Chances are that most of us at one stage or another have found ourselves at a pivotal crossroad in our lives. Which way to turn?
We have all been there. Over-thinking a decision into oblivion and flinging ourselves into a tailspin. The analytical mind whips us into a frenzy and we let our ego run wild off its leash.
The human mind has a tendency to speed ahead with its I-Know-What’s-Best-For-Me-Thanks-Very-Much attitude. Yet when we think we know best, we dump the entire weight of the decision making process onto our shoulders. We get stuck on the How instead of the Why.
I’m currently facing a huge decision with regards to my career. Having recently quit my job of 10 years I am dipping my toes back into the world of employment. Fortunately there have been several opportunities presented to me by eager beaver recruitment consultants.
A good place to start one might assume. Or is it?
Decisions have always been tough for me. I have a tendency to rely on my intellect and problem-solve an issue by thinking it through very carefully from start to finish. Whilst this approach is useful in some respects it can also drive you insane.
And if you mix these controlling tendencies with a pinch of insecurity it can be a recipe for disaster.
One of my first mistakes was that I began to question why I was even being entertained for these job roles. My inner insecurities came bubbling up to the surface. There must have been a mistake, why are they even considering me?
I floundered and held myself back until I finally came to the realization that this line of thinking was blocking me. I was holding myself back from growing into the person I wanted to be.
In a nutshell, I was scared. Scared of challenging myself. Scared of pushing myself. Scared of finding out exactly how powerful I could be.
I was essentially being held back by an old system of beliefs internalized at a young age. And then, a flash of insight hit me head on. I knew exactly what I was doing. I was playing small. Subconsciously I was terrified of failing. If I stayed within the parameters of my own safety zone I would never fail. I had been acting out these patterns for years without even being conscious of it.
Utterly terrified to push myself out of my comfort zone I was stuck in a perpetual pattern called Playing it Safe.
What was I thinking letting this insecure teenager dictate the career decisions of a 36-year-old grown ass woman?
I had all these big dreams and ambitions yet I was the one thing that was blocking them from coming through. I wanted to play on the big stage but refused to get off the small stage. What on earth was I thinking?
Buoyed by my revelation, I had a moment of clarity. What if it’s not up to me whether I’m good enough or not?
Evidently the recruiters thought I was good enough. I managed to get a job offer for each position I interviewed for. People were seeing something in me that I was unable to see for myself. Potential.
This powerful realization transformed my whole mindset. I was wasting so much time and energy panicking that a company would hire me and discover that I was a fraud. But then I posed a question. What’s the worst that can happen? They fire you?
I asked myself, have you ever been fired before? That’s a no. In my last job I was promoted most years despite my insecurities. Evidently I was either a master con artist or I simply wasn’t giving myself enough credit.
I’m not sure if it’s a quintessential British thing, or a female thing, or maybe it’s just a Victoria thing, but I was tired of it. I couldn’t keep living my life this way. Time was passing me by at ever increasing speed and if I ever wanted to play with the big girls I needed to get over myself and throw my hat in the ring.
And that’s exactly what I did. I started applying for jobs that scared me, just to see what would happen.
What happened was that new doors marked Opportunity started appearing. One thing I learned about knocking on the Door of Opportunity is that you had better be prepared for it to swing wide open. Don’t question why it opened, just gather some cojones and walk on through. And so I did.
Here are 3 things that I learned from my experience of learning to play a little bigger in life:
1. Stop With The How, What, Why and When’s
When we are faced with a new opportunity or when we want to achieve something in life, focus on how that would make you feel if it were to happen.
Imagine yourself sat in your corner office or ideal place of work. Get really specific. What would that look like to you? What would that feel like?
Focus on the experience of it all. And when you inevitably start to question the How, What, Why and When’s take a deep breath and let it go. That is out of your control. Just spend your energy focusing on what it would feel like to play big in your own life.
2. Take Action.
Manifesting is all well and good but if we sit on our meditation pillow surrounded by all the best intentions in the world yet fail to take the necessary practical steps, it ain’t gonna happen.
If you want to make a career change, start taking baby steps in the right direction. Update your resume, speak with recruiters. If you want to build your own business, start taking the necessary first steps to make that happen. Sign up for a course showing you how to build an online presence. Buy a domain name. Figure out what you need to do to get the ball rolling and take it one step at a time.
3. Let It Go
Once you have imagined it, got excited about it and taken the baby steps to begin. Let. It. Go. Nothing blocks us energetically more than attachment to outcome.
You’ve done the groundwork and put your vision out into the world. You’ve taken the practical steps needed, you have planted the seed. Now release it and watch it bloom.
Sometimes when we manifest things into our lives in this way, we are shocked when something even better than we had imagined can come through.
Have faith that we are fully supported at all times and that the Universe wants to bring us things that support our highest good. It just might look a little different than you imagined. Put your inner control freak back into its box and trust in your process.
When we learn to get comfortable with the premise of pushing ourselves outside of our safety zone, this is where the growth happens. This is where the miracles happen. After all, if we all just do what you always did, you will get what you always got.
To quote that wise sage Nelson Mandela, “Your playing small does not serve the world. Who are you not to be great?”
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Author: Victoria Cox
Victoria Cox currently resides in NYC. She's igniting a career as a writer & is a contributor to The Conversation, Tiny Buddha & Elephant Journal. You can connect with her on Instagram @vcox23