She said, “Joe, I mastered the art of not getting what I want in my life.”
She went on to share examples of a failed marriage, an uninspiring career, and an uncertain future. She told me how she was on the verge of giving up hope; that the waves kept knocking her down. She felt she was running out of options and running thin on hope.
I remember the look in her weathered eyes when she asked me, “Is there any hope for me?”
Life can be tough. We all know that; and it is easy to get caught up in trying to make a living, paying the bills, raising kids, eating right, and so on. The next thing we know, that birthday with a “0” or a “5” is coming up, reminding us just exactly how far we have NOT come.
I smiled and said, “What you need isn’t hope. What you need is YOU. And that is something you have always had within you. You must access that part of you... the part of you that recognizes the truth: You are more than you’ve allowed yourself to become. Just because you have not stepped up in the past doesn’t mean that you can’t make a new choice right now. Your past does not equal your future. The question is: Will you let go of the familiar and comfortable for what you truly desire?
There are two worlds in which we can live. The world of comfort and the world of growth. Comfort is addictive and seductive, but there is no fulfillment in comfort. We are wired to grow. Yes it is uncertain, but it is part of who we are at our core. When we step out into the unknown, we grow and become more. As we become more, we then have more to share with ourselves and others. Through growth and contribution is where we feel fulfillment. It is not always easy, but it is the path we must all take.
She looked at me me with a nervous smile and said, “It has been so long since I really let go and embraced changed. I know I can do it, but my fear is: what if I fail?” I chuckled and said, “Don’t worry, you WILL fail, and you will learn how to get back up stronger, with more resolve than before.” Her face lit up and for once I saw her first real smile as she said, “I think I would really like that. I’ve lived in comfort and fear long enough. I am tired of waiting, tired of trying, it is time to break free!”
We all have the resources within us to create the life we want. Sometimes all we need is the courage to let go of comfort and embrace who we are and what we can achieve, accomplish, and become. In the case of my client, with a little coaching and guidance, she now lives in growth; unafraid and ready to achieve her dreams.