"There are always two voices sounding in our ears – the voice of FEAR and the voice of CONFIDENCE. One is the clamor of the senses, the other is the whispering of the higher self.” – Charles Newcomb I love Newcomb’s quote because it captures the emotions we experience when facing new situations and making important decisions at Crucial Crossroads.
We can give in to the clamor of the senses or honor the whispering of our higher self and move our life forward – for good.
The importance of this was dramatically demonstrated in an outing I took with my friend Leslie years ago on New Year’s Day.
I was still living in Hawaii at the time. The winter surf was booming so we ventured out to the North Shore of Oahu to tackle the waves at Hawaii’s famous Waimea Bay.
Leslie and I were both strong swimmers. I paticipanted in the Waikiki Rough Water Swim and Leslie was a “fish” who was completely comfortable in the water. Plus, we were only going to the inside set, not out by the jetty where the really big waves were.
But still . . .
Leslie and I stood on the beach with our boogie boards, wondering, “Should we go in . . . shouldn’t we go in?”
If we went in, we could get turned inside out, upside down and deposited on the beach.
On the other hand, we could have an incredibly exhilarating experience, the thrill of a lifetime.
Twenty minutes later, we were still standing on the beach, wondering, “Should we . . . . shouldn’t we . . . should we . . . . shouldn’t we?”
We finally looked at each other simultaneously and said, “Let’s go in. We’ll never know standing out here.”
I remember as if it were yesterday working our way out past that surf line, hanging onto our boards, gazing out towards the horizon with a mixture of awe and what-have-we done?
An impressive set rolled toward us. We looked at each other wide-eyed, filled with equal parts of excitement and anxiety, wondering whether to go for it. We knew once we committed, there was no turning back. You can’t tell an 8 foot wave, “Sorry, I changed my mind.”
We decided to go for it. We kicked as hard as we could to match the speed of the wave and caught it. The swell lifted us up and shot us forward. Whoosh.
I remember sliding down the face of that wave, cutting back and forth as we rode it all the way in until we scraped our bellies on the beach.
We looked at each other, grinning from ear to ear, nodded in agreement and went back out for another shot of adrenaline. It was one of the most intense experiences of my life. I will always be glad we listened to the voice of confidence instead of the voice of fear.
Are you at a Crucial Crossroads? Do you want to try something new - speak at a conference, launch a startup, write a book, ask for a promotion, go back to college, train for a 10K?
Are you standing on the beach going, “Should I . . .shouldn’t I . . . should I . . . shouldn’t I?’
You’ll never know standing on the beach.
We're not here to stand on the shore, giving in to doubts. We're here to GO IN.
Soren Kierkegaard said, “We always experience anxiety whenever we confront the potential of our own development.”
Do what makes you anxious; don’t do what makes you depressed.
I have never met anyone who regretted listening to the voice of confidence instead of the voice of fear. We don't regret going for our dreams – even if they don't turn out the way we anticipated.
When we act on our hopes (instead of our doubts) and reach out for what puts the light on in our eyes, we feel an inner sense of rightness, “This is how I’m supposed to feel.”
When we retreat, withdraw and give in to fear, the lights goes out. We feel safe, but sorry.
When we believe in our self and bet on our self, things just keep getting better and better.
Sometime this week you’ll come to a Crucial Crossroad. You'll be called to do something that resonates with you, that aligns with the person you want to be, you know you can be.
Which voice will you choose to listen to?
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Sam Horn, CEO/Founder of the Intrigue Agency, is on a mission to help people create compelling communications that add value for all involved. Check out her books and TEDx talk on INTRIGUE. Discover why her work has been featured in NY Times, Forbes, INC, Fast Company and presented to Intel, Cisco, NASA, Accenture, Capital One, YPO and EO.