There’s a thing standing in your way.

We might even go as far as to call it the thing standing in your way, but then this would feel a little prescriptive, so never mind for that for now.

You’ll do a lot to overcome this thing.

You’ll do a bunch of research. You’ll look on the internet for solutions and you’ll look in libraries. You’ll conduct informational interviews and reach out to people on LinkedIn. You’ll patiently wait for inspiration to strike you like a thunderbolt, biding your time until the way forward is presented by the universe, and you can finally move past this thing.

You’ll talk to all of your friends about this, expressing frustration and getting their agreement that that is tough. You’ll get a bunch of advice from them, which you’ll half-heartedly (at times full-heartedly) put into action, and be frustrated that none of it ultimately seems to move you past this damn thing. (“Damn you, thing!!!!!!”)

You’ll find ways to make good money, raise a family, and live a pretty decent life, all as you wait to address the thing. And you’ll probably feel pretty good about all of that, while simultaneously being frustrated by the fact that you can’t seem to create the life you’re craving, lying on the other side of the thing in your way.

You’ll even hire counsellors and coaches, and get support from mentors and leaders, and they will also fall victim to the thing that is in your way. They will get caught up in your stories about the thing, and jump on board to try and help you solve the problem presented by the thing.

None of this will work.

It will not work because the thing that stands in your way is not knowing what you want.

This thing will keep you safe with a simple rule: as long as you do not know what you want, you have a task in front of you: figure out what you want.

Instead of leaning in to your fear, the thing will have you feel lukewarm and tepid about taking a scary leap. Since you aren’t clear on what you really want, the real risky stuff seems less appealing.

The thing will encourage you to try taking on a series of small (safer) actions instead. Maybe if you fail (or succeed) at a bunch of stuff that is less risky, that will somehow move you in the direction of what you want.

But it won’t. Instead, it will keep pushing you up against the asymptote that is your experience of life. Forever getting closer to the life you want, and perpetually experiencing it as though it’s behind an invisible, unbreakable wall of glass.

The lack of a clear direction about what you want supports you in staying in your status quo. It provides a very compelling reason for why not take any big risks. It diverts your attention away from the action that would actually move you forward in your life, and instead has you spin time and energy away trying to figure out the answer to the question “What Do I Want?”

You can spend the rest of your life wondering what the answer to that question is, without every going out into the world where you will discover it.

But maybe if you wait a little longer? Maybe if you just get a sign from the universe that this is the thing you should try out (aside from the thirty-eight other signs the universe has already provided you).

The thing will convince you to wait until you feel a 10/10 in your body, without letting you in on the secret: Waiting is what you keeps you from ever experiencing the 10/10.

Your YES will be a tepid one. That’s how the thing works.

Are you willing to leap, knowing that?

Your life is waiting.