Three Steps to Fearless Living
Through my own experience and listening to people I coach, I am amazed at how over the years we can paint ourselves into a corner and wake up one day wondering how life became so overwhelming and under rewarding. We can blame a lack of time, our relationship, a boss, financial responsibilities or worse – our kids. But the truth is we create our own reality through the simple choices we make every day without even being conscious of what we are really saying YES to and NO to.
Two years ago, the above cycle had me feeling so desperate for change, stuck and frustrated wanting more for myself but when I went to express it, a somewhat superior and persuasive voice in my head responded “But you have so much to be grateful for – kids, husband, home, career!” To which, of course I agreed… and I still felt that other stuff too.
So I stuffed down my feelings and focussed on the positives and found myself never any closer to a solution –just heavier with my frustration festering (and building). Over time I saw it leak out in how I responded to the tiniest of setbacks or snapping at my loved ones and then feeling like a horrible Mom and person in general. How did I get here… and where is the way out?
As I began to seek answers, I realized how gratitude and the ‘need to be positive’ kept me stuck for YEARS – even before I had kids. I thought that appreciating the good in my life was going to make the desire for more, go away. But all I wanted was to experience and enjoy my life as I lived it with a sense of meaning, purpose and connection. Was I asking for too much? A part of me said that I was.
I would hear about people doing cool things and making an impact on the world and my spirit would leap up, saying “Yes! Me too! Me Too!” but then this oppressive feeling would show up like a giant foot on my chest saying “No…. not for you” and had me sit right back down. This limiting energy brought subtle messages that informed me further saying “That ship has sailed Keri-Anne. You’re a wife / mother / established in your career, it’s too late and you don’t know what you want anyway”. So, over the years I just accepted what it said, like,
“Oh ya, right I forgot. All that awesome purposeful life stuff is for other people, not me.” *Sigh*
When I decided to finally explore leaving my corporate life to become a life coach, I decided to hire a coach to experience it and the first thing he had me do was give a voice to the conflicting party going on inside me. As I tracked my thoughts and feelings, I noticed a pattern.
- I had a team of loving, curious, supportive, wise and truthful speakers that fuelled my potential and expressed the best version of me I knew. The ME before I took on the expectations that came with being a Wife, Mom and Human Swiss Army Knife for anyone who needed anything.
- I also had a team of naysayers that limited me and said NO when my heart screamed YES. They made assumptions, lied about what would happen, and distorted the truth to keep me from making any changes (too tired, not enough time, don’t have what it takes etc).
This awareness alone created enough space for me to act on my next assignment – to respond to my inner saboteur. Here’s how that went down…
One day I found myself with 2 hours of ME time to play with. No kids. The first (and only) idea I came up with was to go for coffee – all by myself. Read the paper. Sit in silence. It wasn’t sexy, but it was mine and I was excited.
And as quick as I brought the idea up, a Negotiator from Hell showed up in my head and began to split up the remaining 1 hour and 45 minutes suggesting by the time I traveled there back, it wouldn’t be worth it so I should just stay put. Did I mention that Starbucks is literally FIVE MINUTES from my house?!
The balls of this guy!
As the voice gained strength, I screwed my eyes shut, shouting “SHUT UP! SHUT UP!” and scrambled for my keys, my wallet and ran out the door and down the stairs as if a bomb was about to blow up behind me. I got in my car and drove off as if my life depended on it.
As I sat in that coffee shop moments later, with my Mocha in hand and paper in front of meI couldn’t help but laugh at what had transpired to get me there. I mean, really?! WTF?
But I’m telling you, the feeling of freedom and happiness to sit with me and take time to live in my life in that moment, was just the fuel I needed to keep pushing back on those bullshit thoughts. I had a wedge in the door and I was not about to give in.
If you are feeling stuck, consider the following simple (and powerful) three steps to fearless living and see what shakes out:
- Listen. Slow down and hear what your life is trying to tell you. P.A.I.N. is also an acronym for Pay Attention Inward Now. What’s it saying?
- Get Doing. Sometimes you just need to shut your eyes and quarterback your way through fear and resistance to see what’s on the other side. The ‘experiencing’ it can come later. And;
- Ask For Help. Let people know what you want for yourself and be specific about the support you need. Seek resources – books, inspiration, an accountability buddy or trusted friend to be your sound board or cheerleader. Because if you don’t ask, the answer is always NO – so speak up or forever …stay where you are.
What I know to be true is that when you begin to break a routine that no longer serves your potential or happiness, those limiting voices don’t stand a chance as you find your way back to you, fearless living and feel your power again.
With Great Love and Respect,
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