I’ve been on a kick with Brian Andres’ art. Truthfully, it’s less the art and more the words. He has such a simple way of saying things that impact me. Words that perfectly state what I’m already thinking about. I recently wrote about choosing your path forward and the values that drive you. So his words in this piece spoke to me.
There’s another side to it though, one that sets up road blocks for me on a regular basis, fear. I am not a therapist but some days feel like I could play one on TV. One of the things I know is that sometimes, people (and when I say people, yes, that includes me), are presented with a new way of approaching life, or their decisions. And they may move down that new path, but then find themselves going back to the old way they did things. The old way may include pain, or difficulty. But they know it. They know how to operate in that zone, they know it won’t kill them.
So how do you break out of that cycle? How do you ditch your getaway car, your contingency plan? For good.
Honestly, it’s tricky. It takes a conscious effort. In my own experience I’ve circled back more times than I care to say. In my “new life” I require myself to be authentic…shoot, I’m still figuring out what that really is for me…to speak truth, to be brave. I knew I needed a constant reminder to be brave, so I tattoo’d it on my wrist, no kidding. Going back to the old ways I didn’t like but knew wouldn’t kill me, the old dance routine that I knew the moves to, that would be easy. The new life isn’t always easy.
So how to continue stepping forward? Get clarity. That part is easier said than done sometimes. Take a minute and think about your values. The ones you’ve identified as important in your life. Now take a second look. Are your values based on what’s important to you or instead, a fear? Here’s what I mean. Take responsibility. Big value of mine, big big. But if I’m truthful, although responsibility is a good thing, I think I gravitate to it because of the fear of being irresponsible. Irresponsibility, in my mind, is bad, shameful, says that I’m a bad person. Whether it does or doesn’t is immaterial, really, it’s what I tell myself.
If you start to think about your values, and are truthful with yourself in identifying what drives them, it will help with clarity. Fear is something that can crop up in a lot of unsuspecting ways, this is just one of them. When you have clarity about why you’re making decisions, why you’re choosing the brave new life, it’ll make it easier to sell off your getaway car. I won’t say I’m 100% there, but I can say I’m a lot closer. I have buyers for my getaway car. I’ve dipped more than my toe in the new life and am ready to jump in.
How about it? Ready to really ditch your getaway car, to be brave? You don’t have to tattoo it on your wrist, but whatever it is that helps you keep looking forward, for the right reasons, get that thing. That’s my challenge to you. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone. Whatever tools you need, whether it be a symbol, a person, or something else, do it. The new life awaits!