Fear of change can sometimes be difficult to see. When our ego is in charge, it dresses fear into a sensible disguise. It's the voice of reason. It wants to avoid risk. It protects you from making a fool of yourself. It doesn't want you to experience disappointment. It pretends it will keep you safe.
All of ego's defence mechanisms may sound good in the short run but will end up hurting you in the long run. This internal voice can sound sensible, but in fact it's a voice of resistance, resistance to change, resistance to step into the unknown.
This resistance to change is like an armour. It keeps you separated from your true purpose and flow.
When I started my DrivenWoman journey almost five years ago I was resisting change. I was scared to say out loud that I wanted more; that I wanted to make an impact, that I wasn't happy with the way we defined success. I didn't have confidence in myself to make a bigger life happen.
My worries were nothing but my ego holding onto an illusion of safety.
What I have discovered for myself and later for hundreds of women who have since joined the DrivenWoman movement, is that practising vulnerability once a month has had a dramatic effect on my courage and confidence. By sharing my dreams and aspirations, my worries and fears, my triumphs and failures I have reduced ego's grip on my choices. It's like once a month I take a little pickaxe and I hammer away a small piece of the armour. It's very liberating.
I got interested in our internal resistance to fear so I talked to flow specialist Anja Vintov who studied fear in order to understand how to go through it. In this video interview she explains that life expands when we do things we’d rather not do, things that are frightening.
Bigger life starts with an acknowledgement that you are afraid of something but you can move towards it.
When we stop running from our fear we start facing ourselves, and stop letting fear dominate our life. Anja even suggests you should fall in love with your fear. Then you will start to see your world from a different perspective.
Flow is the opposite of resistance.
Flow is about living without preconceptions or expectations. It's about trusting that you can face a challenge if it arises. It's not about being passive or giving away to negativity and failure. Flow involves a trust in your path and not letting your fear and the internal voice of ego dominate your life.
"We feel safe behind the familiar boundaries the ego has created. Being totally open without expectations, open unbounded awareness is safe. The only place without fear is total openness, a place where the present moment can do what ever it likes because we are secure in ourselves." - Deepak Chopra
I've seen this time and time again in our Lifeworking groups. When we voice our fears we let go of them. We are afraid of complete openness and vulnerability but that for me is the only gateway to creating the life we really want.
It's important to build that confidence because we all doubt our choices at times. When life's circumstances try to push you off track you can stay on your path because you have found real security in your purpose, in who you are, not your ego. Nobody's opinion is can then change your mind and you will find a way to keep going.
Too often people look for a shortcut to a bigger life.
They want to find a way without facing their fears or letting go of resistance. I'm yet to see that work. Trying to solve things with a 'quick fix', they end up going around in circles in their own heads behind the protective armour of ego. "If only I can become successful without exposing myself and letting anyone know that I'm not perfect..."
You have to trust life to live it. The door is right there in front of you, all you have to do is open it and walk through. And oh, isn't it fantastic to find yourself on the other side of fear!
At DrivenWoman we have decided to knock our fears with a hammer in the head, together. Every month we are choosing openness and vulnerability as we share our progress towards the bigger life we have chosen to explore. For us moving forward is much more important than letting our ego keep us stuck. We believe that by unconditionally supporting one another we can all create the life we really want.
Join DrivenWoman Lifeworking groups where like-minded women support each other to bigger life in monthly member groups, or learn more about starting your own Lifeworking group in your area.