"Tadpole, you've been fortunate to do pretty much whatever you've wanted to do. Your teachers in school and your parents have always supported and encouraged you. But not everyone is that lucky. Many frogs, and many more humans, too, are held back from accomplishing their dreams...from even trying to accomplish their dreams, because of fear and of long-held beliefs that no longer serve them." They mistakenly believe they're not smart enough, or girls don't get into that line of work or any one of other misbeliefs that they, or those close to them, have planted deep within their belief system. "Son, a frog cannot swim toward a new horizon until he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
I understood what Dharma was saying, but expressed my concern to him that letting go of beliefs and fears isn't an easy thing to do. Why is it so difficult to let go of our fears? How much easier life would be if we dared to go ahead and we would not worry about everything. Dharma explained to me that the first step in relinquishing those fears is to ask ourselves if those beliefs belong to us or were given to us by others close to us. He said, "It is difficult to know what belongs to you, as you often do not even realize that you have adopted something, and at the same time you consider things as your reality which have nothing to do with reality. Notice what does not belong to you, that is holding you back and eliminate it from your life; do not let it slow you down."
Here are five pretty easy steps he believes will help each of us to get us started on our "swim" away from the safety and security of shore.
1. Write down your fears. If you have the courage to write them down, then you're halfway there. Fear eats away at us from the inside. They are hidden in our words and in our beliefs. We have made them part of our lives. But once those fears are verbalized or written down they lose a lot of their wallop.
2. Scary as it might be, go into as much detail as possible. Write down the main areas of your life and make lists of your blockages. This task will help you dig even deeper into your fears. I can hear you groaning that this isn't for you. If you're feeling this way, then it is most definitely for you. Be brave! You can do this. From your job to your career and to your relationships, take a look at the things that might hold you back. Think of the reasons why you are not taking certain steps. it won't belong, once you begin writing in earnest, that you'll see that what is holding you back is really just your own ego. And don't forget, "circumstances keep changing all the time, don't camp in the past. Just because something could not happen last year, it might happen this year." Everything evolves. We evolve.
3. Time for a little honest analysis. "Now that you have a list of your fears, deal with them one by one. Why are you afraid of it? Because if you don't succeed, it's a failure? Why are you afraid of failure? What kind of image do you have of failure? How were you treated in the past when you failed? The attitude and the experience you associate with the specific events are important. If in your case it is negative, you only have to change that."
4. Have a conversation with yourself and change your viewpoint. Have a little courage to face your fears, whatever they might be. It's okay if you don't want to do this step alone. Just be sure that whoever you ask to accompany you on this journey is really on your side and isn't the cause of your limiting beliefs...no matter how much they believe they did it for your own good. You need someone 100% on your side, maybe someone neutral, like a therapist or life coach. Now that you have elaborated on the exact causes of your fears, think about it: is it a realistic fear? What will happen if you fail (or move or change jobs, etc.)? Nothing - but if you don't even try, you will think about it for the rest of your life, WHAT IF? Think of the possibilities! When answering your questions it is imperative to do so honestly. If you're not honest with yourself, who will be? If, say, you believe that everyone is out to get you, ask yourself if you truly believe that every single being on the planet is out to get you, hurt you, shame you, or disparage you. If you answer this honestly, you'll most probably write down that the answer is a big fat no. Surely you realize that there are SOME good humans out there, right? Think about your answers. And learn and grow from them.
5. Always have a Plan B. Having a Plan B will calm you down. It will take the pressure off of you, and FINALLY you can relax. "Shape your attitude, one without desperation. Accept the situation you are in and make the most of it. From the very moment you accept what you have and you decide that, not everyone has to live according to the expectations of society after all, you will be free from desperation and fear. This is the real meaning of letting go."
And Dharma is right, of course, none of us can move ahead until we face the fears that hold us back. And I may have lied a little. These steps are simple, but they are not easy. They require us to look deep within. Something most of us avoid like the plague. But until we can face our dark places, we'll never see or feel sunlight. Sunlight is where the good stuff happens!
Please join me back here tomorrow for an interesting blog about the English language. Until then, Dharma and I wish you