Ready to take the leap?

July 14, 2021

“There is a wall between you and what you want and you got to leap it.” – Bob Dylan      

I’ve had that quote laying around in my quote file for some time. Lots of people have dreams or desires that they never realize because they aren’t willing or ready to make the leap over the wall that separates them from that goal. Most often that wall is a mental one created out of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD).

The wall of FUD often keeps people confined to their “comfort zone”, that warm, safe-feeling little mental prison in which we often confine ourselves. FUD prevents people from even trying, much less achieving their dreams. The wall that they build in their mind becomes insurmountable and their imagination creates failure scenarios before they even take the first step. Often these people sabotage themselves and their own efforts. Their imagined failures become self-fulfilling prophecies.

But, let’s assume for the moment that you are not one of those people and that you truly want to succeed and reach your goal. How do you get over the walls that stand in your way? Some may try the brute force approach, bulling their way forward and trying to overpower whatever (or whoever) is blocking their way. This is the win-lose method. When that something is another person, this approach may brush them aside or brusquely climb over them. It is not a method that results in friendships or loyalty being built with those who seem to be in the way. It is much better in the long run to find a win-win way to achieve the goal and keep those who you must pass happy, too.

The main ingredients in overcoming fear, uncertainty and doubts are knowledge, planning and self-confidence. Knowledge allows you to truly understand the challenge ahead, rather than just imagining all of the possibilities for failure. One builds that knowledge through careful study of the situation at hand. By increasing your knowledge of the problem, you develop an understanding of the challenges that allows you to plan approaches to overcome them.

Taking time to plan also allows (maybe forces) you to prioritize the steps in your plan. Getting ahead of yourself is one of the primary causes of failure when the brute force method is used. Finally, by increasing your knowledge of the problems ahead and having a plan to approach overcoming them, you build self-confidence. Doing those first two steps help remove many of the unknows that always cause anxiety and doubts.

When you can say to yourself, I understand the problem and I know what I’m going to do to resolve it you are already well on your way to leaping over the walls that stand between you and what you want. You’ve got the knowledge and you’ve got a plan. You’ve got this. Then, just do it. Take the leap and execute your plan.

Bob Dylan would be so proud of you.

What are you listening to? Time to change the tune!

February 2, 2014

I ran across this little saying in a blurb about a new book recently – The Voice You Listen to Will Determine the Future You Experience.  The saying was in the advertising for the new book by Stephan Furtick titled Crash the Chatterbox. In Crash the Chatterbox, best-selling author Pastor Steven Furtick focuses on four key areas in which negative thoughts are most debilitating: insecurity, fear, condemnation, and discouragement. He asks, “What great deeds are in danger of remaining undone in your life because of lies that were planted in your past or fears that are looming in your future?”

fearI have written in the part about FUD – Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt – which is common in the business world and is often used as a delaying tactic by larger companies to keep customers from buying from smaller, more nimble companies with new products. Just throw out a little FUD about the new product or the small company and you will freeze a certain portion of the market.

I’ve also written about the Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda’s – those after the fact regrets that we all get from time to time about things left undone; especially things that turn out to have been really fun for those not so timid that they didn’t even try.

Whenever I write one of these pieces, I get feedback from new readers saying they liked what I wrote and inviting me to see what they’re up to. For the most part these are from people now well on their way to dispairrecovering from some dark period in their lives; something that drove them in places in their minds from which they may still be struggling to escape.

The good news is that most of them have made it out of their person hells, or have at least begun the journey back, and they are usually now espousing a more positive, upbeat outlook on life. Most, but not all. There are still way too many people out there, many of them spewing out words of hate or darkness and despair on their blogs. I refuse to go there with them.

Whatever the situation that has occurred to drag those people into the hole that they are in needs to be confronted as the first step to recovery. No matter what it is – it is; and once you accept that, you can ask yourself the next question – “Now, what I’m I going to do from here?”

I wrote recently about the four candles story; about the candles of peace and faith and love being extinguished, and how having the candle of hope still lit enables the other three to be relit. Sometimes preceding any effort to use Hope to relight the other candles in your life it is necessary to just stop – stop the wallowing in pity and self-blame; pause the fear, uncertainty and doubt; put aside the insecurity, fear, condemnation and discouragement for the moment – and accept the fact that you are where you are and that there is nothing that you can do to change that.

The next step, at least for me, is to admit that you cannot solve everything by yourself. Just admitting that will take a large load off your shoulders. For many, having gotten into this mental state is a paralyzing experience – nothing gets done because everything is feared. Others may try and try different ways out, edge of the abyssonly to find that each door just leads them deeper into the maze of despair.

Sometimes it is right at the edge of the abyss that many finally figure out that help has been with them all along. They stop. Some get down on their knees, some just look up; but all eventually say, “Not my will but thy will be done.” They offload their troubles to the only power strong enough to bear any burden. In that moment they experience liberation from the troubles and darkness that have surrounded them. They have chosen to listen to the voice of Hope and they have used the last flicker of the candle of hope to relight the candle of faith. They will see the candles of love and peace also be quickly reignited in their lives as well when they stop doing the things that have been pushing others away.

So listen to the voice of hope. That will also let you hear the voices of faith, love and peace in your life. If you can do that, the calliope of negative noise that tries to overwhelm you from time to time will be shut outlistening toi music of your life. Think of it as if you are wearing a set of noise canceling earphones and the only thing you can hear is a playlist made up of the pleasant sounds and tunes of hope, faith, love and peace. People will wonder why you are walking around with a smile on your face all the time. Maybe you’ll even have time to read the book by Pastor Furtick – Crash the Chaterbox.