Are You Stuck on Safe?
If you had a good friend who was all ready to move forward on something, something they believed strongly in but were holding back out of fear or self-doubt, would you do something to help them get started?
Of course you would.
Most people love to see others succeed. It inspires them to move forward with ideas and dreams of their own. And it sparks courage -- have you ever given yourself the pep talk that goes like this "well if so-and-so can do it, then so can I"? Unfortunately, most times the pep talk is as far as we get before our own doubts, fears, anxieties or over thinking creep in and stop us dead in our tracks.
Go back to my original question and imagine that the good friend I asked about was actually YOU. Would your answer be the same? Would you do something to help yourself move forward? Or would you hold back and throw up roadblocks in order to keep yourself "safe" ?
Ah ha! If helping a friend is easier than helping yourself....a reassessment is needed.
You have to be willing to do at least as much for yourself, if not MORE than you would do for a good friend, to get moving in the direction of your dreams. Focusing outward, on others and helping them take risks but being unwilling to take your own means you are living vicariously through them. In essence you aren't believing in yourself. You are keeping yourself stuck in order to keep yourself safe from failing. This can eventually lead to dark feelings of self-doubt, anger, guilt, depression, and hopelessness as you watch others around you succeed -- sometimes even succeeding in areas that you also could excel at. The results of keeping ourselves "safe" can actually result in the outcome we fear most ---failure.
So why do we so easily get distracted by others, offering assistance to them via our supporting words or a new connection that will further their ideas, instead of focusing on our own ideas and dreams? Because in helping a friend, we have no ownership of the outcome. We don't have to worry about feeling any shame or stress if they fail, so we can be brave for our friends at no risk to ourselves.
What we really need to do is be brave for ourselves.
So start believing in YOU. Trust in YOU. Support YOURSELF.
I do not say this lightly and I know from experience that this is also not an easy thing for many people to do: you need to put yourself first. It is necessary for our own well being and for those who depend on us to put ourselves at the front of the line. I spent years assisting others, watching them achieve what I wanted to achieve, watching them take risks I was too scared to take....because I was afraid (deep inside) that I might fail. And if I failed, I feared I would come unglued. But I have learned that I wasn't giving myself enough credit. I am strong, I can overcome failure. I can survive it. In fact, it doesn't render me helpless -- it did the reverse, it made me stronger. I am still learning to undo the patterns I once developed to keep myself protected so that I can begin to live life fully and not just go safely through the motions.
I realize now that being stuck on safe made life an uphill battle for me. In essence it made life so much harder than it needed to be. Are you doing the same?
What is stopping you from moving forward?
Are you afraid of failing? Are you stuck in your comfort zone? Or are you listening to the negative people around you, the ones who discourage you because they are afraid of pursuing their own dreams?
Your time is now. Stop thinking about it. Lead by example and DO IT.