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Fly Away Birdie

What’s that thing you keep running away from? Got it in your head? Okay, let’s talk about it.

There are a few stories we like to tell about going after goals, that keep us from moving forward with them. The first one is that we need to have the whole path planned out before we start. The second one is that problems need to be solved before we can move forward. The third one is that we need control over everything. It has to work out exactly as we envision it should. If it doesn’t that means we’ve failed or we did something wrong or we’re being blocked and we’re not supposed to do that thing.

Let’s start with the path not being quite so crystal clear and laid out neatly in front of us, because the truth is, it’s not. Usually, it’s a little more like driving down the highway at night, only being able to see what our headlights show us. How many of you get the brightest headlights you can find, turn them on full blast and blind everybody around you, so that you can see everything?

Why do we do that? Fear of what we can’t see. Fear of what we don’t know. Fear of not being able to handle what happens next. Fear of making mistakes. If you’ve watched me for any length of time, you’ll know that I’ve been all over the place. I didn’t know what direction I was going in. I was arguing with the direction I ended up going in. I’ve been back and forth, up and down, all around trying to figure out what this was supposed to look like. I finally got there, but not without a lot of detours.

My willingness to publicly go on the journey while allowing myself to go all over the place, make all kinds of mistakes, and fail is exactly what allowed me to figure it out. If I hadn’t been willing to do it that way, I’d still be back there somewhere.

I didn’t have a path in front of me. I followed the breadcrumb trail, breadcrumb by individual breadcrumb, slowly and steadily over a long period of time. While I very much had and still have some very big goals for what I’m doing, I also allow myself to focus on the breadcrumb in front of me and I don’t get too tied up in why it’s there.

What I’ve learned is that every breadcrumb has a purpose and that I need whatever that purpose or tool is in order to move forward successfully. If I’m not willing to do this blindly then I just don’t move. Is that the case for you? Is it a blind path? Do you want the biggest, brightest headlights you can find so that can see everything?

The Universe often challenges us to trust it. What that means is that we go on the adventure anyway. We care enough about the bigger goal we have that we’re willing to follow the path somewhat blindly. We use the experience that’s in front of us to understand what we need so we can move onto the next thing. We just trust that if we do that we’ll get to where we want to go. It may look nothing like the path we mapped out in our heads, but we have to trust that we’ll get there anyway. The Universe, your intuition, your higher self, knows what you need and it will get you there in one piece.

Very often those breadcrumbs that show up in front of us look like problems. Who likes problems? Nobody. But they are part of life and we have to learn to deal with them. Usually what happens is that we let problems stop us because suddenly we have this unknown path in front of us, the first breadcrumb we’ve run into is a problem and we definitely don’t like that. That’s a quick way to make most people head for the hills. We’ll even defend running away by seeing it as a redirection. It’s not. It’s just you running away from things that scare you but the idea of it being a redirection frees you to run from it, so it becomes a good excuse.

This creates a cycle because what we do is we keep trying to find ways around it. We come at it from all kinds of different angles; none of them work. We don’t get anywhere because we keep tripping on the same problem breadcrumb we tripped over the last time. The Universe needs you to get that tool and you’re not willing to do that work yet, so it keeps showing up, you keep tripping over it, and running away.

Now I’m the first one to admit that even when you’re willing to pick up the problems, you don’t necessarily get the answer the first time around. You just don’t. You to be willing to mess with it, kind of like a Rubik’s cube. You just keep moving those pieces around until you find a way to make it work for yourself. That’s my experience of it. That’s how I had to navigate it. I just kept fiddling with it until I figured out what I was being shown. Then once I had the answer, I moved onto the next thing.

It’s a process and you have to be willing to engage in the process if you want to reach your goal. The reason we run away is fear. We’re scared of the problem of it. We’re scared of what happens if we fail. What you need to recognize is that life isn’t punishing you. You’re not doing anything wrong. You just keep working at it until you figure it out. There’s nothing to be scared of. Just make a change and do a thing, see what happens, and try again if you need to.

Guess what you’ve watched me do for years? I had to get over myself quite honestly. I had to be willing to just screw it up, take it down, and try again. I’ve gone around in circles with coaching and offering courses. There was a ton of fear there. Most of the fear had more to do with my powerlessness, not in my career, but in relationships. One of the things that I’ve been doing through my career is understanding how the powerlessness affects me in relationships with other people. To be able to be an effective coach, I can’t be powerless. It doesn’t really work so well. I definitely was a wounded healer for a very long time and I had to make that okay for myself if I was going to be “successful” down the road. The people that I’ve come into contact with, that have been following me for years, have helped me do that. (Thank you!)

There’s a powerful theme running through all of this – my willingness to continue to go after the goal – even when I got stuck on a breadcrumb or two, even when I tripped and fell, even when I screwed it up, even when it scared me to death, even when it was hard, even when I felt like giving up, even when it seemed impossible. The goal was the thing that kept me moving forward regardless of how impossible or difficult it seemed at any individual breadcrumb along the way.

