Feel Like Giving Up? I Dare You!
Today has been one of those days that’s been kicking my ass from the start. I’ve been dragging my feet since I got out of bed and the voice in my head has been whining, “I don’t feel like it” all day on repeat. That’s my go-to state when life gets tough or I find myself at the edge of my comfort zone. A big challenge or even an opportunity presents itself…I don’t feel like it. A creative idea requires action to come to life…I don’t feel like it. An important conversation needs to be had…I don’t feel like it. Fortunately, I’ve been learning to identify this voice and the underlying pattern at its root. What I’m seeing very clearly is that being fed up and shutting down is my way of avoiding my fears and it allows me to play it safe. If I don’t step up to the challenges or opportunities, I don’t have to risk failure. If I don’t take action when an idea strikes, I don’t have to put myself out there, risk being laughed at or told that I’m no good. If I just keep my thoughts and feelings to myself, no one can get mad at me, no one can judge me and no one gets hurt.
The reality is that living life this way isn’t fulfilling and I know I’m not honoring my true potential when I play small and stay in my comfort zone. Even when I’m completely resigned or in a state of complacency, there is a voice deep down inside me that urges me to pick myself up and keep marching on. The more I listen to it and take action, the louder it gets. Beyond that, there is a part of me that knows that there is so much more life to be squeezed out of every moment and that if I don’t get up and get to it, life will pass me by. The longer I allow myself to live in a state of inaction, the more that realization weighs on me and the more stuck I feel. It’s a vicious cycle!
The greatest challenge lies in the fact that I’ve gotten so used to listening to the voice that says, “I don’t feel like it” and once I’m in that state, action becomes labored and everything feels like a struggle. Here’s what I’ve discovered: the only way to overcome that is by taking action anyway. Yup, I know, not the answer you were looking for. Me neither. But the truth is that it takes a whole lot of action to live life to the fullest, to make dreams come true and to continue growing and expanding.
Sometimes that means doing stuff - even when we don’t feel like it - until we strengthen that muscle called discipline. It means digging down a little deeper and finding the will to overcome whatever challenges lie ahead. It means drawing on our faith and inviting grace into our lives by taking the first step in the direction of the unknown. It may not be the sexiest part of following our dreams and rising to our full potential, but it’s absolutely necessary. The better we get at noticing the voice that shuts us down, letting it pass and taking action anyway, the more we will grow and the more life will flow.
The alternative is to just give up on your dreams, your vision for yourself and all that you want out of life. All you have to do is just stop making an effort and you’ll be free of all of the struggle. Right? Not so much. I’ve tried giving up and I didn’t last more than an hour. It’s just not in my nature and it’s not in yours either. If you don’t believe me, try it, even just for a day and see how it feels. I dare you!
If you are reading this blog, it means you are on the path of personal development and, whether you like it or not, there’s no turning back. So the choice is simple: you can embrace the ongoing expansion that you are destined for by greeting every challenge, opportunity and moment with open arms and a readiness to take action. Or you can fight it at every step, delay the inevitable and risk letting life and all of its magnificent experiences pass you by.
Personally, I’ve had enough of resisting my expansion and I’m fed up of being fed up! I’m definitely not about to give up on my dreams, so I’m going to stop my whining and get my ass in gear, because life is for the living and there’s only right NOW!
How about you? Where in your life are you feeling stuck? Do you feel like giving up? How would it feel to give up for a day? What would it take for you to play bigger and take action anyway?
I’ve got your back!
Written for The Daily Love (April 28th, 2012)