Have you ever noticed that whenever you feel the least bit insecure, someone shows up to convince you, that you shouldn’t even think about taking that risk or doing that “out of the box” thing? Or, how do you become the leader of your own life when it feels as if so many others have opinions that challenge you every step of the way?

Taking risks, reaching further than ever before, or having the audacity to create a new path whether for you or your company can be frightening, exhilarating, and life-giving. It’s a calling.

The cost frequently, however, is being judged by those closest to you. Those who are frightened of risks, change, and growth, with the best of intentions may want to protect you but the fact is they are protecting you from their fears not your reality.

I was speaking with a client this week who, once we worked down to it, discovered she was stuck because she is afraid of failure. We worked through the illusions and inner messages that her fear was of the market, of not knowing enough, of needing more training, or needing to find more personnel before she could begin, of not being good enough, and on and on, yet the real fear was of failure.  The other items were simply her justifications for the fear.

What would others think if she failed? How could she live if she invested time and money into herself and this dream and it didn’t succeed? Her worst possible fear? Homelessness, ridicule, and judgement and it would be her own fault for not listening to the naysayers.

I presented that perhaps the worst-case scenario was that she lived in a cute studio apartment (that she decorated her way), and she got a job as a waitress until she felt ready to jump in again. Basically, life would go on and she would have had this amazing experience and have followed her dreams completely. Something few ever do…. 

No consequence was beyond her ability to thrive, yet again, after a period of adjustment where she brushed herself off and then got up again ready to rally.

Our fears can cause us to give our power to others who will willingly give us permission to stop, to retreat, or give-up. That is an option but is it one you will cherish later?  How would she feel if she lost this opportunity?

From my very first book Dreams are Only the Beginning, I write of the need to follow our dreams if we are ever going to become the person we are meant to be. The backdrop is my autobiography and the many dreams I have followed, but the real message is in recognizing that every time we follow a dream, we develop skills we never knew we would need, self-awareness at a level we never knew was possible, and joy and freedom to levels we never imagined.

Take the risks, follow the dreams, and live this life fully. We were never, ever, intended to simply survive this journey, we are called to thrive in it by living it fully. Take every risk your heart desires and your soul calls you to.

Dorothy

About Dorothy

Dr. Dorothy’s life story of coming from an orphanage, being raised in the housing projects of South Boston, becoming a Catholic nun, an international airline stewardess, a wife, mother, graduate faculty member, Clinical Instructor at a Medical School, and so much more provides the perfect backdrop for her message of joy, humor, passion and faith as the necessary tools for life.