Why we should all live BOLDLY
I often talk about mind-chatter, limiting beliefs, and the stories we tell ourselves. The voices in our heads will shackle us to the ground or propel us forward, depending on which ones we decide to tune in to.
More often than not, the loudest voice in our head is the one full of doubt and fear.
The one that says…
“But what if…
… it won’t work out
…I don’t get what I want
…it doesn’t turn out as I expect
…I can’t control it
…they don’t like me/ it/ the result”
These are all imagined scenarios and whilst you waste your energy on the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘maybes’ you are missing out on your life.
These thoughts stem from fear of the unknown, uncertainty and worry. You don’t have a crystal ball, the only thing you can be certain about is that nothing is certain. Don’t wait to be 100% because it doesn’t exist. Don’t wait for a sign, because you won’t see it even if it comes. I understand our natural tendency to worry. But when did it ever come to any good?
If it helps you create plan b’s or back up plans which give you confidence to move forward then a little bit of it is fine. But if it freezes you to the ground then what is the use?
If you take all the time you spend on worrying about the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘maybes’ and instead put that energy into facing your uncertainty and moving forward how much better would your life be?
You need to recognise that the only way to truly know what will happen is to put one foot In front of the other.
This is YOUR life that you aren’t living.
Don’t let those doubts and fears talk you out of your possibly amazing future.
You need to rationalise with yourself, have a word with yourself, literally tell yourself to not take too much heed of those negative, worrying thoughts.
We as humans are pre-programmed to pay more attention to the negative things in life than the positive. Why? Because it keeps us alive. It was more important to pay attention to that saber-tooth tiger than the pot of honey because that tiger could kill you. It’s a pre-programmed survival mechanism to ensure the continuation of the human race. But those threats don’t exist anymore. More often than not it’s a text message from your boss that spirals our thoughts out of control and sends us in a panic.
We need to rationalise and self-sooth. To remind ourselves that just because we think a thought doesn’t make it true. We have a tendency to catastrophise when we really need to calm our minds down. Our fears and doubts can hold us to the ground. What’s worse is when we begin to say things to ourselves, create other thoughts that look like they are on our side, that masquerade as our friends, but they aren’t.
They often sound like:
‘It’s ok here’
‘I don’t want to try new things’
‘I like everything just as it is’
‘It’s probably not going to work out anyway’
‘it’s better if I just stay where I am’
We start to give are current position more credit than it necessarily deserves. Because the fear of the unknown becomes so overwhelming it makes us create excuses and reasons for why staying still, staying the same and not growing or taking risks in life is ok. It’s NOT OK.
This is your life. Don’t let life HAPPEN to you, create the life you want for yourself. Think back to the times when you have been unsure, when you have felt a bit of fear but been brave anyway. How bad did it turn out? I can categorically tell you that the moments in my life where I have been most challenged, fearful, insecure and doubted the next step, those times have proven to be the gateway to AMAZING things. Seriously, AMAZING things.
In 2011 I quit my job and bought a one way ticket to Mexico. I was living in Brazil at the time, I was due to stay and take a promotion but that evening I had got a call from my boss telling me HR had messed up my visa and I had 2 days to leave the country. It meant going back to the UK in October – misery.
I remember spending that night agonizing over what to do. They were still offering me the promotion but this time in London, but I wasn’t ready to return to London, especially not in winter. I spent the evening lying on my balcony, listening to radiohead, stirring at the stars and smoking cigarettes, I don’t even smoke.
I was in a complete dilemma. Sometimes in those situations what tends to happen is you latch onto the very thing you have at that moment, suddenly it is everything (even if a day before you were moaning about how miserable you were). Loss aversion theory stipulates that it is twice as painful for us to lose something we already have versus to gain something equally pleasurable that we don’t yet have.
In uncertain situations we often default to the life as we know it and grab hold with both hands. We don’t give the future possibilities a chance even in our minds. When I finally talked myself round to considering the alternatives (with the help of my good friend Aline) I realized I had options. The thought of quitting felt ridiculously reckless and crazy at the time. I just needed to give the idea of it some space, to imagine the amazing stuff and generate some motivation around it.
That’s the trick.
To stop yourself from latching onto the thing you have today and to imagine the things you could have, experience, learn tomorrow.
It’s impossible to know what might happen at the time, and don’t get me wrong, the fear can paralyze you. But I’ve pushed through the fear enough times now to know that it’s worth it. In hindsight those 7 months traveling where the best in my life. It was me actively carving out the time I needed in my life to work out my path. I met some fantastic people along the way who I count as great friends of mine to this day. I learned a lot about myself particularly because I was traveling alone through Central America!
Indeed, it was this very trip that give me the confidence to finally follow the coaching path and here I am, loving it! It was at the end of this trip in Rio that I met the man who would turn out to be the love of my life. Am I glad I pushed through the fear, conjured up some bravery and moved forward with uncertainty into the unknown?
What do you think? Of course I am.
It’s the thought that I almost didn’t is the thing that scares me now!
Now every time I worry and feel uncertain I remind myself of the magic that exists outside of my comfort zone. It’s a fine acceptable life, the one lived inside your comfort zone, but it’s an altogether more vibrant one that lives outside of it – that’s the one that’s for me.
Because this is it, no second chances. Be brave and live boldly!