Fear. You’re hearing a “call” to change your life, to find your purpose, to step up to the plate and be of service in this crazy, mixed-up world. The time is NOW and you can sense the urgency of it, but the fear wells up and you shut down.
I’ve coached dozens of people over the past 15 to 20 years, and taught hundreds more, and when the universe knocks, many of us bar the door, hide in the closet and pretend we’re not home.
What’s interesting to me is that the details of this fear, the specific issues people are terrified of when it comes to answering the call, are surprisingly consistent. Here are the top five fears I’ve come across on my own path and in coaching others.
- Fear of Losing a Relationship/Being Alone. If you were going to lose the relationship anyway, following your call will not change that. If you have a good healthy relationship full of mutual growth, following your call will only strengthen that. I have clients do a Statement of Intent (a SoI template will be available for free on my website carolineallen.com soon.). In this Statement, one sets a vision for following their call, roughs out the details of the path, and I tell clients that they can include in the document their wish for the relationship to be strengthened. Almost 100% of clients express this fear, and if they’re not in a relationship, they fear following their call will mean they will always be alone.
- Fear of Going Broke. This fear seems to happen more with women than with men. I call it the “Bag Lady Syndrome”. If I follow my calling, I will go broke, end up rolling a shopping cart down the street full of my possessions and I’ll sleep in alleys. This is a BIG one. One of things I tell people when coaching them is that the call to finding your purpose doesn’t mean you have to “quit your day job”. You can write into the Statement of Intent that you’d like to keep your job, and follow the transformation in a steady step-by-step way until you’ve set up the new life properly. Or you can throw caution to the wind and leap. The power is in your hands. Usually. Not always. Sometimes the universe thrusts you out. More on this in a future blog.
- Fear of Going Crazy. Yes, the call to transform requires that we enter another reality, another way of thinking. It is in fact a form of madness. What most spiritual gurus will tell you is that the current reality is the madness, and this transformation brings you back to spiritual reality. But the problem is, your mind has been so warped for so many decades that you think this “normal” reality is correct, and this other one is madness. So you resist it. Most clients I’ve worked with, and this is true on my own path, will go through some sort of mind-altering experience on this path of transformation. I keep thinking of the quote from the movie Bounce: “It’s not brave, if you’re not scared.” Yes, it takes courage to fulfill your soul’s contract. Don’t wimp out now.
- Fear of Reprisal. We fear being attacked, by family, friends, strangers on the street. They’re so enmeshed in their reality, and by following your purpose, you show them there’s a different way to live and this brings up all this pain for them and they lash out. This may happen, but the fear of it is so much greater than what happens in reality. Slowly, many people catch on to what you’re doing and start to respect you. Some won’t, and you’ll have to leave them behind. What’re you going to do, spend you life not growing lest it upsets someone?
- Fear of Death. The world is so topsy-turvy and many of us are being called in a more intense way than ever before. There’s really no time to waste, and the call grows louder by the day. Leaving our old life to answer this call to a new life is a METAPHORICAL death, andit can feel like really dying. You may dream of dying. You may well up with fear that someone is going to kill you. When I first opened to my visual artist side, every time I heard a police siren while I painted, an overwhelming fear would overcome me. They’re going to arrest me. I’ll die in prison. It was surreal. My entire body would shake with terror. (I suspect this has something to do with a past life, but more on this in a future blog.) I sit here stymied on what advice to give on this fear of death. Feel the fear and do it anyway? I actually do think real death is a possibility, if I were to tell the whole truth. I follow people like Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr, and their courage to stand up for what was right — and we know what happened there. Maybe we have to have that level of courage. Maybe we have to be willing to die for what is right, leave our marriage for what is right, quit our job for what is right. Maybe it’s not correct to coddle people into believing this path is easy and cushy. Maybe we’ve passed that point and we all need to immediately radical this shit up.
I do know that we all need to evolve and evolve now, and we’ll need a lot of people with real courage. We’ll need real heroes. Are you a hero?
Fear and answering the call will be the theme of the upcoming literary reading in Seattle of my second novel, Air, at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park at 7 p.m. this Thursday January 14th. Join us!
My first two novels, Earth and Air, follow a protagonist on her hero’s journey. Purchase them at most online booksellers, or go here for more information. I’m a Transformational Coach and Book Coach, and I offer a free initial consultation. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.