In my family – my mother, my sisters, my dad and myself – we always spoke of what we considered a family trait: that restlessness that would come on without warning, bringing with it an urge to do something… Do something! Leave! Change jobs, change spouses, change homes, change cities. Get a dog. Buy a motorhome, an instrument, a boat, a new appliance. Start a new diet, begin a new exercise program, join a new club… Do something!
Knowing what I know now, it is easy to recognize these tendencies in myself for what they really are: a need to move out of the comfort of my current state and challenge myself to a new level: to challenge myself to excellence.
And I believe that is what it was for my family members, as well. It wasn’t DNA or genetics that created the restlessness we all felt from time to time. It was a human need for a meaningful life!
We are all meant to fulfill our destinies. We all have the capacity for excellence. But so few recognize it. So few are able to pull past the gravitational forces that hold us down; the weight of our fears, our doubts, and the crushing voices of the masses who scream, “It cannot be done!”
But it can be done.
That restlessness causes dissatisfaction with everyone and everything around you. It makes you dislike your “sorry self.”
When that restlessness strikes, you want to change everything about your life – You feel a need to do something to scratch that itch – do something to relieve the pain!
But if the idea comes up to do something outstanding, something risky, truly daring and courageous and even outrageous… Fear usually stops you. Common sense, rational thinking, and the opinions of others keep us from taking that step from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
When our souls cry out to move UP to that next level, that next challenge, FEAR often holds us back – the looming “What If’s” of life:
“What if I fail?”
“What if I lose a ton of money?”
“What if I am ridiculed?”
“What if my peers reject my efforts?”
and the one we sometimes ignore or fail to see:
“What if I succeed???”
These what if’s are like ghosts. They are frightening, yet intangible. They seem real, and we think they are… And yet, they are not truly real, because they evaporate in a puff of smoke the moment we try to touch them.
So now we must move past our fears to grab on to the possibility of excellence. To grasp the solid reality of challenge. To climb the rungs of effort to reach the peak of excellence, leaving mediocrity and lethargy far, far below.
In the Bible, Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Why does it say that?
Because even 2,000 years ago, people were afraid.
It helped to have an External Source of strength, helping them through the tough times, pulling them up to that next level.
I find it helps me, too. Meditation, prayer, connecting to something bigger than myself – helps me to see beyond my fear.
When that old feeling of restlessness hits you, rather than going shopping for something to fill the void, ask yourself, “What do I really need right now? Where can I challenge myself? What can I learn that will add to the gifts I want to give to the world?”
Think for a moment: What do you love? What brings you joy? What causes that stirring in your solar plexus, that thrill, that passion inside you that longs to be expressed?
Although, like most of us, you probably don’t realize it, you are truly unique. Your life up to now has taught you many lessons. Throughout your life, your natural gifts have grown. You have talents and abilities that many other people do not possess!
Don’t allow your beautiful flame to be extinguished through fear. Don’t allow fear to stop you. Kick fear to the curb!
Or… make fear your friend by learning to push through life’s challenges with fear by your side. Remember the old saying: Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is pushing past the fear and doing it anyway.
Wishing you all the best on your journey. And know that I am here, supporting you all the way!
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