If you follow me or read my blogs you know I absolutely love podcasts. One of my greatest joys is walking or running (not often and very slowly), and listening to a podcast. I get to do two of my favourite things at once…learning something new and walking …or running… very slowly… sometimes.
Anyway, today was a day when I was attempting to run. It’s been a while.. a very long while. And the need was not driven by the need to shift some of my Covid poundage – I’ve been around long enough to realise the only way I can do that is to reduce my escalating dependence on chocolate and I’m not quite ready do that yet. I decided to go for a walk run at 5.30am this morning because I know my mental health and increasing stress levels needed it now more than ever.
So the headphones go on and I press play and its Seth. If you don’t know Seth Godin I encourage you to get acquainted with him. His writing and podcasts are quirky, fun and hugely informative and have transformed my thinking on many many things. Today’s podcast I have listened to many many times, but it seems the universe (shuffle) decided this was what I needed to hear today. So as I slowly walk run my way in the dark in my fluorescent green vest the sentence…..‘its really common to confuse things that are risky with things that feel risky’ hit me like a bolt.
I know this… of course I know this.
I talk about this probably every day with the multitude of women I work with but for some reason that sentence caused me to almost stop in my tracks. My mind was flooded with all the things so many of us do not attempt or in some cases even allow ourselves to think about because of this ill-conceived idea that doing something / anything
speaking our truth,
challenging something we can clearly see is wrong,
simply saying no,
taking some time for ourselves,
thinking about changing our career of life to so we can thrive (heaven forbid)
or even allowing ourselves to muse about what it would be like to try something else
… are all perceived as risk.
It is so risky, to speak, think, feel, do…..
so we just don’t.
And in the not doing we remain stuck,
and in the stuckness we become frustrated and distressed,
and in the frustration and distress we become smaller and smaller,
never stepping into and becoming the amazing unique human beings we have the capacity to become....... living lives half lived, in jobs or work we hate, with people we have nothing in common with, destroying our mental, physical and emotional health and denying ourselves even the right to think about what else?
What else is there?
What do I truly want?
What will make me happy?
I can do this.
The last 7 months of my life have been about recognising that the risk is imagined and not real.
They have been about speaking my truth.
They have been about not sitting or standing by and not calling out what is clearly wrong, discriminatory, disingenuous and unfair.
And every time I have done it I have been amazed at my own courage, and strength.
I have been reminded and am so proud of my strong sense of self, my deep and hard-fought connection to who I am and what is important to me and the power of living 100% in my integrity when so many around me are not.
And I have realised with every encounter the only risk there ever really was, was in my not doing, not being seen, not standing up.
I have another week of difficult conversations ahead but I’m still here, stronger than ever and more sure of who I am and what I stand for than ever.
What imagined risk is stopping you from living the life you want, being who you really are and doing the work that makes you joyous in a way that enables you to thrive?
It’s time to see that risk for what it is… illusory,
and step into who you really are by understanding what you really want, then getting the support and help you need to get it.
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