Leaps of Faith

It is interesting how choosing something new can be so very frightening.  It brings up all our fears and doubts; it makes us question what we really want from life (there is nothing wrong with wanting a new pair of shoes every month, but if that is what you want, you might as well admit it).  Often we find ourselves clinging to old ways of living, as we try to convince ourselves that it's really not so bad and if we just focus on the good things about our current job/relationship/home/(fill in the blank) then it's ok and we don't need to change at all.  We scare ourselves with stories about what will happen if we fail: the money you could lose, the job you might leave that you can't get back, your fear that the new thing might end up worse than what you currently have, or that you won't like your new choice after all, or that you make a mistake...  The one thing all this fearful self-talk does is to keep you stuck.

Listen to yourself.  You know when things aren't right on a deep and fundamental level that no amount of tinkering with the surface details is going to change.  You know in your heart what fulfilment feels like and whether or not you are experiencing it in your life.

If you look around you you will realise that you are not alone in finding new choices and life change difficult... you'll know at least one person who is always complaining about their job and how much they hate it, but who never leaves; you might know someone who changes things all the time, but who hasn't realised that all those changes are to hide their deep-seated fear and seeming inability to change themselves for the better; you might know someone who has always wanted to do something (be a yoga teacher/retrain to be a teacher/become a full time artist), but claims that they don't have the time, or their children need them at home, or that they can't afford it.

And it's no use seeking advice from those around you until you are prepared to listen to yourself.  We can all find a hundred people who think we should fulfil our dreams... and another hundred people who come up with equally good reasons why it would not be a good idea.  Until you decide for yourself, nobody can help you to your goal.

There are other fears too, associated with the new... it might bring us to face all sorts of demons we have lurking inside.  Perhaps we will have to rely on a partner for financial support while we start our new venture - this might bring up all sorts of questions about trust and independence and learning to rely on someone else.  Perhaps we will have to find some inner courage to stand up and do our new thing, when we are new to it and we are unsure of ourselves and not convinced that we will be able to do it.  Perhaps we are wedded to success and afraid of failing (and failing in public too).  Whatever you have lurking there, it's ok.  We all have those things hanging around; you can keep them a secret, or you can talk about them with trusted friends who you know will not judge you, who you know want you to find your way to a fulfilled life; who will help you to move in your right direction, whatever that direction is.

Some changes we don't choose, they are thrust upon us and we must find a way to learn from them because we do not have a choice; but that is not the change that I am talking about here.  What I am talking about is taking a risk, listening to your heart, being brave enough to make some difficult decisions and making a positive choice for something different.

And part of choosing something new is letting go of the old and letting go can be very difficult.  You might think, 'but I am safe here', 'but people know me here', 'but I know what I am doing here', and you would be right, but the fact that 'here' is safe and familiar is not always reason enough for staying put.  You can't carry it all with you and it needs for something to be left behind for there to be space for something new.  And the new can be good and it can revitalise you and it can change your life for the better on dozens of levels. 

Take a deep breath.  Be patient with yourself.  New things are challenging and daunting for everyone.  Take a deep breath.  Listen to yourself; in your heart, you know what you want.  If you can't hear what your heart is saying just now, or if the messages seem confused, then get quiet/be alone/make a list/do whatever it is that you need to do to get some clarity for yourself.  If you meditate, then go and sit on your mat and meditate; if you practise asana, go and do some asana.  Again, be patient with yourself - there is no rush.  Try not to indulge in frightening self-talk, or if you must (and sometimes it is irresistible), then let a friend help you through it.  See if you can start to talk yourself into it, rather than out of it.

If you fail, the people who love you will still love you.  If you fail, you will do something else, but you will not have failed without learning some valuable lessons.  If your new venture doesn't take off as you had hoped, then you might work part time at something else to make it work for you.  You can move again, choose again, think again and carry on.  Nothing stays the same forever.  Does accepting that help you to make positive choices in your life? 

Go to it with your best foot forward.  Go to it with an open-heart.  Go to it with an open-mind... it might not end up exactly as you have pictured it, and that will be ok, because it will end up how it is supposed to end up.  When we look back, it is easy to see the validity of this statement, but to trust it going forward requires faith and courage.  But you have that, don't you.



  1. We can all talk ourselves out of doing new things/changing things...and you can end up doing that for years...and that doesn't feel too good...but we are only human. As long as you try, whatever the result, surely you haven't failed? V.


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