Awesome Josh asks: “I have been thinking about what I am wanting to do with my life recently, (the future and all that), and I was wondering what your thoughts were on Taking Risks as to Playing it Safe. The reason I ask is because when I have had some opportunities in the past year to change my situation (e.g. work), I have not taken them because I felt in myself they weren’t right for me, but I am partly wondering, as I continue to grow, will I be able to take risks when it matters, and if so, will I know? Any advice/thoughts would be much appreciated on this subject.”
Dear Awesome Josh,
What a great question. This is something that all of us struggle with. LOA teaches us to focus on what we want, clean up the resistance (focus on it in a way that feels good), detach (don’t NEED it to happen in order to feel good), and get out of the way (focus on what you want instead of the fact that it hasn’t shown up yet.) And then, the manifestations will come. But we don’t really ever talk about what happens when they do, do we? Well, let’s change that today.
When wanted manifestations are scary
Yes, you can manifest something that you want, something you’ve wanted for a very long time, and paradoxically, it can scare the crap out of you when it arrives. “But how can this be?” you may be asking. Why would the Universe be so cruel as to finally give you what you want only to do it in a way that’s uncomfortable for you?
Well, the Universe isn’t at fault here. It’s always trying to give you what you want. It’s you who has to let it in or not. Now, when you’re moving from a vibrational state of “Not even remotely ready for this thing I want” to “Pretty damn close to ready”, the manifestations will start to flow in. Sometimes they do so slowly and gently, but if your desire is strong and your energy is therefore fast moving, you may well manifest something that’s just a teensy bit outside of your comfort zone. It’s something you want (or at least a piece of it), but you’re not QUITE ready for it. And so, it evokes just a bit of anxiety or some other sign of resistance. When this happens, what do you do? Do you run like hell, potentially missing out on a great opportunity, or do you dive in, fear be damned?
Is this even something I want?
Before you decide to run and hide or stay and fight, you’ll first want to determine if this manifestation is something that you want or something you don’t want. This is going to be easier than you think! You know what you want. If something is even remotely related to any of that, it’s a “positive” manifestation. Even if it’s scary. It may be a manifestation you’re not quite ready for, but even that will simply be a sign that you’ve got a bit more vibrational cleaning up to do, and the specifics of what scares you will often help you figure out what that is.
Just because it’s scary and a bit uncomfortable, doesn’t mean that something has gone wrong, that you’re not supposed to have what you want, or that this thing you want isn’t going to be good for you (which, it has to be pointed out, is NEVER the case!). It means you’ve still got some negative associations (“This thing I want may come at a high price, which I may not be willing to pay”), and/or, aren’t quite yet ready to believe that what you want is even possible. The Universe is not waiving something you want in your face going “Neener, neener, you want it but you can’t have it” (because the Universe is not an asshole); it’s simply showing you what you still need to shift in order to step fully into what you want.
Don’t ever mistake the fear towards an action as a sign that you can’t have what you want or that this positive manifestation, which seems to lead right to your desire, isn’t a sign that you’re getting closer.
When to stay and when to run
So, if it looks like something that you want, it is. But if there’s fear, there’s obviously resistance. So, when do you go for it and when do you back off? Well, everyone has a different threshold of discomfort they’re willing to deal with. Mine used to be very, very high. I didn’t care about the fear, if there was something with even a hint of what I wanted in my reality, I barreled towards it at full speed. Of course, I got beat up pretty badly in the process. I essentially tried to overcome resistance with action.
For example, if I wasn’t manifesting the promotion I wanted, I’d apply at different companies (not out of inspiration, out of pure force of will) until I was hired into the position I wanted. Of course, I didn’t bother to clean up my vibration first, so many of the issues I’d been dealing with at my old company followed me. I’d have to struggle and fight and learn a whole lot of uncomfortable lessons until I actually fit into the role I’d been given and felt the way I’d wanted to feel all along. I did always end up getting what I wanted, but it was in the hardest way possible. I shoehorned myself into my manifestations well before I was ready for them.
Now, I’m no longer as willing to put up with that much pain. Even when manifestations come, I don’t necessarily take advantage of them if I’m not ready. I know that more opportunities will continue to show up, but it’ll be a lot more comfortable to take advantage of them if I spend just a little more time shifting my vibration.
My own, personal litmus test is this: If it feels scary but exciting, move forward. If it feels terrifying and like someone is twisting your intestines into a knot, back off.
If you’re not ready, you’re not ready
If the fear is too great, if it feels terrifying or the idea of moving forward causes anger in you and makes you feel like you want to punch someone, accept it. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you have to give up on what you want. You don’t. You simply have to back off a bit, soothe your fears, visualize a bit more and gently shift your energy closer to what you want.
