Fear, failure, fatigue, forfeit.
The progression of a forgotten dream.
Fear, failure, fortitude, fortune.
The progression of a dream fulfilled.
This week for my yoga course we were assigned a question. What would we do if failure wasn't an option? If fear wasn't a factor, what would we grant ourselves permission to do or be in life? I have always loved this question because it gets down to the heart of all things. This immediately got me thinking, of course. The fear of failure has run rampant in my life from a very early age. I lost my ability to express myself as a child. My parents had a very practical standpoint. It is better to have a safe bet than to take a risk of something not working out. Dreams were meant to be dreamt and then, you woke up to reality. I was an extremely creative child. Yet the creativity largely went unnoticed. So I shut down. My dreams were so colorful in my mind. I just thought that the reality of them happening wasn't a possibility. So I daydreamed a lot! I lost my outer voice. I also lost the inner voice of love towards myself. The moment I gained that ability back in my early twenties, I met my ex-husband. And then the familiar pattern continued.
Fear was instilled in us with everything we did growing up. We were expected to follow a certain path in order to be "successful". The formula for life was, you went to college, you got a job that paid the bills, and that was life. It took me six long years to graduate with my bachelor's degree because it wasn't what my heart was telling me I needed to do. And although my parent's always did their best and had our best interests at heart, they didn't know how to lead us to fulfill our dreams in life. In fact, it was simply believed to be a childish thought to have a dream and dreams were meant to be given up on. Their philosophy was if you get a good steady paying job then you never have to struggle in life. Parents want to know that their children are well taken care of even after they have left the home. What they didn't realize for me, the struggle was not being able to spread my wings and live within my own creative nature.
I still remember advice given to me from a college professor of mine. She said to me during a meeting, "Why aren't you going into professional writing? This is clearly what you are supposed to be doing. You love every minute of it. I'm confused as to why you aren't pursuing this?" My response, "My parents told me to go to school to be a teacher. I wanted to be a music teacher, but they told me I'd never make enough money doing that. So now I'm in general education and I can't stand it. But I don't have a choice." Her response to that was, "Who is paying for your school?" I told her that I was paying for it myself. She said, "Then you do have a choice. And what are you waiting for?"
Fifteen years later, I remember that conversation like it was yesterday. She was right. Finally, my last year of college I decided to take my life back. This was my life and it was mine to do what I wish. So I fulfilled a different dream of going to school for skin care. I felt the momentum building in my life as I completed the course with flying colors. However, I was in a relationship that soon would become my marriage. The offers of moving to a big city through connections of my instructor's caused the fear to settled in. The self talk started up of what if I fail, what if I move across the country and I don't become successful, what if I get out there and I'm just not good enough? And then the momentum stopped. I clipped my own wings again, purely because of the fear factor of failure.
It took a good portion of my adult life of picking up the pieces of my shattered heart that I had been a willing participant in, to finally figure out that fear and failure are all a part of life. And in fact the more you fear something, the more you have to push yourself to do it. Often times, it is your own calling that is signalling to you that now is the time. The fear threshold is there to be walked over. It doesn't always happen gracefully, but that is totally fine. Just as long as you get to the other side of fear, a new unfolding in life is waiting there for you. You will be tried and tested. It is all part of this amazing process.
It has been my mission especially the past year and a half to push myself beyond my fear threshold. Every time I've met it there, I've come out on the other side with the reward of being alive in life and what is next to come. It's not easy to look fear in the face and say bring it on! But let your heart race, become dizzy and shaking, become terrified in the challenge of knowing that it is just that, a challenge. And what awaits you on the other side is something spectacular. In your own momentum you will build a strength of faith, trust and knowing that this is all part of the process. What we live out is what we learn about ourselves. Fear is a test that can show us abilities deeply residing within us that have been waiting to come out, be seen and be used. It is developing our strongest sense of self.
This week's assignment will be an interesting one for me. So I'm going to dig deep this next week. Maybe there is a forgotten dream that I need to bring back to life. My mission in dealing with fear has included understanding the process of pursuing a dream and living life always has a fear element and the possibility of failure. It is what we take with us in those moments that carry us to our fortune, our destiny. They bring us back to our original Self.
So if failure wasn't an option, what would you be doing? And if you haven't started, what is holding you back? How could you get closer to loosening your own restraints and going for it? Share with us, we would love to hear from you!
As always with love,
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
©2013 Jennifer Fremion. All rights reserved.