...continued from Lent and my own desert
I made a profound discovery on Monday. It's taken me a couple days to process because I think I've stumbled on something that has played a major role in how I've lived my life.
In the previous Lent and my own desert post I talked about Mark and what he had to say on the subject of Lent being a time of self-discovery... particularly in the area of the uncomfortable, the fearful, the lonely: basically the ugly stuff in our lives. He recommended taking the 40 days of Lent to spend some time in "our own desert" to examine the bits and pieces that we find fearful, anxious, limiting or just plain scary.
After some really serious "mapping" of my habits, views, fears and anxieties, I've discovered a few key things about myself.
I'm a genius.
I'm undeniably intelligent.
I have endless skill
(including the skills that will allow me to get more skills)
I have opportunity.
I have abundance of resources - especially in people.
All pretty positive stuff, right? So what's the problem?
Up until very recently I didn't recognize this stuff about me. It was easily dismissed (especially by me) as just the way things are. "Yah, so what? If I can do it, most certainly anyone can!" was my attitude.
Here's the show-stopper:
I have the knowledge
I have the skills
What I lack is the action. Putting into motion that which will achieve results.
So you're sitting back reading this saying "But Dave, it's so simple! All you need do is... DO! SOMETHING! ANYTHING!"
Yes, but in my mind it's always been "What if?"
What if it doesn't work?
I'll have wasted ALL that time, energy, resource on what? Something that didn't come to fruition.
What if it does work?
It'll be a runaway train - something I can't control! If it (whatever it is) works, it will be of such magnitude I maybe won't have the knowledge or skills to take it on successfully. Then what??!
"What if" has stopped me dead in my tracks for years.
So... wait a minute...
What if it works - successfully, yet moderately? What if the success is something I can manage?
Hey, maybe we're on to something here!
Coupled with this fear of failure/success is this fear of risk. I have somehow managed to talk myself into believing that risk - any risk - is great. Even if what I'm ACTUALLY risking is minimal, I TALK as though it's a risk of huge magnitude. So inside my head I say "Hmm... I'm gonna take a leap off this diving board and chances are there's no water in the pool. This is gonna hurt!" When in reality, hundreds of people jump off diving boards every day into the safe, pillowy cushion of the water below. OK, maybe not always pillowy, but safe.
Somewhere along the way I associated RISK with BIG. So ALL RISK or NO RISK have been my options. MODERATE risk has never been "on the table" for consideration.
What this comes down to is I think I've discovered a way to take action.
I could adopt a MODERATE RISK attitude.
If every chance I take for growth has now a MODERATE risk factor, I think it will drastically affect the outcome of many of my decisions to come.