There are not many of us whose tale can be unraveled without the presence of at least one scenario in which our attempt at going out on a limb left us on the ground staring up at a tree. We have all experienced times when traveling outside of our comfort zone left us shell shocked and running wildly back to the safe recesses of our own protective barriers. We have come to take leaps of faith that left us feeling exposed, vulnerable and even foolish. The question is, have we allowed these perceived lapses in judgment to create a skeptical and tentative outlook on our possibilities?
While there is something to be said for taking the necessary measures to detect fatal flaws in our plans, we must be careful not to allow our fear of being hurt or becoming vulnerable to others to dissuade us from taking chances. We must look closely at why we have not achieved what it is that we say we want. Has the relationship we hope for eluded us only because we have been afraid to open our hearts to someone...has the job or career we dream of been simply waiting for us to claim it...has the life we have always wanted simply been left unlived by us? The truth is that, yes, there is the potential we could wind up with a broken heart, a damaged ego, or in a state of humiliation...but we could also end up with love, success and happiness. We have to push ourselves to the point at which our desire for that quality of life is stronger than our fear of our advances toward it being rerouted or rebuffed.
Try this. Write down all of the greatest things in the world that have ever happened to you. Every victory, every shining moment, every piece of your life that made you feel as if you had found the essence of what life is all about. Any major component of your life, or person you cherish, that you identify as a positive milestone came at the price of vulnerability. Whatever is on that list, you had to, in some way, put yourself out there to get. In those times, your leap of faith or advance toward something paid off, big time. We can use these experiences to comfort and support ourselves as we tip toe out of our comfort zone once again...looking both ways for an "all clear"...and know that while we may not always find what we want on each outing...that what we want definitely exists and requires us to meet it un-guarded, un-masked and as our genuine, authentic selves.
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