Our Greatest Fear

We wake up to yet another historic day in Britain. It feels as though we are on an enormous emotional roller coaster in our lives at the moment. We’ve experienced the terrible sadness of the recent bombings in the UK, the reaction of the British public to last year’s Brexit vote, the strength of feelings on Facebook to various political parties leading up to yesterday’s vote on top of the everyday ups and downs of our lives.

Life, can at times, be incredibly tough. We all go through personal losses as well as personal highs of new jobs, relationships, new homes, etc. Whilst logically we can work through such changes in our lives, it’s the emotions that can so often de-rail us.

I’ve been working with a client this week, who is about to step into a new chapter of life. She’s leaving her job of over 10 years. She shared with me how highly frustrated she has been feeling in the past few weeks – astounded by the way her manager has given her the cold shoulder. Recognising that anger, frustration, sadness and self-doubt are natural human processes that we go through when we are working through really helped give her get a light bulb moment. With understanding comes acceptance. Fortunately, she identified a number of strategies to help her draw a line in the sand and to regain the excitement of her new phase.

Life is meant to through curve balls at us. We are here on this planet to learn and to grow. We are here to shine our light and share our gifts. This is a scary proposition. Our ego’s want to hold us back. To keep us with what we know, to stay with our daily routines of life. “Better the devil you know”. But this internal pull gets stronger and stronger.

So, we become brave. We decide to rock the boat. We take as stance. We decide to change our lives to follow that bigger pull or calling. We know in our hearts that we have more to give. We want greater meaning in our lives, we want to help others. We intellectually make that decision.

And we start with feeling great. That enormous sense of relief at making a decision to change. The excitement, the anticipation, the freedom. For every decision we make, and depending on the size of the change we are planning, we soon hit a wall. Self-doubt creeps in. The ‘nay-slayers’ start asking if we’ve really thought it through. We find our thinking slows down, our decision-making falters and we can find our sleep is disturbed.

Sometimes this can be a good thing. Sometimes it’s a nudge to encourage us to stand back and think things through more. But many times, it’s our egos holding us back.

And where do we go to for sound advice? Typically, and as I mentioned in the blog post last week, we try to do it all alone. We turn to our family and friends who, more often than not, will tell us what we want to hear. And so, we plough on regardless.

I’ve been experienced those emotional ups and downs too recently. I was talking to a friend (yes, I do that too!) who reminded me of my ‘why’. I get plagued, at times, with self-doubt, and I wonder if it is really worth all of the effort. Yes, I know I’m an experienced coach. But sometimes it is so hard to see the blindingly obvious in front of you. And my friend is so right. We have to be clear on our ‘why’; our leadership purpose; the difference we want to make in the world. That’s our truth. That’s what we are called to do. That’s what we must make happen.

In my period of reflection, I was reminded of my favourite all-time quote. I make no apologies for sharing this once more. I hope it resonates with you as much as it does for me. And I hope it encourages you to step forward and to start to shape the life you are destined to lead.

‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves:

“Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”

Actually, who are you not to be?’

Marianne Williamson


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