The moment when I don’t know what is going to happen next has become the moment that makes me unbelievably excited, and terrified.
I’ve gone through so many phases in my life, flitting between being so comfortable to the point that life got too repetitive, to full-blown discomfort and feeling completely lost.
Looking back, I am grateful for every single experience I have had so far. Yet, I can’t help but notice that it’s been those unknown times that terrified me to my bones, that have brought about some of the best things in my life.
Not getting into my “top” university (or so I thought) led me to take a year out, travel to Ghana, meet the most amazing people and create memories that still remain so strong today. If I’d have settled and gone for a university that I wasn’t so keen on that year, I would never have ended up at Leeds University, which was probably the best few years of my life to date.
Looking back on my first job out of university, it was so incredibly dull that I wanted to poke my eyes out most days of the week. But actually, if I had been in an amazing, creative job from the get-go, maybe I wouldn’t have found myself googling “I want to travel the world” or “should I do a yoga teacher training”. Because that’s exactly why I ended up enrolling in my first ever yoga teacher training way back in 2013 – I was feeling lost, unfulfilled, uninspired, and in desperate need of a challenge I could get my teeth into. I am so grateful that working in this corporate, energy-sucking job helped me to discover such a huge passion of mine: yoga.
We often get stuck in predictable patterns in life, where familiarity becomes something we crave. We go the same way to work, eat the same foods day in day out, think the same thoughts, have the same belief patterns. Life, when too predictable, becomes very…beige.
Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with predictability, and I definitely don’t want to demonise it. But where is the exploration? The curiosity? The variety?
When we are forced outside of our comfort zones, flung into the unknown, stripped of everything we once knew, things start to shift within us. Yes, it feels horrendous at the time, and for me the fear I get when I feel out of control is something I still struggle with. Sometimes change feels incredibly scary, so we stay. We stay feeling stuck, uninspired, and safe. It takes a huge amount of courage, and a great leap of faith to venture into something completely unknown, because we have no idea of what the outcome will be. We are blind to the future, and all we can do is to follow our heart and our passions.
When we dive headfirst in, we grow. Facing the fear is 100% crucial for any kind of growth, and it’s something I’ve learned along the way, sometimes involuntarily. Most of us are so used to dismissing that little voice inside our head that says, “hey, I would so love to do that”, or “There’s got to be something better out there – is this it?” I’ve dismissed my inner voice many times, but I’m learning more and more to listen to it when it whispers.
Let’s dive into everything we’re curious about with courage AND terror. Fear is healthy – until it becomes so bad that we avoid taking any sort of action. So the next time that little voice comes into your head, tune in. Notice the fear around it, and lean in even further. Make friends with that feeling, befriend the unknown. Expand, evolve, thrive.