Taking the plunge

Yesterday I had lunch with two dear friends. I’m in their hometown of Toronto so needless to say we don’t see each other much. So much to catch up on when you don’t see each other often. We’re not “old” friends in that we only met about a year ago at one of those personal growth courses and most of our conversation had to do with how our lives are unfolding since and maybe because of those experiences.

What was really cool (love that word, so young) was how much we each had to say. From profound personal experiences, personal epiphanies, new directions and careers and of course gossip. OK I never said I was perfect, sometimes – not often – I find myself in a juicy gossip conversation and I’ll have more to say about that in another post, just not this one.

It was really great to see how each of us were at different stages of exploring new directions/careers. This for me is really something to marvel at. Here’s a group of people that are actively changing their careers. Actually doing something about how they define themselves in the world; in the exploration of what would be a full and free expression of themselves in this life?

Note I use the indefinite article in italics. The jury is out on whether there is any one thing that is the fullest and freest expression of oneself. And if there is, it’s the moving to the next thing that is fuller and freer that will lead you to it. For many of us it’s not a direct line and it may take decades to find THE career that is THE career for you.

So here we all were talking about our next steps and the conversation about blogging came up, and one of my friends (for fun let’s call her Vicki) was confronted by her fear of getting it right, which included finding her voice, identity and just …. getting it right.

It made me think of how most of us are afraid to take the plunge, to just go for it. Here’s an indication of how our cultural conversations do not support change or even boldness. “Better the devil you know than the one you don’t.” “Look before you leap.” “It’s better to close your mouth and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” “Curiosity killed the cat.” Old proverbs like these are indicators of a culture of caution and safety, and they bind all of us in one way or another.

Even when we make up our mind to take the bold step we are still haunted by these cultural conversations that have become limiting beliefs for us. We’re afraid to fail or to look bad. It’s so important that we appear to have it all together. “Oh my God! What if I look stupid?”

Well I certainly recognize this in myself. Just look at my first post on this blog. Two, maybe even three years transpired (love that word, you have the sense of time actually dying away) between the time I declared that I would begin writing a blog and when I actually did. And the delay was for all the reasons my friend at lunch yesterday was now telling me.

Our other lunchmate (let’s call her Brenda) and I both jumped in with the same advice. And I’ll repeat it here in the words that occur for me now.

Just do it! Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks, or even about what you have to say. You’ll be amazed at how much you have to say, and it’s the act of writing that gives you your special twist on what is already being talked about, or something completely new. Inspiration often comes through the act of creating, in this case writing.

So take the plunge.

Who the hell cares what other people think. In fact I’ll tell you now. Some people will not like or agree with you. So there! So what? For sure though you’ll discover a whole bunch of people who will engage with what you have to say and what you create. Some of them will also not see things the same way, but their perspective and yours together will enrich everyone.

Come on in. The water’s fine.

Any thoughts? Contributions/acknowledgments welcome.