There’s a thing you want — you knew you wanted it almost immediately upon hearing about it.
It’s not a thing like a piece of candy or some protein or a beer (is “protein” really the best example I can come up with there?). It’s a want that’s deeper than that.
You want this thing for the possibility that it represents. It’s not simply having or doing this thing that matters for you; on some level, you recognize that the very act of giving yourself this thing or experience — the act of saying YES to yourself in this way — will open your life up in a new way.
There is a window of time that determines how long you are able to stay present to this possibility. Everyone’s window varies, and with practice, you can extend yours. But what matters is not how short or long your window is.
What matters is that with enough time, there is a predictable counterpart to the possibility you are current present with. That counterpart is an equal and opposite amount of fear.
You know this is true because these two perfectly counter-balanced forces are what helps you maintain your status quo. Together, locked in a battle, your fear stops you from taking a step forward into the unknown represented by that possibility. Instead it keeps you working with what is safe and known. This battle — the one where you know all of the information — is the safe battle. That’s the battle you are comfortable fighting.
That fear works in conniving ways.
It has you put your attention on what it’s going to require from you to be a YES. It has you turn your attention to what you’re going to have to give up. It invites you, very reasonably, to take a look at the carefully maintained and manicured life you have put together, and identify all of the areas that absolutely make it impossible for you to be a YES.
There’s lots of good ways to do this. You can look at your bank account, the cells of your spreadsheet, your children’s work schedules, how stressed your partner is about their job, your parents’ health, the fact that mercury is in retrograde, the fact that you have a certain colour of hair, the fact that life is a little crazy right now, the fact that life is really nice and easy right now, and anything else.
The most valuable thing to notice about this fear is that it is expected. What most people do is make this fear, and the places it invites you to look, significant and meaningful. But all it is is fear, working to keep you from stepping into the possibility that might create something new for you.
Your fear is actually one step more sophisticated than that, because in getting you to look at everything you’re going to have to shift and let go of, it takes your sight off of what might be possible if you were to step into this great, unknown future.
What we look at is what we tend to get more of, and so as long as you are looking inside the cells of your spreadsheet, you’ll predictably get more of the life that is dictated by the cells of your spreadsheet. The possibility you crave is going to require something outside of that.
Here’s the good news: You don’t have to figure this out. You don’t need to know how to overcome your fear, you don’t need to know how to adjust the cells in your spreadsheet to make your YES possible.
You just need to be willing to start taking a look outside of the world you already know.
When you’re confronted with a new, awesome, possibility, you already know how it’s going to go when you say “I just need some time to go off and think about this on my own”. You’re going to go, take a look at the spreadsheet, and conclude that this won’t work.
Maybe another time. Maybe once things are all sorted. Maybe once you’ve saved up the money. Maybe once you’ve paid down all your bills, paid off all your debt, and don’t have a mortgage. And your kids have gone off to college. And you’ve paid off their tuition. And you’ve taken care of your ailing parent. And you’ve got your finances all finally sorted out…
The things to wait for won’t end. Why would they? Your fear’s job is to continue putting up obstacles to your possibility.
Your job, if you want to create a life by your design, is to distinguish that that is your fear’s job, and get supported in creating from outside of that paradigm.
Don’t wait for things to be sorted out.
They never will be.