“Men are not afraid of things, but of how they view them.”~ Epictetus

There are a lot of things to be afraid of in this world. Spiders (eight-legged minions of evil, in my humble opinion), fire, sickness, falling through ice and probably about a million more things.

Sometimes, we’re afraid of the very things we want, which is a clever way for us to get out of being who we want to be, doing the things that would get us outside of our comfort zone. How convenient. And so, stuck we stay.

It seems silly to be afraid of what we want, but it’s a story that I, for one, know all too well. Right now, I’m doing this very thing, which isn’t particularly fun to own up to, especially as a coach. “Really, Bay?” I wonder, “Are you back here again?” 

Yup. Sure am.

I’m totally unable unwilling to look at my vision of my future. How I want it to look and how I want it to go. Yup, I finally take a big huge leap and wham! I stop short of designing the very future I wanted, and the vision of my life, into which I’ve already jumped.

The best way I can describe it is to imagine pushing a beach ball under water. It’s slippery, wobbly and takes a whole lot of effort to hold down. As soon as it starts to rise up, I squeeze my eyes shut and push it down with all my might.

So then what? Well, then I get frustrated, because I’m not getting where I want to be—which is where, exactly? Oh right; I didn’t say. Yes, well, you see the conundrum. And so, put I stay. It’s awfully convenient and awfully annoying.

Should I be past this? I don’t know, but I sure wish I was. It’s kind of sweet, actually, my optimistic tendency to keep thinking that I’ve somehow surpassed my humanity. Cute, Bay. Real cute.

So what am I so afraid of? Oh you know, getting exactly what I want. And, you ask, just what’s so scary about that? Good question. It could be any number of things, really (and you can be sure that my survival mechanisms are happily running the various scenarios one after the other, lest I get a funny idea to make something different happen).

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Let’s see:

  • I could get what I want and then lose it, which would be terrible, so it’s better to not get it in the first place, right?
  • I could get what I want and then what? What’s next? What comes after success? OMIGOSH FREAK OUT.
  • It could be really, really hard. What if I’m too lazy?

Huh.

It turns out that I only have those three lame excuses to stay on this side of my comfort zone line (and yes, this is the same line I just took a flying leap over, not even two weeks past. The subtle irony is not lost on me.). It felt like so many more when I was peeking at them through my fingers.

And the best-case scenario means I get what I want. What comes after that? Probably the next thing I want to do or create. After all, that’s kind of been my track record to date. Awesome after awesome.

Might it be hard? Maybe. If I say so (and I do seem to enjoy making things fairly difficult, which is the subject of another post for another day). But, if my modus operandi is to work hard anyway, then why not work hard at the life I want?

What are you afraid to look at? What do you want so badly that you avoid looking at it, talking about or moving towards? And what’s on the other side? Hint: It’s probably amazing.