Do you have that sticking power in your little toe on your left foot? Can you find it there? Because I promise it’s there if you’re willing to go dig it out. Your ability to go after your own goal is affected by nothing more than your willingness to stay in the room regardless of what happens.

To avoid all the stuff that I went through, you want control. You want to know the path. You know want to know what’s going to happen next. You want to be able to make informed choices so that if you know something isn’t going to work out the way you want it to you can just run away. You want control, but you can’t have control. You have to be willing to go with it. You don’t want to do what I did. You don’t want to have to stick to it like that. If that’s what it takes you’d rather run for the hills anyway.

That’s it? The goal isn’t worth it. If that’s what I have to do I want nothing to do with it. I used to think that I wanted control too because I also wanted to make those informed choices. Thank goodness the Universe didn’t listen to little ol’ me. If I’d known half the stuff that I was going to experience and have to work through over these past few years, I would never have even gotten started. The blind path is the only way I would have moved forward. But first I had to get over the idea of the path being blind. That meant giving up control and simply accepting the breadcrumbs that were in front of me at the time.

What about the fear? You can’t get past that. It’s going to be there. You’re just going to have to suck it up and do it anyway. No matter how hard you try you can’t talk yourself out of the fear of jumping into a cold pool. The same is true here. No matter how hard you try you cannot talk yourself out of the fear of letting go of control.

For as long as you allow that fear to determine what you do and don’t do, you will not be able to reach your goal. You will be stuck in the pattern of fear that you have been in the whole way. Is doing it anyway easy? Hell no. “Easy” was never part of the conversation. It’s not easy. It’s just the only way through to where you want to go. You have to go through the fear.

I sat in the fear for months and months and months, paralyzed on my couch, unable to do anything, scared to death of what was going to happen next. I sat in fear, watched life play out around me, realized that the fear was a bit of overkill, and told myself to knock it off. I rationalized myself out of it, but not before I simply walked right through it. I had to see it for myself. I had to see my life play out and realize that there was nothing there to be scared of. My mind was making up crap that should win an Academy award. None of it was true. None of it happened. The fear was completely irrational and unnecessary. I simply learned how to manage myself better so that I didn’t have to feel that way anymore.

You jump in the cold pool and you stop for a second. You realize you’re not dead. You’re fine. Nothing happened. Maybe the water wasn’t even as cold as you thought it was. So was all that fear necessary? No. So why did you make that all up in your head? What was all that for? It’s this process right here that gets you over the fear. This is the point at which you can rationalize it and stop it from happening again. But you can’t do that until you jump in the water and realize you’re absolutely fine. Go through the fear and then look back at it. It’s from that angle only that you can tame the fear.

I tamed the fear after I felt it by looking back at it and realizing how pointless it was and how much it was stopping me from being able to live my life. Being paralyzed in fear on my couch, quite literally, got me nowhere. It solved absolutely nothing. One of the best things that I learned through these experiences was how to keep going even when problems were happening. Never mind about the fear. The skill I got of being able to refocus my attention onto things I could do something about was a game changer.

The fear just became an accessory. It’s just there. Sometimes it still likes to hang out in the background and pretend its all big and scary. You know what? It makes me laugh now. I don’t even care that there is fear back there anymore. Where’s the next dragon to slay? Just give me the weapon and let me do the thing and get this over with because that dragon isn’t nearly as scary as the fear wants me to think it is. Fear can no longer stop me. It doesn’t have power anymore. Why? Because I sat in it for so long. Because I confronted it and moved through it so many times. I’m just not willing to play the game of fear anymore.

I want you to feel that for yourself. I want you to feel the power in being able to turn your back on your fear and do the thing anyway. I want you to feel the power in knowing that you can move forward no matter what shows up in front of you and that you will be fine. I want you to have that power too.

Unfortunately I can’t just wave a magic wand and give it to you. Like me, you get to earn it. You get to sit in it. You get to deal with it. You get to walk through it. Maybe you’re not as powerless as I was, maybe it’s not as big of a deal for you as it was for me, but you will still have to go through some of it for yourself. That much I know for sure.

I teach focus and perception because they help with the fear. If you focus on the fear you end up paralyzed on your couch like I was. But if you focus on moving forward, then you can keep going with or without the fear following you around.

You don’t have to keep running away from the thing you want to do. You can keep going. You just have to decide that the goal is more important than whatever the fear is or the problem is that you keep running into. Those little breadcrumbs are all over the place. You’re going to have to be willing to manage them one by one as they show up. As long as you keep staying in the game, dealing with those breadcrumbs, you will be moving in the right direction.

You don’t have to fly away from your goal. You just have to be willing to focus on what’s in front of you while using the bigger goal as the motivation to keep going. That’s how it works. Figuring that out has given me the motivation to keep going no matter what was happening around me at the time. It can do the same for you.

Keep going. You got this.

Love to all.



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