Gandhi stated “Be the change you want to see in the world”. Fritz Pearls, I believe stated that “if nothing changes it remains the same”. Both of these quotes speak volumes to me. What an awesome thought! I get to be apart of the change I want to see in the world. That is very exciting. Change can be frightening, but very rewarding. Confidence builds upon those experiences that have been confronted and overcome in the face of fear and anxiety. Risk is the operative mechanism that enables one to move from fear to faith. Faith is the vehicle that brings about change. Tenacity combined with commitment to the process motivates the individual to pursue the change they want to see in the world.
In essence, the nature of risk involves change. For many years when faced with risk, I would experience anxiety. Oblivious to why anxiety was triggered, I balked at change. It was only after I experienced ongoing frustration that I began to examine why I experienced anguish. In my quest to understand this relationship, it became apparent that I had bought into several lies. These beliefs significantly impaired my ability to take risks.
The undermining voice of perfectionism — that what I did was never good enough — in tandem with the debilitating message of shame – that I did not just make mistakes but that I was a mistake – eroded my willingness to take risks. I have come to understand the reason for this apprehension. Practically speaking, taking risks meant that I might not succeed and thus experience the dreaded feelings of inadequacy and shame.
For many years, my primary objective in life was to avoid situations that might trigger those negative messages. Many times, it seemed much easier for me to accept the anxiety associated with feeling inadequate than to suffer the emotional turmoil from not succeeding. Nevertheless, I found myself being forced out of the nest of my accepted anxiety. Like a fledgling young bird, I had to flap my wings and leave this nest of deception.
Through confronting the aforementioned messages, for what they are –lies – I have gained courage to take more risks. I now believe that I am complete, just for today. Through believing that I am enough, I no longer need to justify my worth or value. Perfectionism and shame are now seen for what they are…distortions.
Therefore, I will determine to take more risks. I will accept them for what they are, leverage given to help me succeed in life. I will no longer view risks through the eyes of dread. I will no longer balk at growth that presents itself to me in the form of a risk. I will no longer be hindered or stymied by limiting scripts. I will believe that each risk taken becomes the catalyst that nurtures my ability to draw upon my God given creative energy. Therefore, I will run MY race and win.
All material presented on Second Chance to Live is copyright and cannot be copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way without the express, written consent of Craig J. Phillips, MRC, BA