You know that thing, that dream, that big idea you fantasize about? You have to do it. It's that thing you think about in the middle of the night, or the thing that creeps into your mind as you commute to your job or as you sit in your office/cubicle/storefront/kitchen/car. Maybe it flickers like a spark, maybe it flashes bright at times and dims at other times. Maybe we let our mind play games to rationalize away that desire as unrealistic or impossible.
This is something you must nurture. You don't have a choice.
I could finish right here, but I will offer you the courtesy of explaining what I mean in the hopes that it might inspire you to actually do it.
This year has been a whirlwind of fear for me. A blessed and scary one.
The fear set in fresh in the new year when I revamped the entire Culinary Nutrition Expert Program. I followed up that terror by launching a new website. I sent my book off to print, travelled across the country (twice), hosting loads of events and going on live radio and TV in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. I also opened up registration in our CNE program to more students than we've ever had before.
Amongst it all, I launched and promoted The UnDiet Cookbook, delivered countless talks and webinars on health, nutrition and UnDiet living, and for the first time, also delivered keynotes on branding and conscious business. My husband and I bought and moved into our first home, and survived a renovation (which we hope will be done soon!). I also dealt with rejection - a lot! - from speaking agencies, media pitches, interview requests, and various other ideas that I, apparently alone, think are awesome.
When I am asked when I realized that my business was working I always say the same thing: I will let you know.
I have fear in taking the leap every single day. And every single day I continue to leap.
Why? Why do I continue to brave the fear when I could just coast along?
It's simple: I have to. I have no choice. And you don't have a choice either.
We have a duty to ourselves and the universe to fulfill on our calling.
We all have one, it's just that often it seems easier to shove that knowing into a deep and dark place. And where we shove that knowing is where we also start to experience aches and pains, anxiety, insomnia, deterioration in our relationships, financial challenges (often caused by our desire to consume 'stuff' in place of fulfillment) and most scary of all, loss of spirit.
It's the loss of spirit that is the toughest. When we get too comfortable in what we believe is a safe space to exist with that reliable paycheck, health benefits, vacation days and regular schedule, all without feeling fulfilled, our spirit slowly dies away and we become apathetic. We rarely notice the transition towards 'ho-humness" but if you start to look around at friends and family, your colleagues, your bank teller, your server - you might see it. And what we see in others is often a reflection of ourselves.
That apathy chips away at the spirit until we forget who we are. We become consumed by fear of the unknown and in this consumption, create the greatest crime towards ourselves: we sacrifice what makes us uniquely awesome.
That fear we experience at the prospect of taking the leap might just be the greatest sign of all that we are leaping in the right direction.
That fear we experience at the prospect of taking the leap might just be the greatest sign of all that we are leaping in the right direction. We may choose to tune into those around us who try and dismiss our ideas as unrealistic. Don't be swayed. Their judgments of our actions have nothing to do with us. That is their own fear talking.
The more fearful we are of answering that calling, the more certain we can be that it is exactly the direction that we must proceed. That doesn't mean the end goal will match our vision of what we might consider a 'success', but that doesn't matter. The intention behind why you started is what matters. The rest is simply your personal adventure in facing your fear and reigniting your spirit.
Doing the work in face of fear is not the same as living in fear. It's quite the opposite.
Doing the work in face of fear is not the same as living in fear. It's quite the opposite, in fact. I do not live in fear. I experience fear and doubt. I second guess myself often. I just don't let the fear win. The fear can't ever win. I let the fear fuel my efforts. In the face of fear, I respond by doing my best.
I have had fear in writing this post. Every single post I have ever written that caused me the most fear and anxiety you have loved the most, and still I am afraid to hit publish. The six recommended posts below are six of the posts I was most afraid to share.
My Ask Of You
As I mentioned in a newsletter a few weeks back, in the new year I will be taking my work and my writing in a new direction (or perhaps I just started!). This is a decision most certainly made in fear, which tells me it's the right move. Over the coming weeks, I expect this direction to become clearer to me, but I am hoping you can help me by commenting below.
- If the world were to end tomorrow, what would you regret having never given your energy to?
- What are your barriers to answering your calling?
- What keeps you from igniting your spark and letting the dreams become your reality?