Playing it safe isn’t always a bad thing. Most of us wouldn’t drive on the open road before passing a driver’s test. Nor would we cook a meal for company if we’d never cooked anything before.
Likewise, if we’ve never gone swimming before, we’re not a coward if we feel afraid. Our anxious thoughts and the fear we feel in our body are often natural protections. They’re a response to the risk we perceive. Maybe because we know we lack the skills, or the experience, or the information that we need to leap—whether we’re leaping off the diving board, away from a toxic job, or out of a life-long career into the unknown.
The hesitation, doubt, and fear we may feel is an invitation to look at what we are about to do, and see if we have what we need to make the leap.
Have we developed the emotional coping skills to work with the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that will follow us through the unknown gap of the leap? Do we have someone, or a community, who can listen to us, support us, and remind us of why we decided to leap in those moments of deep regret? Have we practiced the route back to our inner self that wants to live fully with well-being, so we know where to go to restore our commitment?
It’s okay to listen to the fear when it’s warning us to take the time to learn to swim, and practice diving off of lower boards before climbing up to the high dive. The hard part is knowing when the fear is telling us there is more preparation to do, and when the fear is just trying to hold us back from the unknown.
Because the time will come when all the preparation is just keeping us stuck. That’s when it’s time to jump with the fear into the unknown.26 August 2022