Read Part I of the “Your Gifts” series here: Are You Giving Your Gifts Away?
So, there you are, standing across from me, holding that beautiful gift of yours, power-packed with 9,001 pieces of you that make you perfectly unique. 9,001 pieces of you that the world needs to see. 9,001 pieces of you that your soul needs to release into the world before it suffocates from self-implosion.
And now you know – YOU KNOW – that if you don’t open the box, and let your gifts out, to share them with me, you may die a slow death of un-expression. Of never truly being seen and heard.
Yet, still, as you begin to hand me the box, you feel that tug of fear weighing on you.
You’ve spent so long living inside your own box, you really have no idea how to take the first step out of it. This territory of being brave, willing to risk being vulnerable, courageous and authentic – it is new territory that terrifies you.
Living in the box was a half-life, but at least it was comfortable and familiar. At least there you knew what to expect. This new life, outside the box, showing your true self to the world, valuing courage and authenticity over safety and security, it feels new and uncomfortable. You have no idea what to expect on this path ahead. There are so many unknowns. So many what if’s.
How? What? When? Why? Where? What will I do when I fail? How will I handle rejection? When I will I “arrive” at my destination? Why does this feel so scary if this is the path I’m supposed to be on? Where am I headed, and how exactly will I get there?
This is the point where you remind yourself of your values. Your new values. They are courage, compassion, authenticity, vulnerability. If these are your values, each day you wake up, you will have to recommit to being brave.
And here’s the why.
Why do you do this?
Why do you walk the scary path?
Because you’d rather be in fear on the path to your dreams, then stay in fear on the path of smallness. Wouldn’t you?
I have found that when I am not living my true purpose – when I shrink in fear – I feel small, unsupported, unconnected to those around me, and I struggle, struggle, struggle. I am not joyful, not peaceful, not feeling the energy of aliveness coursing through me. It’s truly a life of smallness.
So, I meet my fears with compassion. I sit with them and investigate them to their root. Their root always leads back to ME. The simple awareness of the core of my issues inevitably begins to transform my fears into footholds for my climb to the top. This is the start of overcoming your fears to walk the path of your dreams.
Next, once you have identified the root of your fears (which can be as simple as fear of failure, feeling unworthy, and the typical, “What will they think?”), start talking back to them. Are they accurate, or are they simply stories I’m telling myself? Can I truly control the outcome? What’s the worst that could happen & would I be able to survive it?
Answering these questions empowers me to begin to learn to meet my own needs. When I realize that a) I cannot control the outcome no matter how much I try and b) I cannot control what other people will think no matter how hard I try, I find freedom that empowers me to dare greatly.
What matter most are those values – courage, compassion, authenticity – if you show those as you dare to live your dreams, the outcome doesn’t matter. The journey becomes the destination.
Finally, after identifying your fears, release them. Envision them burning in a flame. If you believe in a God, ask he/she to remove them from your life. You may have to do this again and again, but with more and more practice, you will find yourself living more fully, day by day, in the new embodiment of a more courageous, authentic you.
As long as you continue to show up and face your fears again and again to keep opening that box day after day, I promise you, you WILL feel more alive then you’ve ever felt, and those around you will feel it, too.
Fear is a healthy part of the journey. Embrace it. It means you are alive, and you care about giving the best of your gifts possible to those around you. Just remember this:
Your gifts don’t have to be perfect, they just have to be PRESENT.
In other words, do SOMETHING, even if it’s not perfect, because that’s always better than doing nothing at all. Will your fears propel or paralyze you? The choice is yours.
This Deepak Chopra and Oprah meditation, “FEARLESS ME,” helped me overcome my fears on the path to my dreams. It’s only 3 minutes long and I believe it could shift everything for you, if you’re willing. Try it out & if it speaks to you, and let me know what you think!