Two years ago I realized that I had built a successful business that really wasn’t fulfilling me at all. It was a crushing realization actually. And I went on this painful exploration (which was really an evolution) to find out how I ended up where I was. What I discovered was one of the most important life lessons I’ve ever learned and I’m pretty sure I’ll continue to confront it forever. Fear can get in the way of a lot of things and in my case, it lead me to go the safe route, to follow the money and do whatever “they” said I was supposed to do as a new business owner. So it was fear that lead me astray. Fear I had to conquer in order to live my purpose and create a business being of service.
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” Joseph Campbell
How would you live if you had no fear? Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of rejection. Fear of going broke. Fear of being alone. Fear of humiliation. Fear of regret. Fear of success. Imagine for a second what your life would look like in the absence of fear.
As frustrating and oft debilitating as it can be, the emotion of fear actually serves an important purpose. It often acts as a compass and keeps us from doing things blindly or compulsively. For example, fear keeps us from jumping in front of a train or running into a burning building. However, fear also keeps us from other spiritually beneficial callings. And it is here where courage takes center stage. What would you do? Where would you go? What would you say? And best yet…Who would you be?
So, what of courage? Too often we don’t give ourselves credit for being courageous. I’m not referring to the acts of pure adrenaline involved with, for example, lifting a car to save someone’s life. I’m talking about the courageous acts we do to fight through a kind of “darkness” in order to uphold some part of our fundamental truth. The darkness can represent anything about which you feel unsure, insecure, shy, and anxious or any other suppressive emotion. There are, essentially, three options when you find the darkness sprawled out in front of you. You could advance, head-first into the unknown which stands between you and your truth. You could turn around and retreat from the darkness. Or, you could skirt the edges of the unfamiliar path and attempt to find some passive way of making it to the other side. However, the latter two will undoubtedly lead to a dead end.
Our truth will not be quiet. You might ignore it, but it will always be there, begging to be made known. But not without the presence of courage. It is courage that drives the truth bus.
Courage battles the darkness on the path to your truth. And courage is the best defense the imaginary fears [we deem] lurking along the path. Courage will be your partner to reclaiming the powerful truth you were meant to emanate. You see, courage is born of love and compassion. It seeks truth and justice and it doesn’t care what might happen if you battle the darkness. Courage wants what’s on the other side of the unknown. Courage is driven by personal conviction. Being courageous means putting yourself on the line and standing up for what you know is right and true. Learning to be courageous is simple, but not easy. The first step is to acknowledge what’s inside of you. Don’t quell the very things you know in your heart. Listen to the whispers; accept what you’re being shown. Own and uphold what you were put on this Earth to do. And know, there is no real point in avoiding the darkness. Fulfillment lives on the other side.
Don’t be held hostage by fear. Let your purpose prevail.
This has been a hard lesson for me to learn and I’m still challenged, often on a daily basis. But, as mentioned above, fear MUST be challenged. Today I have a business that is fulfilling and powerful, helping my dream clients leverage and scale their business. And it’s because I looked fear in the face and kept going. It’s not perfect, and I don’t always win the fear war, but I’m getting stronger. Your turn – what would your life look like in the absence of fear? Share with me in the comments below!
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