Calling yourself a chaser of dreams is a big step for someone who actually struggles day in and day out with insecurity. But of course, that is what I felt like one year ago when I made the decision to request a leave of absence from my twelve year career so that I could pursue “this” full time. It took a leap of faith, for me, for my husband, and was assisted by the security net of being able to return to my area of expertise…just in case.
Except that the security net was not the only thing that was ever present. A looming spreadsheet with cold hard numbers meant to show if “this” was sustainable, not just for the head dream chaser in the family, but for the entire family. The question of if my efforts were “enough” has been ringing in my head for months, knowing that by March 31st, there needed to be a formal decision: resign and continue the dream chasing, or go back.
Oddly enough, last year, when I made the decision to dream big, I was not afraid. There was apprehension (certainly by my husband) but not fear. The fear came… later. So many fears. The fear of admitting failure. The fear of admitting that a dream was not built on enough reality to make it sustainable. The fear of having wasted my family’s time with my need to explore my passion.
My fear consumed me. It made my cry and struggle with patience. It made me irritable and insecure. It turned my entire world upside down and took my insides and twisted them around over and over again.
Until, not sure of exactly how I would proceed, I decided that giving up was not an option. Letting the fear of the unknown and the numbers on a spreadsheet dictate my life were not options. If I could beat cancer, if I could run two marathons, I could certainly find a way to believe in myself.
Remembering my mantra that everything happens for a reason, my only choice was to move forward without getting stuck in the dark abyss where I could have landed.
People say that dreams take time. Turning your passion into your reality takes patience, persistence, and resiliency. But also? Sometimes you have to find yourself at the very bottom, looking fear straight in the face, to allow yourself to be open to new possibilities. New ways to achieve your dreams, that can only exist if you open yourself up by casting a wider net. A net that includes allowing yourself to ask for help, for support, and for encouragement instead of only depending on yourself. A net that digs deep into enough to discover new ways to slay the fear dragons. A new net that is built with confidence in yourself against all odds.
Facing your fears much less pushing past them is not easy -and sometimes there is no choice but to press the pause button on a dream. And I would be lying if I said that my fears had been permanently silenced. Somehow though, facing my fears head on, feeling that bottom of the barrel pit in my stomach and forcing myself to really question my motives, my purpose, and my dreams…I can tell you that there is nothing like feeling that weight lifted from your shoulders.
What about you…How have you been facing your fears?