Elizabeth Gilbert (@elizabeth_gilbert_writer), author of Big Magic - one of my favorite books (highly recommended!) - tweeted this quote years ago and I saved it to my notes before I really even understood it.
On Friday, I published a blog post about my fear of commitment and the behavioral pattern that’s developed over the years, holding me back from what I truly desire in life. I had hesitated on it for days prior, afraid to publish it.
Last night, after watching personal messages and emails pour in over the weekend, I sat down to answer every single one (as I’ll always remain committed to doing) and am at a loss for words at the ways in which we as humans have the capacity to learn from each other. I sobbed, laughed (with you!), read and reread so many of them over and over again. Messages from both men and women who were able to self reflect - and to paraphrase the consistent theme - “Diagnose and own what I’ve known all along.”
I cannot express how happy this makes me without it sounding so corny I’m sure the unfollow button would be tapped more times than I’d like. But what I can say, is finding the courage to publish that post on courage (ironic) came from asking myself what the hell I’m so afraid of. The answer; calling my own bullshit. Tearing down that protective barrier and throwing away all the building materials. Now that it’s out there, I can’t really run that game again. I can’t hide anymore. And to be honest, that was really hard for me because it’s a wall I’ve spent a lifetime building. It’s not easy to stand out in the unknown after that kind of investment.
So to those of you choosing to calmly pause, bravely reflect, and call your own bullshit - I praise you. Amongst those messages, someone wrote about the comfort of staying in that protective place even though it’s not serving them anymore then asked, “You sure the water’s warm on the other side?” My answer; “I’m willing to find out. It's got to be warmer than the water we've been treading in, that’s for sure.”
Life by Design was born out of a need for my own self-healing after decades of unresolved illness. It wasn’t until finding the courage to look within that I discovered it was my own belief system holding me back from experiencing a truly thriving life. We all have access to that thriving life. We just need to rediscover our power and ignite the healing-self. Only then can we unapologetically live a life by our own design.