Doing that means taking a risk, both in ego and ease.
It means going from being on top of your game (or, at least the perception) to potentially stumbling, falling down, not knowing which way is up.
Thing is, if you never feel that way, there’s a good chance you’re in a sideways trend.
And, sideways kills.
We all need to rattle our own cages on a pretty regular basis. The beginning of nearly every move from a period of sustained-success to evolutionary-quest is defined by waves of uncertainty, questioning everything you know, often realizing what you thought until recently was relative mastery was really…dumbass-plus-one. The first rung on a ladder, the end of which lies beyond sight.
That awakening screws with you.
It lays you bare. It forces you to start exploring the foundation of everything you believe in and everywhere you’ve sought to go and grow. On the surface, it’s not a good feeling. At least while you’re in it.
And, that’s where I am right now.
It’s not that I don’t have fantastic projects going on and brilliant family and friends to support me. I do. On those fronts, I’m blessed. But, my heart and gut are tugging me into a lot of uncharted territory these days. Into a more aggressive evolutionary stage.
And evolution is, by definition, unsettling.
Sussing out a new direction, opening to a level of ambiguity and uncertainty that betokens, then fuels innovation and making the shift from being daunted to enticed and intrigued is a process.
And, though I’ve been through it enough times to know that something gorgeous lies on the other side, it is nonetheless a challenge to keep acting and moving the needle when you’re in enough flux to not know quite what direction the needle needs to be moved at any given time.
But this much I do know…
Sometimes action is more important than direction.
Because action becomes cause that leads to effect. To reaction, affirmation, correction and eventually direction followed by the building of momentum and impact on a level that not only didn’t exist, but wasn’t conceivable before.
There is a big qualifier here, though. And that is, your actions must have “some” level of origination, directionality and force.
They can’t just be purely reactionary. They’ve got to go beyond just responding to what others might decide should land in your lap at any given moment. They must be originated by you and move you, even just a smidge, outside the bounds of your current paradigm. Even if the direction of the movement isn’t the direction you’ll eventually end up traveling. And, you’ve got to assess, correct and build upon each action.
I can’t speak for you, but for me, I feel it in my heart and my gut. Literally. If my heart doesn’t start to pound, nor my stomach start flutter in anticipation of going further or in response to steps just taken, it’s very likely not quite right, quite yet. It’s a misfire, but that’s okay. Because learning what’s not right for you is as important as discovering your new direction.
And, by the way, what’s right for you today, may’ve been plum nuts for you 10 years ago. And, vice versa.
Live here and now. Act. Kill the missteps, give birth to new steps, build around what your heart, gut and mind tell you is where you need to go.
Heros, leaders, visionaries, artists, renegades, rule-breakers, change-makers and just plain old people on a quest to engage with life on a more meaningful level all thrash.
We all flounder. We all struggle. We all go through periods of reckoning.
But, in the end, it’s the intuitive sense that the struggle will lead to something richer that fuels us. That keeps us questioning and acting when it would be so much easier to just settle back into and milk your last moment of glory.
So, here’s to the struggle. I don’t invite it, but I do embrace it.
As my friend, Steven Pressfield wrote:
“F**k self-doubt. I despise it. I hold it in contempt, along with the hell-spawned ooze-pit of Resistance from which it crawled. I will NEVER back off. I will NEVER give the work anything less than 100%. If I go down in flames, so be it. I’ll be back.”
How about you?
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