Some of you may know that I used to be in a blues band. I’ve been singing all my life, and always excelled at it. I adored singing. Well, a few years ago, while I was still in the corporate environment, I lost my voice. I was simply no longer able to sing. I don’t mean that I couldn’t sing as well, and my perfectionist self deemed it unacceptable; I mean my voice was gone. There was either no sound at all when I tried to sing, or it honestly sounded like a cat being tortured to death. I was devastated and tried really hard to ignore the pain. After all, I was too busy to perform anyway. But merely listening to female singers performing a song that would’ve been perfect for my old voice reduced me to tears. It’s taken me a long time to make peace with the fact that this may, in fact, be a healing experience, and that the journey to get my voice back will bear a lot more fruit than just being able to sing again (and this is actually turning out to be the case).
I’ve been on the journey to get my voice back for quite some time now. I realized a while ago that this was not one issue, but a whole host of them all smooshed together. This wasn’t going to be an easy fix. Last year, I met an intuitive voice teacher who lives in my building. It seemed like the perfect manifestation! I’d book some sessions with her and she’d fix me right up! This was it! I was going to get my voice back. Only, I couldn’t seem to make myself book a session. I’d set the intention to but would always procrastinate. Months went by, and I still hadn’t called her. Finally, I had to admit that I simply wasn’t ready and stopped pushing myself to be. I backed off. It was clearly still too scary for me to move forward.
Two weeks ago, as I was taking a shower, I found myself spontaneously singing a little bluesy number. I was halfway through it before I realized what I was doing. And although my voice wasn’t great, and nowhere near where it used to be, it was a voice. There was control, there was warmth, there was expression. I was singing. This was only the second time I’ve sung since I lost my voice (the first was during a Shamanic Ceremony), and the first time “on my own” (i.e. while not being helped by anyone else’s energy). This was clearly a sign that I’m on the right track. I’m still not quite ready to book those lessons, but I’m much closer than I’ve ever been.
Not pushing through the massive fear is not going to stop you from moving forward. It simply means moving forward in a way that will get you where you want to go in one piece. It means less suffering.
If you do decide to step forward despite the fear
Having said that, it’s absolutely ok to step into a manifestation for which you’re not quite ready yet. If you’re close to being ready, you may feel a bit of fear, but it’ll pass quickly as you move forward. If you’re further away from being ready, you’ll experience a bumpy ride. But either way, you will, eventually, come to a place where you’re comfortable with the situation that’s manifested. You’ll acclimate. Let me give you an example:
I’ve written several times about how my business exploded last year, after I shifted some energy. I wanted more clients and more success, but I still had a wee bit of resistance. One of my biggest fears was that I’d get locked into being a total workaholic again. So, when the explosion came, it was awesome, but it also triggered this fear, big time. In fact, I actually experienced several bouts of anxiety, which wasn’t pleasant. I soothed my fears and kept on working on feeling better. I discovered different ways to organize myself. I acclimated to the new work load. It didn’t seem as hard to handle anymore. I relaxed and was able to enjoy the ride again.
Until… my business exploded again (I’m an ambitious little bugger). As soon as I hit my comfort level, I was torn out of it again (because the second I get comfy, I get bored and I ask for more. It’s my own fault this roller coaster ride, and honestly, I don’t think I’d have it any other way…). Suddenly, that bit of time I’d carved out was gone. I felt totally overwhelmed again. I’m actually still recovering from that growth spurt, still finding ways to acclimate and make my life easier. I’m building systems that will make it easier for me to bring in help, have automated several processes, have stopped doing certain things, and have re-prioritized. All of this is helping me to feel much more comfortable with the level of business I’ve achieved, and incidentally, helping me to get ready for the next stage, something I’m also already working on (I’ve got to be me).
You’re never going to be completely ready
The point is that both of these influxes of energy (business explosions) came just before I was ready for them. In fact, they helped me to get ready for them. The manifestations helped to get me ready for the manifestations. Think about it: how can you really be ready for something if you’ve never experienced it? How can you truly be prepared for an epic relationship if you’ve never had one? There’s always going to be some level of un-readiness you’ll have to overcome, and what better way than to get into an epic (or near epic) relationship and work through your fears as you go? The key, of course, being that the fears can’t be so great that they cause you to curl up into the fetal position.
If you’re reaching for growth, for new experiences, you’re never going to be 100% ready for them. If you were, it would mean that you’ve had that experience before, and then it wouldn’t be nearly as exciting, would it? The act of having the experience is what gets you ready for it. So, when you reach just outside your comfort zone (not WAY outside, just outside), you get to feel exhilarated, a bit off balance, a bit anxious, but also really, really excited. Are you ready for that?