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Stepping off the edge – The courage to try

By • Oct 16th, 2007 • Category: Personal Development

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“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”

Margaret Stortz

Do you know people who seem to have no fear? They revel in the thrill of risking it all by stepping off the edge in pursuit of something they want. What makes them so courageous, while others sit back and tremble, afraid to take a chance even on the smallest things?

It’s a matter of perception. The risk-takers focus on what they stand to gain, rather than what they stand to lose. They live for that rush of excitement. They know the dangers, but a boring, uneventful life seems like more of a risk to them.

Do you feel stifled in your job or stuck in your personal life? Moreover, are you struggling with a general sense of boredom and discontent? Are you holding back on a change because it is too risky? I think we all have at one time or another.

Sometimes people appear ready and willing to do what it takes to make changes in their lives. Some struggle for a long time as they battle with and eventually succumb to their fears and the negativity from others. A few try to integrate new behaviours and activities, but never quite make it to the level of change they really want to see and experience.

It seems that the older we get the more difficult it is for us to step off the edge and incorporate new ways of doing things. There is a general resistance to venturing outside of our comfort zones and stepping into the unknown – even when our comfort zone is no longer all that comfortable. What is it about trying new things that is so hard for us?

As adults, we have spent many years developing a specific set of skills. We have worked hard to gain the expertise needed to succeed in the world; and for the most part, we feel safe and secure in what we do.

Our world sits on relatively calm waters and we travel along comfortably. Sometimes though, too much of this comfort creates feelings of restlessness and we begin looking around for something new to add some spice and passion to our lives. We envision changing jobs, taking up a new hobby, pursuing a life-long dream, etc. We become excited as the possibilities seem endless.

Then as appealing as a new adventure might be, the prospect of being a beginner and stepping into uncharted waters without knowing exactly what will happen, stops many of us dead in our tracks.

We find ourselves feeling scared and uncertain and we retreat to the safety of our comfort zones. Meanwhile, we become discouraged and even angry with ourselves for not being able to make the leap and that compounds our feelings of frustration. We feel boxed in and we don’t see any obvious way out.

If these feelings are true in your life, these five steps can help you to break out of this vicious circle.

1. Reacquaint yourself with the childhood energy that generated all kinds of crazy ideas and exciting dreams. Remember the fearless adventurer who was always willing to try new things, go higher, and faster, with little fear and saw no boundaries.

2. Ask yourself, “What is really stopping me now? Where is my fear coming from?” Listen carefully to your answers and take some time to address the issues that come up.

3. Think about ways to integrate the enthusiasm, energy, and passion you had as a child with the resources and skills you have acquired as an adult. This incredible combination will allow you to achieve just about anything you want in your life.

4. Start with small steps. Jumping into the deep end too soon, without adequate thought and preparation, may unearth your ultimate fear of failure. Step off the lowest edge first. Allow yourself time to get used to the new experience.

5. Enlist the help of a trusted individual to support and motivate you when you’re feeling discouraged and to celebrate you successes. Talking about your adventure and verbalizing the fears and obstacles you think you may encounter will weaken the power those fears have over you.

6. Each day remind yourself of your destination. Envision it, verbalize it, write it down and work towards it.

With each step you take, your world will expand with new experiences and new people. The world, which at one time felt so confining, will be filled with unlimited possibilities. You will have a renewed enthusiasm for life as you take one step at a time, over the edge.

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One Response »

  1. Great inspiration for overcoming fear. Keep up the excellent word!

    Love & Gratitude,
    Tina
    Think Simple. Be Decisive.

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