Wed, Aug. 12

Personal growth comes from taking risks, having courage

Marta Adelsman

Marta Adelsman

Nothing presents us with comfort-zone busting challenges like standing on the edge of a psychological cliff.

Sometimes life calls us to leap into its unknowns. Taking risks and having courage in the face of these growth-producing challenges can bring us face-to-face with inner terror.

We encounter the edge in various situations, like changing the status of a relationship, switching a career or changing locations.

Maybe it happens when launching a project or varying a hairstyle.

Growth, at its finest, happens when we embrace this emotional/psychological challenge and leap off the precipice. The certainty of personal growth, however, does not prevent backing away from the rim out of panic. Taking risks can scare the crap out of us!

For a long time, I trembled on the brink of that cliff.

Faced with the challenge of sending my blogs out into the wider world through a web site I created myself, I allowed apprehension to yank the rug of courage from under my unsteady feet.

Dread kept me seeking distractions. Distraction uses different tactics, many of which may sound familiar to you:

Distraction keeps us in the preparation phase, finding more and more to do to equip ourselves for the leap. 

It convinces us we must help others with their dreams and priorities, derailing us from our own.

Unfinished tasks suddenly leap off back shelves (where they have hidden for years), luring us into busywork.

We cower as distraction shouts its self-judgment, “It won’t be good enough! You’re not really called to do this. You’ll embarrass yourself.”

Distraction has us compare ourselves to others.

It feeds imagination of a dire financial future ensnaring us into debt and bankruptcy.

As I faced all these distraction strategies, I recalled that action dispels fear.

When I acted in the following ways, fear and dread left the room. Here’s what I did:

First, inwardly I stepped away from the mind and watched it. Noticing how it stirred excuses and fanned fears, I chose not to believe it.

Second, I visualized the space off the edge of the cliff receiving me with benevolence, friendship and acceptance.

Rather than imagining a crash at the bottom, I submitted to a guiding Presence that lifted me gently and carried me to my heart’s desire.

Third, I read this quote by William H. Murray daily: “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, and always ineffectiveness.

Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves, too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred … unforeseen incidents no man [or woman] would have dreamed was possible.”

At some point, our inner peace depends on stepping out.

Finally, I did it. I launched my blog site. Excitement has replaced the terror, and the adventure has begun.

Please visit, sign up for Dr. Marta’s newsletter, and receive a free e-Book – “6 Ways to Curb Conflict, Confusion, and Crappy Conversations.”

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