You wake up and have that nagging feeling inside of you. Fear, your little companion, starts whispering in your ear: “You’re not good enough. You don’t have what it takes to make your dreams a reality. Just go back to sleep and forget about it, will you?”
You try to shake it off and get up because you’re a busy person. You have work to do and it feels like the pile is growing bigger and bigger as you’re lying in bed. You don’t feel like you can do it all.
This is a common scenario for all of us that want to make major changes in our lives. When we’re in a stage of transformation everything is constantly shifting and moving. Sometimes this makes us feel so small and lost that we want to crawl up in bed and make time stand still so that it stops demanding we get things done asap.
The uncertainty is drowning you. Sometimes you even wish you could go back to the numb state you were living in before you woke up and realized that you didn’t want to live like this anymore.
Will you let me be average again, pretty please?
Being an average Joe suddenly becomes so appealing that we secretly become jealous of them living in the dark with no clue of what they want from life. The constant state of change and uncertainty wears us out and slowly every bit of safety and certainty someone else has seems like heaven.
We ignore our previous experiences of living unconsciously. We close our eyes and don’t see that the average guys are waking up with a nagging feeling that’s even worse than ours.
They feel that there could be more. They sense that they are caught up in a life they don’t care about.
We don’t see such sufferings anymore, because on the outside everything seems to be just fine for them. As we’ve all been perfectly conditioned to be ashamed of the pain and dissatisfaction we experience in our lives, it’s easy to buy into the portray of happiness everyone fakes to the outside world .
When you’re in the state of constant change that comes with the decision to live consciously you feel a little lost. Your old ways and patterns are ever changing, you have all these ideas and ambitions but your life doesn’t live up to them at the moment. The people around you unknowingly remind you of your old place in life, the person you used to be.
It’s effin hard to get up everyday and work towards a big goal when there’s not a single sign that you will actually achieve it one day.
It’s hard when the people close to you give you the weird looks as you tell them about your plans. When you’re not even convinced yourself that you’re not the biggest fool on earth.
I know what it feels like. I’ve been there too, and I occasionally dip my toes into the misery of these feelings when I’m not careful enough.
The good news: It gets easier
Now this is the important part: It will get easier and you will succeed if you just keep on going. Keep on going. There will come a turning point when you do get your first sign that it’s going to work out.
Everyone I know that has gone down this road has a experienced such a turning point and it has radically changed their ability to live with the uncertainty.
For me, the turning point was winning a coaching scholarship.
The famous turning point: My story
My journey began around March this year. I realized that if I kept on doing what I was doing, I’d end up just like everybody else: In a well paying job, bored to death and damned to live for the weekends. Gnargh. This didn’t really seem to be something worth living for. Fortunately I’m not the suicidal type of gal, so I searched for alternatives.
I found blogs like Live Your Legend and Advanced Riskology that showcased a different lifestyle. One in which you get to live on your terms and wake up excited every morning. What? Gimme some of that!
I immersed myself in their wisdom, spend hours reading blog posts and studied their stories to figure out how they had done it.
I found out that all of these guys placed huge value on getting to know yourself. You can’t know what to do in order to live a life you love when you don’t know what it is that will make you happy. And the only way to find out is to study yourself.
So I dove deep into self-discovery, did exercises to find out what I wanted and made huge plans.
And then it happened: I got scared. Uber duber scared. Suddenly I wasn’t sure if I could do it anymore. If the life I imagined for myself was even possible. I felt like a fool. I was stuck in procrastination and uncertainty.
What did I do? What I always do when I am procrastinating: I read a ton of blog posts.
Somehow I stumbled upon a blog called Sensophy. A life coach from New York named Jacob Sokol was talking about all kinds of cool stuff from philosophy to positive psychology, all with the aim of creating an extraordinary life. That was just what I wanted. Plus I thought he was a pretty cool dude. So I signed up for his mailing list.
After a few weeks a special message landed in my inbox: A chance to win free coaching.
I desperately wanted to have this coaching, to have someone who knows what he’s talking about guiding me through the process of making my dreams a reality.
The big fat BUT
Then fear started whispering in my ear again:
“There must be so many people on his mailing list. I bet most of them will apply and their stories are certainly more interesting than mine. I’m just a stupid college student. Who’d want to work with me?”
Normally I would have allowed the fear to win. I would have deleted the email and forced myself to forget about it.
Luckily I had just listened to a PhilosophersNote (one of the great tools I had discovered that helps you live consciously) that talked about challenging your assumptions. Brian Johnson taught me to not let my assumptions about reality guide my decisions as they might be flawed or downright foolish.
So I decided to go for it. I wrote an application that was so heartfelt and honest that I even felt a little proud of it.
I hit send.
I walked away from the computer and got back to my routine. I still felt scared. I still had no hopes to be the lucky winner.
Then after a few weeks a new message popped up in my inbox. “You won : )”
I won the coaching.
And guess what, it changed my life. Literally. Knowing that Jacob didn’t think I was the biggest idiot on earth made things a lot easier. He gave me the courage and wisdom I needed to take a leap and do the crazy things I needed to do to start living a life that matters (like getting into meditation or starting this blog).
The moral of the story: BUT is a jerk
Don’t let BUT win.
It might make you stop right before you’re big turning point has arrived.
If you haven’t been trying to reach your goal for at least 3 months there is no way you’re allowed to quit right now. Even if it’s been a year of consistent baby steps towards your dream without success, that’s most likely no proof that it’s not going to work out.
“Big sexy goals come from taking one small unsexy step at a time.” -Scott Dinsmore
Good things take time. Remember, you’re building the life of your dreams. This is a long term vision.
Have faith. Trust that though you might not know how you’re going to make it, you will one day. And that day might be closer than you expect.
- "This Is Too Big for Me" – No, It's Not. Here's How to Beat the Odds
- Too Much to Do Too Little Time: How to Get Off The Hamster Wheel
- How to Escape A Life That Bores You to Death
- Unhappiness 101
- Why You Need to Live Your Dreams to Make Your Life Meaningful (spoiler alert: you will die)
- How to Do What You Love, Change the World & Get Paid to Do it
- 10 Life Lessons Learned on a Trip to the End of the World
- What to Do When Everything Plain Sucks: A Gentle Suck-Day Survival Kit
- The Beauty of a Morning Ritual: How it Can Help You Get Your Joy Back
- Burnout Is Not Cool. I Know You’re Serious About Your Dream, But Stop Killing Yourself Over It.
- Listen to your intuition. It trumps your rational mind.
- You can’t skip the fucking journey (& why I haven’t been blogging as much)