So which is it? Are you supposed to be afraid of the future or not?
I think it’s a bit of both…This is how I see it. I see what I want, I just don’t know how to get it and that scares me…I don’t like not knowing how to do something…that scares me. And the specific fears that pop up are not necessarily about messing it up, they are more about getting it right… Succeeding scares me. That sounds strange to me even as I type it.
The reality is, I am afraid of greatness, my greatness.
My longstanding struggle with the imposter syndrome has created a pattern within me, where I need to know how to do something only so I can do it perfectly, quietly without detection…my imposter-self tells me that small is safe. And recently I chose to look that fear in the face and, although I let it push me around for awhile, I stood up to it and said NO.
I said NO to a bunch of things…specifically I said NO to something I had been “working” on for a long time. I had been telling people about it, trying to make it real, thinking that if people agreed with it, that somehow it would be great and I wouldn’t have to worry…I could stay small and “IT” would be great. But here’s the thing “IT” was small and no amount of pushing and shoving was going to make it, (me), great.
So what made this good idea small?
A few things actually…I thought I could do it all by myself…I thought I could do it in the safety of my own home…I thought I could do it “on the cheap”…I thought people would see the greatness in it even though I didn’t. You see I was keeping “IT” and me inside the box…Me…the “step outside of your comfort zone” queen…was choosing to play small, play safe…Why?
Why was I choosing to play small?
The answer to this came as a bit of a shock…the reason was that my habit, my belief that small is safe and safe is necessary because my resources are limited, prevented me from seeing the big-picture (where resources are bountiful and outsourced). I have known for quite some time that I struggle with big-picture thinking…overwhelmed by all the details that would need addressing…Because I as a detail thinker, my brain automatically would start running through everything that I would need to do for all the things, projects, ideas…and I would get overwhelmed, anxious and quickly shut down.
I would decide that there is no way that I would have enough, time, money or energy and give up before I start.
In the past there was always someone else around to manage the big picture, the resources, and I could stay tuned into my projects, my details, my four walls. My business, when only a side hustle, functioned because I would think up a project, do it and move on…I never thought about the big picture, the end goal, the purpose. I simply trusted my gut and did what felt I could manage, with the resources I currently had. Not bad in theory, however in practice not the way to see long term sustainable success. In business OR in life. This realization had me reflecting back on my life and although there are many, many beautiful and fabulous facets of my life, I don’t have a deep sense of where I am headed.
You see, big-picture thinking requires that you believe in the possibility of life being different than the way it is right now. That you will have more, know more, be more than you are right now and it demands that you think and live outside of the box, where it’s not safe.
For so many of us, our survival depends on our ability to do what was is safe, financially and emotionally. For reasons that may or may not be known to us, we have decided that risk is not an option…and here’s the kicker…
Greatness does not come to those who are afraid to take risks.
So should you fear your future or not?
The answer is Yes and No…Be afraid of staying small, and strive to do one thing everyday that you’re afraid of, that forces you to grow. You can break through the idea of staying safe, by deciding that you have the ability to access all the resources you will need to stay safe. Trust your Self. Decide that you are a big-picture thinker, and you are not overwhelmed by the details…simply because you trust your brilliance and know that when you say yes, you always figure that shit out later!
Your safety is determined by your belief in your resources…your current ones and those which you have yet to gain. Your most trusted resources are your curiosity and ability to reframe your experiences. They, like you are ever expanding. Which means like you, they are infinite. Be fearless in the face the unknown. Be afraid of staying small…
Do you need see the “Big Picture” to live your life?
Even without a a business, ignoring the big picture, your purpose, “why” you do what you do, can be debilitating. Whether you consciously focus your attention, (time and energy), know that, where your focus is, can and will lead you somewhere…and that somewhere will be anywhere, could be nowhere, or worse…someone else’s somewhere. What it will be for sure, is out of your control. And you will have allowed it simply by dismissing your big-picture and focusing on your to-dos. This is what safe people do. They keep their heads down and keep on keepin’ on.
This is where I ended up…anywhere…nowhere…someone else’s somewhere.
I lacked a sense of purpose, a sense of direction, I couldn’t see the big picture of my life. And I realized that a sense of purpose is not the ethereal thing I thought it was…it’s simply conscious alignment to your core values. It’s the decision to take action, to do the things that align with how you want to show up in the world and the choice to follow the path that feels more right than it does wrong. Aligning with your big-picture still allows for flexibility and creativity; what it does away with, are the zigzags and dead ends.
Now, I am a big picture thinker, seeing beyond the now. With my clients I am the fly on the wall thinker, observer…the owl in the tree…able to see everything in the now and well beyond now to some distant time in the future, because my belief in you has no inner critic to contend with, I can see your greatness as there is no veil of fear to shroud my experience of you.
Timing is everything!
Having a sense of where you are going and why, helps to ensure that you are maximizing your resources most importantly, your time. Having a long list of things to do is easily prioritized when you account for the resources that you currently have and those that you believe are on your horizon. Not everything needs to be done right now…that is fear based thinking. Believing that somehow you will run out of time, energy or money will set you on the road to believing that your worth is attached to your productivity negating your sense of purpose.
We as leaders of households and organizations, companies and circuses need to be very aware of our resources…those we have and those yet to come. You’ve spent enough time spinning your wheels by not allowing yourself to think big, to see the big picture. It’s time to release your fear of the unknown, use your fear of staying small and step into your greatness with the comfort of knowing that you will be safe when you leap.
Burn brilliant and bright my friend…Be a Woman On Fire!