You know that moment where you are embarking on new territory in your life? Where you are stepping away from what has sustained you to begin the adventure of life’s next puzzle piece? Maybe you’ve experienced this if you’ve had multiple children, or you’ve added a new pet into your life? Or you’ve left a job you had been at for a long while for a new job? Or you ended or began a relationship? Life is filled with moments where we have to let go to take the next step.
Letting go, in my opinion, requires us to trust in uncertainty. We don’t genuinely know what will transpire when we release our familiar knowings for that of something new. Our trust in life, and in ourselves allows us to take this leap of faith into the unknown. We have to be willing to fail, as well as accept that we could also succeed. We have to accept that we might get emotionally hurt or be challenged to grow. Letting go takes courage.
I’ve been experiencing the fine wrappings of letting go over these past couple of months as I adjust my life to accommodate for the study time needed to successfully navigate graduate school. My initial belief that I could still maintain my ‘old life,’ and simply add in the new, proved short-lived. With my schedule changes, I lost long-time massage clients, as well as having to give up a portion of my animal care services. It’s been emotionally intense to change what I have loved to venture into this new, unknown territory where uncertainty exists.
But, let’s be honest, part of that uncertainty is also an inner sense of certainty. That inner knowing that however we land, with this new venture, that we will survive. It can take a long time to get to that place in life. I can think of many years where I wouldn’t have ever considered trusting in myself with that kind of certainty. Perhaps you have had years like that in your life, as well? Perhaps, while I have no scientific proof, we all have experienced this stalemate in our life where our fears outweighed our trust in ourselves, and in life.
So, how do we build our courage? And once we’ve owned our leap of faith, how do we celebrate the uncertainty that comes with it? Well, first I think it’s important to understand where the desire for the change is coming from within us. Is it motivated by our personal aspirations, by a desire to serve the greater good, to seek emotional relief, to ease a pain, to seek a better life, to prove our worth to ourselves, to prove our worth to others; there are likely a mixture of many motivators to each leap of faith that a person takes in their life. Knowing what your motivation is will certainly help guide you through the potential challenges that will likely arise. Knowing our internal source, or drive, can help us find that needed courage to genuinely make a significant change.
How are you with uncertainty? Personally, while the routine is comforting, it often doesn’t hold as many personal growth opportunities as uncertainty does. I know who I am in my normal day-to-day, I know the most common obstacles and the emotional stamina it will take to navigate them in a way I deem successful. But uncertainty, well, let’s be honest, there is a good chance we are going to at least fall and scrape a knee, if not take a full nose dive. But that’s kind of the beauty, isn’t it? We don’t take leaps of faith to maintain the status quo. We take them for the full experience of life. The potential highs and the perceived lows; we want to know our life from this new perspective.
So, when was the last time you let go of something to take that leap of faith into the unknown? Can you remember how it felt? Amidst your fear did you also feel invigorated and alive? If you were going to take another leap of faith in your life, what might it be towards? What are the perceived obstacles that cause your hesitation? What if you could remind yourself that those fears, or anticipated failures, are there to be motivators? How would your perception of them change? How would your perceptions of who you are change?
Letting go, especially of things we love, or have held dear for a long time, can feel impossible. But, as life continues to come, one day followed by the next, there are horizons awaiting your landing feet as you take that leap of faith.