Why do some people do seemingly amazing things, while others do not?
ETSY print from FabulouslyFeminist
I've read a lot about this...and thought a lot more about it. And I've certainly allowed fear to stop me (a lot) in my life. It's a rare person who lives completely fearlessly.
Think about it, when a person is doing something amazing, something out of the norm...but it goes wrong. They get cancer, or someone dies...the first thing people do is attack their choices. But bad things happen whether we do amazing things or not; why do we feel compassion for those who choose a normal path, but judgement when someone veers from that same path?
Fear is so pervasive, it not only stops us from doing amazing things...it also causes us to judge others for their choice to do something amazing. Sometimes it's fear for their safety (like a parent would feel for a child), but more often it's fear that we're living our own lives wrong. If others can do amazing things, why can't I? But rather than dig deep and find their own amazing path, it's easier and safer to stay the course and judge others for leaving it.
I am reading a book right now that says that we approach everything in one of two ways; fear or love. The list of fear responses was eye opening...I could see my own responses over the years. I could see my own responses to what we're planning now, both the fear the love responses. I could see the responses of our parents, friends and perfect strangers...and it was easy to categorize them all into fear or love. Here is the list, which do you gravitate towards?
-try to control, manipulate, and micromanage people and situations, thinking we always know best
-think things are good only when they're going "our" way
-operate from our heads all the time, overthinking and overmanaging
-become reactive and get easily triggered
-react negatively and see problems first, instead of acknowledging what's good
-come from a poverty mindset and feel like there is never enough
-punish, judge, and close ourselves off from others
-trust-and allow those we love to follow their own unique path (even if we don't agree)
-practice acceptance and let go
-listen from our hearts in our interactions and respond in the moment
-communicate openly and be more receptive and flexible
-come from a prosperity mindset and see that there is always "enough" time, attention, space and resources
-see everyone's true essence, who they really are, not how they're acting in the moment
-slow down and experience gratitude for all that happens
So how do we change our natural responses? Well, I will admit...I am no expert. But from my own life I have been able to overcome fear by really digging deep and getting to know myself and my family. From there we really learned what we wanted out of this life. Once you do that, there really is no excuse for not trying to attain your deepest most important life goals. This process is not quick, or easy...and you will find that what you think is important will change. No matter what, you must continually remind yourself to approach it with love, not fear. Reread the lists over and over again to help you recognize when you're headed down the wrong path.
Fear. Fear. Fear.
I still have terrifying moments where I realize we're REALLY leaving our job, our life, our security...what happens if it all goes wrong?!?! And I start to let those deep dark feelings sink in. And I wonder if we should change our minds. Could we quietly just sneak back into our lives? Maybe no one will even notice. I can feel fear taking over...and I have to remind myself to approach it with love. Then my heart opens, and I can see clearly again.
This next few years of slowly traveling with my young (but quickly growing) kids, and my very loving husband who NEVER has free time, will be the single most important experience we will probably ever have together. We will talk about these days for the rest of our lives. We will draw from the love, patience, fun and adventure for the rest of our lives. It will become a benchmark for whatever comes next, and if it isn't at least as awesome as traveling, than why bother?
You get one life. Live it in love, not fear.
Love. Love. Love. Love.