to be, wherever my business does/does not go, I will survive. I will be better for it.
As Brene Brown says in Rising Strong,
“Choosing to write your own story means getting uncomfortable; it’s choosing courage over comfort.”
I’m taking this journey for you – the ones who aren’t brave enough yet to do write their own story. I’m doing it for those at home who physically can’t travel and see the world. I’m doing it for all those questioning their purpose in the world. But most importantly, I’m doing it for me. And that, my dear readers, is all that matters.