We often wish to pursue things that bring about a lasting change in our life.
During this process, often our challenge is not that we don’t have a solution to our problem but rather that the solution is one that makes us uncomfortable. And given that we have an aversion to discomfort (who wants to move out of the comfort zone?), we tend to avoid that uncomfortable but the most effective solution and keep looking for a painless and comfortable, but ineffective, answers.
Deep down we know what we need to do but due to fear-based reasons, we keep ourselves trapped in a kind of physical, mental, and emotional holding pattern. This way we end up wasting more and more of our time, potential, and energy.
Does this sound familiar?
You see, some of us have been circumnavigating change, growth, and success for years.
We talk, we plan, we intend, and we hope. Day after day.
We read such articles, nod in agreement, see ourselves in the words…but still fail to take action.
If this sounds familiar to a life you have been living, here is what Steve Jobs said in his remarkable address at Stanford University in 2005 –
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
The idea is to be fearful, then be courageous, and then apply that uncomfortable (but the most effective) solution to your problem which you have been avoiding all these years.
Some amount of fear keeps us out of harm’s way. All we need to have is the courage to manage it.
Nobody can give you courage, because it is all about believing in yourself.
The only way to deal with fear is to accept its presence, and then confront it in the most direct possible way.
As Shakespeare said, “Take arms against a sea of troubles, and in so doing, end them.”
When you force yourself to face any fear-inducing situation in your life, your self-esteem goes up, your self-respect increases, and your sense of personal pride grows. You eventually reach the point in life where you are not afraid of anything.
Let me leave you with a story I watched in a Mickey Mouse show when I was a kid. Mickey had this dream every single night that he was being chased by three evil creatures. Over time, he became completely exhausted in real life.
After a talk with Goofy, he tried a different approach. Once the figures started chasing him, he turned to them and said – “Listen guys, I’m not feeling up to it tonight. Want to do something else instead?”
They ended up playing cards and Mickey finally had a good night’s sleep.
Mickey learned not to idolize and mysticize fear, but to overcome it by seeing it in its face.
You can do the same too.
So, if you have been avoiding a decision or a certain course of action (but deep down you know it’s the best solution), maybe today is the day.
What do you say?