If you could do anything, if nothing was holding you back and there were no rules, no constraints, no money problems, no judgmental faces… what would you do?
Take some time to think about it. What do you want most in the world?
Now, what’s stopping you from getting it?
I’ve asked this before, and I’m asking it again because it’s not something we figure out once, then set it and forget it. As our lives change and we grow, it’s good to revisit this question. Sometimes the answer stays the same, but often it changes as we change.
For me, what I’ve wanted most has varied from communion with God to being loved to peaceful solitude to yarn. What’s held me back? Doubt, perfectionism, fear of failing, aversion to looking foolish, unwillingness to step into the unknown.
The problem with facing reality is that then you have to do something about it. So I tried to avoid that whenever possible. My terrible marriage, my dull job, my ever-present feeling that life was passing me by? All shoved under the rug. Everything was fine, dammit!
It’s the path of least resistance, and some people keep it up for years. How many people do you know who are going through the motions of life right now? Get up, go to work at a job that’s passionless at best and soul-sucking at worst, fight traffic, arrive home with a headache, exhausted. Eat dinner, maybe fight with your spouse, maybe veg in front of the tv. Bedtime comes before you know it. The next day, you get up and do it all again.
That was my life a few years ago, and I had no idea it could be any different.
I’m not talking about self-employment, necessarily–that’s my dream life, but it’s not for everybody. I’m talking about doing what you really want, what fires you up and makes you feel alive. I’m talking about whatever gives you joy, meaning, and purpose.
Instead of going through the motions, living. Diving in, letting yourself get dirty, risking, sweating, savoring. Being real, falling in love, going all out.
I’ve done it both ways, and I can tell you that there’s no comparison. The life of fear feels safe, but that’s an illusion. In reality, when you obey fear, you risk losing everything.
If I had kept listening to fear and living its small life, here are a few things I would have missed:
- This blog and the awesome community we have here.
- Meeting amazing, inspirational people and making friends.
- Helping other people change their lives and be happier.
- Racing cars for fun.
- Getting help and support from people I admire.
- Quitting my job and following my dream of supporting myself as a writer.
- Falling in love.
The old me could not have imagined my life as it is now, but all of this was in my power the whole time. I just didn’t see it. Back then, my own fears, doubts, and mistaken beliefs trapped me in a life of misery. I had the key to my own cell and chains. I just didn’t realize it.
But you know what’s almost as awesome as stepping into your dream life? The exhilaration of facing down your fears and overcoming them. It’s an amazing feeling, and the more you do, the better it gets.
Many people struggle with the same things I did. You may feel stuck and trapped. You may not even know what you want to be or do–maybe you’re afraid to know. Or maybe you’re one of the many who want to help people, do meaningful work, and change the world. Maybe you’ve always wanted to publish a book or support yourself with your art.
I want to see you do all this and more. I want to see you living your dreams, and dreaming bigger and bigger.
To help you make that happen, I created a free guide to facing your fears and finding out what’s holding you back. The response was overwhelming, but not everybody got to read it then. Today, I’m re-releasing that guide in case you missed it the first time.
This free guide will show you:
- how to figure out what’s really holding you back
- how to get control of your own life
- how to get clear on what you want
- how to know whether you should take a risk or listen to your fears (they are right some of the time!)
- what to do to make your efforts more likely to succeed
If that sounds like something you want, sign up below, and I’ll make sure you get a copy. Here’s to conquering fears and following your dreams!
(Please sign up even if you’re already a newsletter subscriber–this is a special list. If you can’t see the form above, you can go back to the original post and sign up there.)