You may or may not have known that I have been away on a trip to Australia and New Zealand. If you didn’t know, you may have thought I dropped off the face of the Earth. In some ways, I guess I did. I had intended to write the occasional blog while I was traveling. But in typical Elisabeth style, I bit off more than I could chew. I was balancing my normal summer parenting, a relatively full call schedule, 3 full-day workshops and a trip to two countries I have always wanted to visit. Needless to say, my parts were pulled in 15 directions. And my system was in chaos.
That said, this was the trip of a lifetime. For more reasons than I can list, this trip was a catalyst for driving my life in new purposeful directions. It exhausted me and fueled my reason for being. I tested the waters on traveling bigger, working globally and balancing parenting with purpose. I let all the restrictions and rules go by the wayside. I said goodbye to the old contracts. And I dismissed the idea that the risks would be too great. The disastrous consequences my defenders foresaw did not come to fruition. But simultaneously, it did not go perfectly. And for these reasons, my system was in a bit of chaos.
I decided to make this first blog about what happens when we take purposeful steps on a new scale. It isn’t what we think, but it is what we think. Understanding how this works can keep us from being stopped in our tracks when we take the chance and try new things. So let’s look at what I learned.
Not everyone will agree with your authentic steps. When we get authentic, it has a tendency to scare people. It scares them because it invites them to look at how they are holding themselves back. And they don’t want to look at that. The most confusing part is that we won’t know they are scared. They will come across as logical with their rules and restrictions about how life works. They will preach about responsibility and money and all the socially acceptable reasons to hold back. And if they don’t do this in blatant form, they may come at us with passive aggressive comments instead. This banter will make us question ourselves. That is inevitable. But we can’t stop.
There will be inner obstacles at every turn. Let’s face it. Our systems have been programmed for survival. Risk-taking is strictly forbidden by the majority of our defenses. When we start to step out, we will hear screaming from inner parts who might have been whispering before. The resistance will get loud. They will scream about our irresponsibility, our inevitable failure, our stupidity, our blatant disregard for the rules and anything else they can think of. And we will consider how crazy it is to take these steps. But we can’t stop.
When things work out, there will be inner turmoil. Our inner parts are wired for trauma. They are wired to handle disasters in the blink of an eye. When the disasters don’t happen, it will send the system into a tailspin. The parts will scramble trying to recreate the rules into something that makes sense with this new information. Confusion will set in. We may feel exhausted and dissociated. And emotions and memories might come up for release. Our biggest wins will potentially come with the biggest inner turmoil. It won’t feel good. But we can’t stop.
Not everything is going to be perfect the first time. That isn’t a fail. That is supposed to happen. Contrary to the controller’s understanding of the world, it does not have to be perfect to be right. As a matter of fact, perfection will never happen the first time. Even our most authentic actions will come with learning curves. But when something doesn’t go perfectly, our defenses will tell us that it isn’t meant to be. They will say we should shut it down and give up. They will tell us we must be on the wrong path. They will try to convince us that others’ purposeful work never came with such difficulty. They will say we must be on the wrong path if it is so difficult. But we can’t stop.
As I return from this purposeful trip, I want you to know what I have learned. I want to arm you with the information that will keep you moving on the hardest journey. I want you to know what to expect. When things get the toughest, you are heading in the right direction. Whether you are taking a trip, becoming more visible in your work or exploring risks in your personal life, please remember this. When the internal and external nay-sayers get the loudest, you are doing the right things. Stop letting the restrictions win. You are not meant to live a life behind the bars of your past. Honor your fears. Let them express. Ignore the “logic” of others. And take the step.