Living Dangerously: Being Afraid and Doing it Anyway 

In a recent post I talked about the concept of having faith in limitless possibilities as it related to The Art of Living Dangerously.  To remind you, when I talk about how I define this energy of Living Dangerously, what I am talking about are energies of: 

  • Being afraid and doing it anyway
  • Knowing there is more and going for it
  • Trying new things – taking the leap
  • Seeing new perspectives
  • Experiencing instead of Existing
  • Living by your values
  • Never settling
  • Transcending expectations
  • Having faith in limitless possibilities (read the post)

Maybe one of those resonates more true to your desires or energies…that call from your repressed rebel, closet creative or aspiring adenturer.  Perhaps you need to really get intimate with it and with that intimacy you will discover YOU.  The true you that defies your current reality, but is the energy you feel most called to live.  

My intuition is being drawn to write next on the idea of Courage: Being afraid and Doing it anyway.  

Fear can paralyze us if we allow it to.  Fear is a healthy biological function that keeps us safe.  But we can invest in outcomes that scare us as an excuse to not do something.  We may find ourselves making statements like: 

  • I can’t own my own business, 95% of businesses fail in the first 5 years.  I can’t afford to fail. 
  • I can’t leave this unhappy relationship, our kids will suffer. 
  • I’m afraid to ask for a raise, what if I get fired instead?
  • Yes, I want that change, but I’m afraid life could be worse than it is now and not better.  
  • If I tell him/her/them how I feel I’ll be hurt. 

What these represent are possible uncomfortable outcomes.  And all of them are about you, your discomfort, your personal belief or idea.  How do you overcome that?  How do you press past fear and take the action you want to take? I have three energies I put into action to overcome fears: 

1.  Information.

In many cases, fear of the unknown is king of the reason you don’t act.  I am still constantly surprised after hundred of coaching hours at the number of people I encounter who want something, but have done zero information gathering on the thing they want.  There is a huge information void that allows imagination to collect falsehoods instead of facts.  

Collect the information, figure out the steps, consult your council and consider information versus imagination. 

2.  Focus. 

What if what you focused on flourished?  Let’s pretend you could lose weight with ONLY the power of your mind…you focused on healthy eating, exercise and the picture of you that you wanted.  In my scenario you’d become that picture.  Or if you chose to focus on the version of that you don’t want: the extra 10, 20, 100 pounds.  You wouldn’t shrink, you’d grow! 

For every anxiety or fear you develop, focus on how you want to feel, the result you want and the energy you want to promote in your life. 

3.  Flexibility. 

As disappointing as this may be to you, none of us can magically manifest everything we want immediately.  What an ugly world it would be if we could.  No anticipation, no surprise, no creation…

Instead, we have to be flexible.  Things arrive when we are ready for them, at the right time in our lives, with the right people, etc and so on.  It requires us to be flexible, patient and have faith.  And sometimes what we wished for is green and we actually needed blue.  And when blue shows up we realize our truth.  But it’s there because we put the effort in: we gathered the information and we focused not just on the “thing” but on how we wanted to feel and be with it – so the right thing could arrive. It’s a little bit spiritual right? 

Be flexible with the outcome, continue to do the work and trust that what is in highest vibration for you will be produced. 

Courage is being afraid and doing it anyway and faith is trusting that you will be okay along the journey.  I have been in business a little over 5 years now and there hasn’t been a point in every year that I have wondered if I was supposed to keep going: a downtime, a tough client encounter, a missed opportunity, a fear that I wasn’t good enough and more.  I wake in the middle of the night wondering if this is the month it all collapses.  I find a reason to doubt my abilities and being to let doubt turn into a harsh inner critic which allows fear to take hold and self-sabotage grips my neck in a strangle hold.  It’s fear, bold and brash attempting to form around my world. 

I have to put to work all three of my countering energies in those times:  Information, Focus and Flexibility. 

Here is one: 

Late last year I formed a non-profit for veterans – a veteran myself I was passionate about the cause we were working toward. Fear showed up immediately as we decided whether or not to pursue this big thing. We pressed past it. As we went on though,  I found myself struggling to make time for it, hard pressed to get everything done,  missing the signs that my partner and I were on different wavelengths and living in fear of how it would all come together.  

I sat down and looked at the three energies and I realized this about them: 

1. Information.  When I examined the facts around my schedule, my commitments and where the organization was, I realized my role had come to a conclusion. I clearly saw what was needed next and knew I had the skills to take it on, but that it wasn’t mine to do. 

2.  Focus.  This was not an entity I could part time focus on.  And it wasn’t going to flourish under part time, stressed out focus.  Financially I was not in a position to focus more fully, and there was a timeline being pressed that I couldn’t support. 

3. Flexibility. I had to concede to myself that I was not the right person for this organization anymore.  I had to realize that the way the mission was shaping up was not the mission I had originally envisioned and that instead a new worthy mission  formed from another’s vision was growing.  And that was awesome. 

So I resigned.  I’d love to say that was received with the grace I intended, but it wasn’t.  There were harsh words, accusations and insults hurled about me – unfortunately never to me.  In the final analysis, I could see all of the points at which I had been afraid and done it anyway from concept to conclusion of my role.  And now – an organization is growing to serve vets in a really cool way in this community.  

Recently the idea of breaking up with a bad situation was shared with me.  As I write this, I realize that my story of being afraid and doing it anyway is also a break up story with the pain of that experience with the non-profit.  Facing the fear around self doubt in that entire process, putting to rest the energy associated with it and opening myself up for the work I truly want to do to help veterans.  So now I get to work the process all over again: information, focus and flexibility! 

Whatever you want, but are afraid of…work the process and press past the fear. 

Live Dangerously, Be You

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