There’s what happens. You have an idea. You get that first hit if excitement. You see something. A vision. Possibilities. It’s different. It’s fresh. It’s you. You think it can change the world. Or at least make a dent. You feel it in your bones.
Then before you do something about it, before you take the first step, knock down the first domino, something else happens.
And in comes all the negative thoughts and limited beliefs.
I can’t. It’s stupid. No one will read it, watch it, buy it. I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. What am I thinking? I’ve tried things before and it never works out.
Your idea suddenly flickers out like a dying lightbulb.
Back to your reality and living in your dark fear bubble.
The value of an idea is not the idea. It’s the path it creates. Because behind every idea is a journey. It doesn’t matter if your idea is to get back in shape, write a blog post, become a life coach, or create your own media empire. It’s a door. A call to adventure. It puts you on a path and that’s the gold. Because having the courage to go down that path is what will make you less afraid.
For most of us, our fear comes from putting so much weight on whether our idea will be successful or not. What if you didn’t see it that way? What if you moved the weight from the outcome to the journey? Yes, you’ve heard that before. Process over product. But what if that was truly what you decided to chase?
You would hop the fear wall.
Put a bookmark there. I have a quick story.
So a few years ago when the Paleo diet was the big thing and bread became the antichrist, I tried to figure out a way to not eat bread. Like most, bread and pastries is a weakness of mine. I usually have a Hostess baked good in my pocket at all times. I didn’t see how I was going to do this. I would order lettuce wrapped burgers at restaurants and they would taste like medicine. I acted like a pouty three-year-old throwing peas at the wall.
Then one day, I was driving to In & Out burgers after a hard workout and a belief that I deserved dripping grease and things to dip ketchup in. But I was “paleo” so I couldn’t have bread. So I started to imagine a lettuce wrapped burger and how good it was going to taste, even without the bread. I saw the juicy patty. The cheese dripping down. I especially focused on the crisp lettuce instead of the bun. By the time I got there, I had convinced myself that I actually want my burger lettuce wrapped instead of in a bun. I was craving it due to me dreaming about it for twenty minutes. I ordered a double double protein style and that was the first time I actually enjoyed a lettuce wrapped burger. Ever. Now, do I prefer lettuce wrapped burgers to burgers with buns today? Of course not. But my point is you can trick your brain, or rather train your brain to want something different.
You can train your brain to want the journey. Athletes visualize their workouts all the time. They imagine the work, the sweat, the movements, how they feel while they’re doing it. The getting up when they have nothing. The feeling of finishing something. This gets them excited to do the workout rather than focusing on the outcome of the workout. Fishermen dream about tackling waves of the unpredictable ocean. Popping open beers after a long hard day. The brisk morning as they step foot onto the boat with a cup of hot coffee and a thirst for adventure. They don’t dream about how many fish they’re going to catch.
Yes, it takes time to genuinely desire the climb instead of the outcome. You have been programmed to place value on results. You’re rewiring years of beliefs and thought patterns. Of course, it’s going to take time. But it’s possible. You can get excited about the path.
And by doing so, you will go. You will start. You will begin. You will go instead of being frozen in fear.
And you will fall.
And get up.
You will experience pain.
But as you swim, you will grow and get stronger.
You will go until it’s too far to turn back.
And you’ll eventually get to the island, and perhaps realize it wasn’t what you expected.
And that’s when it will hit you.
That life is about everything it took to get to the island. Not what’s on the island. The ups and downs and almost drowning. The death and rebirth. The inner conflict. The revelations. The constant building of courage to go on.
If you have an idea you’re passionate and excited about, answer the call.
Because it’s an invitation to become less afraid.
And in that journey, you will find life.
This post was originally published here and is republished with permission from the author.
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