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Our Biggest Fear Is Our Own Greatness

One thing I have found in both my professional and personal life is that I often get stuck in fear,  afraid to do the things that will bring success. 

The other day, when I stopped to ask myself why I am afraid to do these things, I realized I am afraid that if I were to keep moving forward and actually reach my goals that I will no longer be able to use the same excuses I have been using for years. I will no longer be able to feel sorry for myself or feel as if I don’t have control over my circumstances. 

As I lay in bed last summer recovering from recurrent infections related to Lyme disease, there came a moment like this where I asked myself truly and honestly – why was I not getting better, after months of antibiotics, acupuncture and herbal treatments?

And I saw that on a deep level I was afraid to get better because then I would have no excuses to fuel my long-held “poor me” story. I was struggling to accept on a deep core level that I actually do have a lot of power and control over my own life. 

Staying Safe

It felt familiar and safe (on some subconscious level) to blame circumstances and people around me for the things about my life I wasn’t happy with. It was easier to remain in this victimized state rather than to recognize how much power and choice I DO have to change my own circumstances. 

Laying in bed at that time, I recognized that if I were to recover from Lyme, I would have to accept that I have everything I had always wanted in life - and honestly, this might sound kind of crazy, but this absolutely terrified me. 

Why was this so scary? For years I had been telling myself a different story culminating with me getting sick with Lyme and I realized the “poor me” story I had been telling myself for years was no longer helping me move forward, it was now just holding me back. Yet, the prospect of switching my focus from the things I don’t want (Lyme ect) to all the things I do want (vibrant health ect) wasn’t going to be easy. 

It’s not easy for us to change our story. This can feel like a death to the ego we have spent years cultivating and crafting. Our ego is just trying to keep us safe and when things are stable and there’s not a lot of change, it feels safe. This is the preferred state of our ego and why change is our ego’s biggest enemy. 

Ironically, it’s change that fuels our self-growth and development as human beings. Which is why it can be hard to find a balance between these two states - safety and taking a risk to make a positive change in our lives. 

Re-Writing Your Story

In my recovery from my illness I realized it was time to start telling myself a new story. One that started with “lucky me” rather than “poor me.” 

So I started small - “lucky me that I have a career that allows me to rest during the day and manage my own schedule so I can care for my health.” 

“Lucky me that I get to do such meaningful work that inspires me to care for my body and get better so I can continue to do this work that I love.” 

“Lucky me that I know so much about how to recover after taking antibiotics and dealing with chronic illness because I wrote a book about this topic.” 

Slowly, I started to tell myself a new story that reflected the life I wanted. 

Once I made the choice to change my story I felt inspired to take action on my “new” stories which started to change my daily habits and my health slowly continued to improve. 

These actions are the embodiment of our intention and are so powerful that even one little action a day, when inspired from this new story we are creating, has the power to completely change who we are. 

One action could look like writing in your journal, meditating in a slightly different style than you have for years, trying a new healthy recipe, or reaching out to someone for help. These little actions each day add up and in a year you could find yourself in a completely different life from the one you’re living now, a life like you’d always wanted. 

What stories have you been telling yourself that are no longer serving you? 

What is a new story that feels true to the person you want to become? See if you can get into the shoes of your future self who has already reached your goals and ask them to tell you their story.


Author: SkillfulMeans Staff


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