What is your main driving force for doing something? And have you checked over time if it’s still the same?
Are you “all in” with your current project? can you feel, that you reached the point of no return? That the only way out of it is through? And you’re ready to do whatever it take? Do it, or die?
If you don’t have something like that in your life – and that can also be your personal journey of self-discovery -, you can skip this article and come back when you do. Because then, you will easily find excuses as soon as it gets a little tough, and won’t have the strength to look at your fears.
Am I in it, do or die?
Recently I had started another one of my personal challenges. Another wilderness intensive training that might be the most intensive yet. And even before we had all met for the first time, I was thrown in a deeply emotional and reflective process. Am I ready to make this training my first priority? Be completely in it or die? It is an intense question for an intense program, and it’s important to go deep. At first, there was Panic right away, accompanied by a strong urge to defend myself. Who is he to demand that of me. I feel like I already am in a life or death mission that I can’t abandon! He knows nothing of what’s going on in my life!
But gladly I soon realized that I was in a defensive, fearful state and needed to look at that fear more carefully. Fear has been a big part of my life, and I have done or avoided quite a lot of things because of it. So I took the time to really feel into the question of why I was doing this. Why would I willingly go into a training where the only sure thing was, that it would be physically, mentally and emotionally challenging, possibly more even than I could handle. There needed to be a good reason, and it would either have fear or longing at its core.
Finding my reasons
When I signed up for it, the main driving forces that I saw were the excitement to learn something new, and a little bit also my ego, wanting to be seem as especially tough, afterwards when I had done it. What I had conveniently pushed away though, was my fear-driver of not being good enough, not being prepared enough for what our future might bring.
And now it had flooded out of me. This one small question had opened up all of those suppressed emotions. And at first it was hard to feel all of them. Realizing that I had based so many of my decisions and actions on avoiding feeling that fear.
Seeing this all clear in front of me, I right away needed a minute or two to breathe.
And then get another deep breath, a walk outside in nature, a call with a friend, a night to sleep on it, more time to feel deeper into what that meant for me in general, as well as for my participation in the Training. Would I still have enough reason without the fear to go on and not give up when it would get tough?
I didn’t know. And I still don’t but I will get up and walk on, as long as I possibly can. And if I had to go through another one of those realizations that I could die, then it simply would have to happens. And as soon as I’m there, I would see, if I would actually die, and then just wouldn’t care any more, on I would not die and grow stronger because of that experience.
The potential for growth
I would learn more about what I really can and can’t do. what I can adapt and integrate into my life, and what I can simply avoid or not tolerate. Following our heart doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine and rainbows. It’s hard work, followed by the satisfaction you feel when you gave it your all.
It doesn’t mean either, that you only need to fight through the beginning, and then it’ll all be fine. Knowing and living your purpose will always mean that you will pour your heart and soul into it. You will stumble, you will fall. But it will also come with that feeling, that inner voice, telling you, that you are right where you belong, that YOU belong.. That you are connected to something outside yourself, and that you are needed to play that part, fulfill that role. And this inner voice, this message will create a deep calm inside of you, that will make all the hardship worth it.
Even if the initial reason for you to start something was fear. You can make yourself aware of all the other drivers, or even come up with a completely new one. You always have the power to do so. Every minute of your life.