You’ve arrived. The launch pad of Life Part 2.
There were times you didn’t think you’d make it—right? But “whewwwwwww” you’re here. Emotions are high…an ending and a beginning.
If you’ve nurtured a family the hands-on, parenting days are done, if you’ve dedicated yourself to a professional path you’ve given it everything and your work is complete.
This is your time…your turn and there’s so much you want to do. You can’t wait to get on with creating the next chapter.
Personally I think a how-to manual should be available at the launch pad because so many of us encounter mechanical difficulties and aborted launches.
I ran into an acquaintance last week, I knew she was at the launch pad. I asked this ‘retired’ stay-at-home Mom how she was, I’d heard she was keen to start her own fresh juice business. Talk about a perfect pairing, she was a passionate believer in the benefits of juicing, showcased by her radiant beauty and good health. Within seconds the conversation had drifted to her two kids – one at university and the other pursuing a career. I was delighted to hear about the kids but what struck me was that I asked about her and heard about them. So I tried again. “What are you up to?” “Soooo b-u-s-y…(daughter) can’t eat the dorm food so I’m running juice and gluten free/dairy free meals down to her 3X’s a week….(son) has no clue how to furnish an apartment so I’m picking up a few things for him…you know same old same old…parenting never ends – right?”
We shared a laugh.
She delivered her ‘words’ in characteristic upbeat, chirpy style but I knew they were masking what she really felt – Fear. Been there. I knew what her inner critic was up to. “Who do you think you are to start a business? You don’t know the first thing about it. It’ll never work. Forget it. You’re a Mom not a business person. Crazy woman. Stick to what you know.”
When we fall into fear we slide into our default mode (safety net). In this case – Mom. Exploring the juice idea was on hold as she filled her time with parenting adult children. I wanted to grab her and say, “Don’t be afraid. You can do this. This is You. Trust yourself. Take one tiny step towards it everyday. Just Start.” I thought of all she had to offer, her passion, her knowledge, her absolute belief in the health benefits and restorative properties of juice. This amazing woman had the potential to have enormous impact in the lives of others. She could make a real difference.
It would have to wait.
I thought of another friend. She’d retired from an illustrious career, it spanned 35 years and she reached the very pinnacle of her profession. A solid type A with a larger than life personality, she was viewed as an industry and community leader. Her retirement was celebrated with much fan fare. Everyone asked, “What’s next?” expecting to hear big plans. She responded with an allusive, “a little R & R and then…… I’ve got a few ideas.” Within 6 months she had transformed and not in the way you’d expect. She was struggling, knocked off her axis as she tried to figure out who she was outside of the professional arena. What did he want to do with her life? Did she have the skills necessary to work a new area? Would she succeed? What if she failed? If she failed it would mean public humiliation. The thought of failure dominated her thoughts. Her inner critic was having field day. Fear consumed and immobilized her. Her doctor prescribed anti-depressants.
The launch pad of Life Part 2 can be a great humbler. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a ‘retired’ stay at home mom or titan, once stripped of that familiar role in that familiar setting where your identity and confidence were firmly rooted the question is the same. “WHO am I?” Fear and uncertainty dig in and take up residence.
“There’s a stranger living in my life!”
Just on the off chance you think you’re alone in this place I’m here to tell you you’ve got tons of company, you’re actually part of the Great Majority. (deep breath) Feeling better? But, here’s the best part, what’s happening right now is actually a blessing because out of the darkness comes brand, new Life.
Fear creates an opportunity.
A wonderful opportunity to take the time to (re)think, test and write your NEW Story. There’s no rush, in case you haven’t noticed you’ll have somewhere between 25 – 40 years (God willing) here. That’s more than enough time to do all the deeply meaningful and soul fulfilling work you want to do.
Before you start (re)thinking, testing and writing let’s give a big shout out to Life Part I. Some amazing work was done here. You impacted lives. You overcame hurdles and challenges you never thought you could. You took significant risks, you loved, lost, persevered and most importantly you kept going. You are a strong, brave, courageous and fearless woman.
In Life Part 2 you’re in a prime position to make your greatest contributions. In fact you know you’re meant to do something amazing.
The questions below will help you write your new Life Part 2 Story. You’ll be ready for launch with an expanded sense of self and renewed passion. The excitement you feel will build unstoppable momentum.
ACTION STEP 1: Write your NEW Life Part 2 Story – Get yourself a note book and have it handy at all times – I don’t know about you – but my greatest insights happen when I’m driving, vacuuming, falling asleep or in the shower.
One by one ask the following questions and capture the answers as they come. You’ll start to see themes. Pay attention to these they are the plot of Your NEW Story.
8 Questions to Ask Yourself
- What do I stand for?
- If I led a revolution what would it be?
- How can I touch the lives of others?
- What is the contribution I most want to make?
- How do I want to be remembered?
- How will my story be shared and passed and woven into the family, community or world tapestry?
- What has been given to me?
- What do I have to give back
If you need additional help identifying your Passion look here. Create Life of Passion
ACTION STEP 2: MAKING FEAR WORK FOR YOU
Fear of failure drains vitality and paralyzes us. This is a really interesting and easy to implement practice from the book, Fail Fast, Fail Often – how losing can help you win by Ryan Babineaux and John Krumboltz. Add to Dream Testing work.
- Identify fear – I’m afraid I’ll fail at something new. (i.e. I want to work as a professional photographer but I’m afraid I wont be successful).
- Reverse Your Thinking – Come up with a way you could do it and fail as quickly as possible (i.e. I’m going to find a setting where I can take a lot of bad pictures and let people see them like my cousin’s wedding next month).
- Do it Anyway – Give it a try. Make mistakes. Have fun ask for help and feedback. While taking pictures at wedding I will let people know I am a beginner and ask for feedback.
- Fail Forward – Use your exploration as a means to learn and discover what you need to know. What came naturally? What did people like/dislike? What do you need to work on?
- Find Next Challenge -Seek out opportunities at the limit of your abilities. (ie Next time I will ask to take picture at a wedding where I get paid for my work)
Need more strategies for overcoming Fear look here.
LIVING YOUR LIFE PART 2 STORY….is the greatest gift you can give to the world and those you love.
You have power and potential inside you that you can’t even imagine at this moment.
Now back to the (re)write.
Then onto the launching pad.
Lift off will be successful.
“The more scared we are of a work or calling the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” – Stephen Pressfield
If you know someone who would be inspired by this blog, feel free to send it to them. It may be the exact thing they need to hear to Overcome fear once and for all! Yahoo.