My heart continually calls me to live in alignment with my soul’s longings and guidance. Often it wants me to make changes that feel very scary to me. What my heart and soul want often clash with my rational mind and beliefs about life.
One of the ways I have been able to cultivate my courage to make decisions and choices that have scared me has been by reviewing the times in the past that I have been scared to do something and looking at how things turned out.
By doing this, I have seen time and time again that although things didn’t always turn out how I thought they would turn out or maybe how I wanted them to turn out, they always turned out okay, often better than okay in ways I never would have imagined.
Here’s an example:
I had loved my job as an executive manager in an ASX-listed financial services company but a restructure put me at first in a project role I liked and then into in a newly created investment-focused role that I didn’t like. Although my manager had promised me that he would find me something else if I didn’t like it, he didn’t. I did everything I could to stay with the company. I even put forward a proposal for a new role that I designed for myself that I would have loved, but it was rejected. I didn’t want to leave the company but the new role wasn’t right for me. Eventually, I accepted that I was going to have to leave and find another job but I hated going to work to do this role and the idea of spending the next few months job-hunting while doing this job felt really heavy. A mentor suggested that I resign and then look for another job. My soul was pretty keen on this idea but I was horrified.
My conversation with my soul went something like this:
What do you mean you want me to quit my job before I get another job? No, no, no. You have to have another job lined up before you can quit your current job. This will just make it harder to get another job. Employers will look down on me for quitting.
These arguments didn’t win. With some reassurance from my mentor, I quickly made the decision to quit. And guess what? Everything turned out far better than okay.
I was really scared to make the decision to quit and then really anxious for the first week after I left the company that I had made the wrong decision, sabotaged myself, and that I would never get another job. If you had asked me at this point of time if everything had turned out okay I might have said no. Then I relaxed into my unemployment. I enjoyed slowing down and not being busy. I could walk slowly and savour my coffee. I had time to contemplate what was important to me and what I really wanted.
A few months later, two former colleagues contacted me on the same day about the same contract position. It was the perfect role for me, the right money, right contract length, used my skills and knowledge perfectly. I got the job. Everything turned out okay.
Now looking back I can tell you that actually everything turned out better than okay because I went on to take a year’s sabbatical to follow my passion for scuba diving and my soul’s urge to be free for a while and travel in south east Asia. I then went on to have further contracts with that employer which allowed me to live between Melbourne and Thailand for a few years. And that promise my manager made but didn’t keep was the best promise never kept, although at the time I was hurt and upset. I’m glad I didn’t stay because of everything I have experienced since then.
By looking back at my life and seeing how when I made choices aligned with my heart’s longings, and even when change has been thrust upon me, I learned to see that although I might not have liked the change initially everything always turned out okay, often better than okay, in ways I never could have imagined.
This has become a favourite mantra of mine, one that I often turn to in the midst of change and uncertainty or where I need to make choices where the outcome is uncertain or unknown because it reminds me that life is on my side, it makes me feel stronger and more trusting that no matter the outcome that I cannot control, I will be okay.
It is a mantra that I have turned to recently, as I made the decision to release my book, The Path You Make. I don’t know how things will turn out, whether people will buy it or not, whether they will like it or not. I know that my heart said to release it now and that no matter what happens, everything will be okay.
Review your courage
Try it for yourself and review your own courage. Look at the times your heart wanted you to do something that was scary and you did it and make note of what happened as a result. How did things unfold for you? What unexpected opportunities opened up? Was there magic? Can you see how maybe you weren’t convinced things were okay at first but with the unfolding of time, it played out in your favour in some way? Can you find a gift in it? Can you witness your own courage? Notice how it makes you feel now in your body to recognise this. Do you feel stronger? More confident and self-believing?
You are braver than you think and more capable than you may know.
With love and courage,