Since my experience with cancer that started in 2005, I have been committed to eliminating stress and experiencing peace and freedom in my life. You hear of many people who go through an experience like cancer and are forever changed. I have to admit that the change was not automatic and immediate; it has been a long process. The change however has been profound. Cancer gave me the gift of learning how to take the leap of faith. I am grateful for the lesson. Not everyone needs a lesson as severe as cancer, but I was stubborn. The emotional patterns, fears, and beliefs were so ingrained, that it took a real cage-rattler like cancer to shake me from my reverie and bring me to the brink.
After cancer, I stood on the shores of a life I had known for 36 years – one of striving, struggle, hard work, challenge, pressure, responsibility – and looked across the river to the land of the Unknown, the Land of Promise. Over there I wanted to find peace, tranquillity, creativity, inspiration, joy, fun, and freedom. I had no idea what that would look like, or how I was going to make it happen. I had to trust that things would fall in to place when I made the choice to love my life enough to make a change.
So I did it. I took a leap of faith in to the unknown by recommitting to my business, Inner Compass. The decision was not easy. I was torn in two by the pragmatic versus the inspired. It is very hard to leave the security of a paycheck. Ultimately I knew that if I did not make the choice, the choice would be made for me – my health would deteriorate. Cancer is a great red flag for me – it waves any time I feel stress, worry, or struggle. Stress, struggle, and worry result immediately from ignoring my calling and my passion. I know in all the bones of my body that I need to write, learn, educate, and inspire. There are no other options – it is a need that my soul sings to me.
How does it feel to take the leap of faith? I won’t lie to you; it is scary. It brings up a lot of self-doubt and worry. These are all old emotional patterns that are triggered when you get ready for a new phase of personal growth. I have seen it many times with my clients – they sit on the edge of freedom and happiness, shackled by fear to their current reality because of the unknown. And then they just do it – they take the leap of faith, they take inspired action, and leave their current job, relationship, or home and take a plunge in to the unknown. They do not know how it will turn out; they only know that they are so committed to the outcome of happiness and joy and living an authentic life based on their values that they will take the risks. They take the risks because they know intuitively that when you make choices that feed your soul, things will fall in to place.
So how do you actually take the leap of faith?
1. You have to be ready.
How do you know when you are ready? If you are no longer comfortable or happy with the way things are. Your relationships may be dull or draining, your work might hectic and toxic, your finances may be in trouble. You’ve put up with it for long enough, persevered through challenges that were at times better suited for the superhuman, but at the end of it all, you feel drained and uncomfortable. There is always something worrying you, always something niggling. You have been this way for so long, you hardly recognise the possibility of anything else. Yet a fire burns in you – you know somehow there has to be something different out there for you. There is.
2. Know what you really want and declare your true intention.
Is it a change of job, or is it peace? Is it a new relationship, or is it passion? When you get to the core of what you really want, you find the solutions are often inside you first. Sometimes you need to change your external reality (like changing jobs), but sometimes all you need to do is declare your intention. Your intentions act like a beacon – lighting up the way for your next action.
3. Find a model and a mentor for what you want.
I hired a coach who is living the life I want – freedom, peace, creativity, and helping others. He has already made the leap of faith. In working with him I learn how to dissolve my fears, get rid of old emotional patterns, and have the courage to stay true to my life and my intentions. Work with a coach or mentor that you resonate with, who listens well, and is not afraid of asking the tough questions.
Ok – this is the hardest part. How do you trust? People develop trust pretty quickly when results turn up immediately. What if there are no material indicators that you have made the right decision? It takes time. Just like you start a new diet or exercise plan, the results do not appear the instant you do your first workout or choose a healthy meal. Make consistent choices over time and yield results. In the meantime you have to trust your choices are going to work.
What helps with the doubts that may surface during this phase of trust is getting in to the feeling of gratitude. Each day I make it habit of feeling thankful for everything I am experiencing in my life, no matter how small. This way I welcome all new surprises and feel satisfaction each day. When I feel this way, I know – I can feel it in my bones – that I have made the right choice. The material evidence will flow – there is no room for doubt. Gratitude chases doubt from your thoughts just as light chases darkness from a room. There is no room for darkness where there is light; there is no room for doubt where there is gratitude. This is how you can feel trust.
5. Savour the rewards.
The biggest reward in taking the leap of faith is standing up for yourself and your life. This is the most profound gift. You raise the standard of what you will accept in your life forevermore. Everything else that happens is really just a bonus.
As I undertook my own leap of faith, it has been a privilege to see so many of my clients do so as well:
* ‘Nancy’ quit her job and started up her own consulting firm and now loves the freedom and creativity it allows her;
* ‘Susan’ stopped fighting her self-loathing and the realisation that she was gay and is now in a loving relationship with a partner that has been welcomed by her family;
* ‘Glen’ dropped some destructive friendships and embraced a whole new social life and with it a solid new self-confidence
* ‘George’ ended a contract with a negative client that was draining all his energy and enthusiasm and now has business opportunities popping up everywhere.
Each time someone crosses the river to the Unknown, they shine a little brighter and light the way for others. Make 2007 the year you are a shining light.
Cancer survivor Zoe Routh is the Head Coach at Inner Compass. Zoë helps personal development enthusiasts create their own best life using the law of attraction. Zoë is the author of ebook Absolute Productivity – a handbook for your personal and professional life. Sign up for Compass Bearings - a free on line magazine for personal development enthusiasts who want easy new success strategies using the law of attraction. Get more free tips at http://www.innercompass.com.au