Recently, I spoke with a friend of mine who was nearing her weight loss goals. These goals were of significance as she has been battling excess weight most of her life. Losing 40 plus pounds by walking and eating clean, she was a testament to adopting meaningful changes and making them work for yourself. Becoming an active healthy example for her family she was invigorated in her life and a bubbling presence to be around these days (not to mention that her skin and hair looked amazing). She and I met over egg whites and green tea one morning to talk about all her success. I had not seen her in some time and she was down another 10 pounds. She excitedly chatted about how often she walked, the way she was cooking for herself and her family, and her eyes lit up as she mentioned the kayaking trip she and her husband were planning for early summer. I was thrilled to see her excitement and near the end of breakfast as she pushed the last of her omelet around her plate I told her how happy I was for her that she was so close to her goal, a goal that had eluded her all her life. Her unicorn. That’s when she dropped the bombshell. Sighing and visibly shrinking in her seat she said, “What will I do once I get there? This goal has been in me for so long, I don’t know a life without it. I’ve always wanted this… it’s so close but I’m afraid of what will happen when I get there.”
And there it was. It was like a shift in the weather, like the sunshine was sucked out of the room. She was terrified of getting what she wanted most. That getting to her summit would signify the end of an odyssey and would initiate a let down off a major high and anything to follow was new terrain she couldn’t possibly fathom. She was afraid that the beauty of the dream might be more beautiful than the dream itself and not strong enough to keep her going. Sitting there in a fully transformed body, I realized that she had one battle left in her that would have to happen inside. One that all of us are faced with and that what she chose to do now would ultimately determine the trajectory of her success short and long term. Would she burn out or would she ignite new dreams and evolve into herself and find new unicorns to chase?
I believe that is the thing that is so often responsible for holding us back from achievement and long term success. Fear of failure, fear of success (yep, fear of success), fear of change. Fear can be immobilizing but the only way we can expect to have our lives forever evolving for the better in a way we can sustain is by facing that fear, acknowledging its presence, and doing what’s necessary to move past it.
So many of the perceived successes on our journey towards wellbeing are seen and measured by what is visible from the outside…pounds gone, inches lost, and improved performance; but where the true change lies in inside of us. That is where we have to get our minds, hearts, and souls aligned so that we aren’t just successful meeting short term goals but we are successful in effectively making positive movements in our lives that are everlasting. They are a series of changes that will persist our entire lives that constitute a cycle of constant evolution. Those changes are altogether different and initially invisible to the outside world looking in, but those changes are the ones that will guide everything about the rest of our lives and will ultimately be visible because they will guide our actions, behaviors, and lifestyles in a new and more enriching, more connected, fulfilled way that will impact every person we come in contact with.
Our Deepest Fear…
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Fear cannot keep us from reaching our goals because the thing is, there will always be a new dream to chase down. A new and equally elusive unicorn to capture, and as we evolve so will our goals. As we meet them one-by-one we’ll be not just making ourselves better but we’ll be bettering the lives of those we touch.
We finished our meal with small talk and smiles and after breakfast, standing in front of the restaurant, I hugged my friend tightly looked her in the eyes and told her again how proud I was of her success. Still seemingly tinged with some doubt, she thanked me and started walking towards her car. Turning back, she called out to me, “Hey, so tell me about this running thing that you do? Maybe chasing my next dream requires running shoes…” Atta girl…