Take the Step


Lessons often come to me when I’m playing, and that’s how this one came to me. Last week I found myself in my first virtual reality game. I was standing on the edge of a cliff, intent on rescuing my robot, when I realized that I was standing on the edge of a cliff. My fear of heights paralyzed me. I completely forgot that I was standing in the middle of a room, that none of what was happening was real. Instead, my heart rate tripled, my rational mind stopped working, and I was terrified.

The epiphany came when I remembered where I was: not on a cliff, not helpless; rather, in a room on solid ground. It got me thinking … how often do we allow fear—that isn’t based on reality—paralyze us from taking action? Where do we find the courage to move forward? In life-and-death decisions, it’s instinctive — flight, fight or freeze.  In day-to-day activities, we often don’t realize that we are falling into a fixed pattern of behavior. We are doing what comes naturally and often this is opting for safety.

This doesn’t always serve us.How do we keep moving forward?  From my experience, knowing my “why” is critical. Why is it important to me? I think about what outcomes I am seeking and what the impact can be if I stay the course. It’s our “why” that gives us the courage to move forward and fuels our energy to deal with what arises. It’s the “why” that keeps us at the edge of the cliff and energizes us into decisive action.

This Week: The New Year is a time of reflection and making plans for the year ahead. What do you want to do that is bringing up fear? Place the fear aside for the moment and examine why it’s important for you to do it. What will doing it mean to you? What will the impact be? Hold on to that energy and let it fuel you. Write it down as a touchstone to refer to later. As the Wizard of Oz (in the book) said to the Cowardly Lion …. “You have plenty of courage, I am sure … All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”

In Next Week’s Post: Get ready for establishing presence and taking action.

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