Sooner or later it happens to all of us. We’re standing on one side of a ditch, or challenge, or life situation, and trying to imagine what it would be like to make the leap to the other side. The chasm looks too wide. The water looks too deep. The distance is daunting when we get up close. It was OK to dream about it, sure. But dreaming and doing aren’t the same. Doing is scary. As we flex to make the jump everything inside of us is screaming, “NO! You will fail.”
We may be dissatisfied with where we are in life, but the risk involved in change keeps us paralyzed. We may feel frustrated, but we feel a little bit safe also. This life is what I know! What if I leave this job and fail in my next job? I don’t like my current position, but it may be better to stay put than to move to a new organization and lose all my seniority. This marriage isn’t satisfying but what if I never find anyone else to love? What if no one else ever loves me? I’d like to enter a writing contest, but what makes me think I could possibly win? Rejection may hurt too much and I’ll stop writing altogether.
“I’m afraid of failure. I’m afraid I’ll feel humiliated. I’m afraid I can’t support myself or my family.” We say it all. Blah, blah, de blah, blah, blah.
The Good News
Here’s the thing you never learn until you take the leap. Standing between two choices is incredibly hard. You are using double the energy it would take to commit to one. Half of your psyche is committed to one outcome. The other half of you is pleading with yourself to make the change. That mental dichotomy is absolutely exhausting. Everything in your life seems twice as hard and half as satisfying. As soon as you make the leap, even if you completely wipe out, things get easier. You can turn your entire focus toward making your new venture a success. Your chances of succeeding in your new choice explode forward. You find out you CAN do it after all. It was only your doubt holding you back.