There are no guarantees to a quick and easy path to success with the changes you long for in your life.
In my last post, I began to explore the perils of ambivalence. You know that stuck-in-between feeling that keeps you living in a rut rather than blazing new pathways. I wrote that the first of the three perils of ambivalence was forever asking “How” rather than getting into action, creating positive energy toward the direction of your dreams. The second peril of ambivalence often manifest as “I can’t” when in fact the true statement would more aptly be stated, “I won’t.” This may be hard to swallow, but to truly confront and move beyond the peril of ambivalence, you have got to start facing the hard truths.
And lastly, I wrote that the third peril of ambivalence is ignoring the fact that not acting is still a decision. When we are wrought with ambivalence, thinking, “I might just get to it someday,” we are lulling ourselves into the feigned notion that we are moving toward our fullest expression, when in fact we are simply mulling it over.
All of these ramifications of ambivalence impact our lives and drain our energy, and yet in this article I want to take a deeper cut at the peril of ambivalence. I want you to begin addressing the degree ambivalence is masking deeper questions and concerns about yourself, your life, your capabilities and even your faith and relationship with God. Whoa–now that’s deep, isn’t it? Yes, that’s right–deep is the only path I know to true transformation.
Ambivalence–the constant questioning of an act or decision such that we stay stuck in INACTION–often masks a deeper existential angst that you feel and have yet to uncover. When you are unable to get beyond ambivalence, there are deeper places you need to look. I am going to present three of them now, and it is my sincere hope that reading these will help you discern a deeper understanding of the ambivalence in your life and be able to move forward with strength, clarity, and faith.
The first question relates to the importance of the change you are avoiding with ambivalence.
Whatever action you may be contemplating, yet are stuck in ambivalence, you have got to address the degree to which it has a depth of meaning for you. Most people are not inclined to go out and rock the boat in life for an unknown–UNLESS it has a deep, resounding calling within.
I experienced this for years before I finally embarked on a career change from the comfort of my coaching and psychotherapy practice to becoming a full-time speaker, author and seminar leader. The “known” is often far more comfortable than stepping into the “unknown” – until it isn’t. If you truly align with the calling of your heart and soul, the pounding of the calling becomes deafening. An action that will bring about change in your life will only occur when you feel that the pain of not acting outweighs the comfort of staying the same.
The second deeper question that often is masked with ambivalence is, “Can I do it? Do I have what it takes?
Am I going to be able to pull this off when I have no clue where to begin?” These are valid questions that keep most people from ever taking the first step. This question reveals your inner insecurity, lack of confidence, and fear of being tested in new and bigger ways. The truth is, there is no way you can fail at your true life’s calling. What Life wants to birth through you must come forth. It is the deeper callings of the heart that you were born to make manifest in this world–not FOR YOU, but in fact, FOR THE WORLD. We are all here participating in the process of the evolution of humanity and the more you are conscious about your participation, the more you are contributing to the growth of the whole.
The third question that is masked by ambivalence is “Will I be ok? Will it work out?”
This question goes deeper than the personal “Do I have what it takes” question. The deeper issue is one of personal safety–not your physical safety per se, but your “ontological safety.” It is this question that gets to the heart of your faith. Do you truly believe that we live in a benevolent universe in partnership with a loving, beneficent God? Moving out of and beyond your ambivalence, fundamentally, requires a leap of faith. It is no small matter to step out of your current identity and invite change. It requires that you believe in the goodness of life itself and that you are being guided to your highest and best.
I work with people who want to create change in their lives every day. I see these patterns repeated in every single one of the people I am honored to serve. It is why I am so humbled and moved each time someone decides to get beyond the complacency of ambivalence and move into new and uncharted expressions in life. There are no guarantees to a quick and easy path to success with the changes you long for in your life, but one thing is for certain, doing something will feel better than languishing your precious life energy inside the peril of ambivalence.
Photo: Flickr/ Andreas Klodt