Have you ever faced a time in your life where you wanted to make a big change and yet, you were too terrified of making it happen?
Maybe you wanted to end a relationship or start a new business, or perhaps change careers?
Whatever change you desire, there is one thing that will always slow you down and keep you stuck from making it happen.
The fear of the unknown.
Did you know that this fear actually has a name? Xenophobia. Derived from the Greek word ’Xenos‘ meaning "foreigner of stranger" and Phobos which means ’morbid fear‘. This fear is totally irrational and yet, so many of us have it to some degree.
So, why do we feel afraid of stepping into the unknown?
A lot of it has to do with the way our ego works. Our ego likes to be in control and unless it feels safe and secure, it will partner up with our imagination and start playing the "what if" game.
"What if I make a mistake?"
"What it it’s worse than what I have now?"
"What if I fail?"
The problem is that we can never win this game. Our ego is so sophisticated and sneaky that we actually begin to believe the negative outcomes of out "what ifs". We become focused on imaging worst case scenarios and worry ourselves into action paralysis.
Ten years ago I was in this exact same place.
After a thriving twenty year career as a designer, I woke up one day to realize that I was done.
And then my ego freaked out.
My design firm was highly profitable, we were working with some of our biggest dream clients and by now I’d built myself a solid name and a trusted brand in the industry. I’d be crazy to give that all up, right?
Yet, underneath all that, deep inside, my soul was feeling crushed.
I couldn’t imagine what my life would look like if I wasn’t designing.
What could I do?
How could I make enough money to sustain my current lifestyle?
What am I even good at besides designing?
My Xenophobia was out of control. In fact, it brought on a depression that became my norm. A state I don’t wish on anyone.
Even though I felt I was done with being a designer, I wasn’t willing to admit it. My ego was gripping on in fear of losing control. For three years I found every excuse to push through my days. I felt stuck, unhappy and unmotivated.
I finally sought help. I hired a coach who masterfully and lovingly woke me up and guided me towards making the decision my soul was waiting for me to make.
After close to a year of deep coaching and spiritual clean up work, I mustered up the courage to take a risk and close my firm even though I had nothing else lined up.
I learned to trust the unknown.
But I also learned to trust something I became disconnected from over the years - my creativity and my power. Through our deep work together I reconnected with that part of myself that was dormant and once that woke up, I was able to drown out the negative "what ifs" soundtrack and begin hearing the positive ones.
"What if everything will actually work out better than now?"
"What if I will make more money than I ever had as a designer?"
"What if I find joy in fulfillment in whatever happens next?"
These were motivating "what ifs," questions that lifted up my spirit and brought hope and curiosity. Once I was able to ask these questions and believe in my power and creativity to make anything I want happen, making the decision to close my firm and moving on wasn’t so much of a challenge anymore.
My coach helped me raise my belief in myself. He helped me raise my self-esteem and learn to identify and stop listening to the negative voices of my fears.
Once I took action on my decision, it was amazing to see how things unfolded so quickly from that point on. It was as if the universe was waiting for me to make a move so it could begin to shower me with opportunities.
In hindsight, I wish I hadn’t waited three years before making a big change in my life. Only because of the depression I experienced along the way. But on the other hand, my own transformational process has given me incredible tools and insights into helping the people I coach change their lives in unbelievable ways.
Nowadays, when I’m faced with wanting to change something big in my life, it doesn’t take me three years to do something about it. That’s because I learned to trust. The faith I have in my creativity and my in power is strong enough to move me forward towards making a change.
And so can you. Things will always work out for you if you let go of your fear and listen to what your soul wants. Be soul driven in your decisions and everything will always work out. That’s a promise.
Peleg Top is a business development coach and a love advocate. He helps entrepreneurs and managers in the creative industry become better leaders, better communicators and better human beings. Get more advice and other goodies from Peleg in your inbox here ».