A few weeks back, I saw an interesting prompt on Facebook by writer and story coach Jennifer Blanchard:
I didn’t respond directly to this prompt but it gave me pause and put me into a steady stream of thought. What would I say in this situation? Then it dawned on me. There is something I could say, and it’s something I’m steadily trying to convince myself of daily. So here it is, my little response and a message to all those who doubt themselves and feel, or have felt, that they can’t accomplish what they want to accomplish (this includes me, and in fact this is the message I am trying to tell myself while at the same time realizing how true it is)….
You. I want you to listen to me very carefully. There is a truth about life you may or may not be aware of. I’ve seen it, felt it, embraced it, have run from it, avoided it. And it is this: every single one of us has an unlimited supply of potential that sprouts from within. All those floating-fleeting thoughts of doubt that tell you otherwise are part of a conditioned mindset that you can adjust.
This is easier than any of us realizes. So many barriers on our path are self-devised. We decide the level of difficulty with which we approach what matters to us most. We are the ones who say we can’t, and we are the ones who say we can. If we feel a pull within us toward something that seems greater than ourselves, if we notice that deep-down hum, calling to us to act on something and we can’t explain why, we can and must strive for it. Again, this is scary for a mind that’s been conditioned to play it safe, which is the case for many of us, I believe. It’s certain the case for me. Playing it safe never ensured safety. This does not mean act reckless. It means we do not need to hide from the fear we tell ourselves is real and dangerous. Hiding under the covers — figuratively and literally speaking — creates the illusion of safety.
And as you reach for that thing, understand that any change will not be overnight. Life is an evolving process, moving in gradual waves, and any results come as a response to consistent, ceaseless effort. I didn’t become who I am now overnight, and there’s much of my life I’m incredibly grateful for. But when it comes to things I am trying to achieve within myself — that is, being the writer of books and stories, the call to become a regular runner and spiritual explorer and meditator — the reason these things are not realities to date is because I have not allowed myself to strive for them. And no one should expect to transform overnight. Remember: you don’t become the butterfly. You are the goddamn butterfly. All you need to do to grow wings is realize that there’s nothing to fear of that tree branch or leaf. So climb up, spindle your cocoon, and dig in.
Pay not attention to how long it takes. The water boils faster when you’re out of the room than if you stare at the pot waiting for the bubbles. REMEMBER THIS.
There is no real finish line, only check-points along the path. I’m working on moving from an anxiety-riddled concerned safe-playing human to a writer, runner, and soul explorer. Resistance will be there the whole way, but don’t run from it, face it. Tell Resistance it can’t drive, but it doesn’t have to get out of the car. It can sit in the back seat and report what it sees along the road. Whether you listen to it is up to you.
Just know that each and everyone of us has the ability to do and become what our soul, our deep-down hum, calls us to do. Remember this.