Now that you've acknowledged things that you've been afraid to face by waking up, what do you make of it? It might still be gripping you from taking action on it, but that's ok. Increasing your honesty and consciousness is a start. This next step after Waking Up involves living consciously, and it will include snippets of another trait called Courage.
Courage is an in-spite-of statement. It is not a hyped up emotion, but more an intectual and reasoned course of action despite a challenge or difficulty.
After you've admitted and acknowledged the things that you've been afraid of facing, now how do you feel and think about it? You may be still fearful and maybe still paralyzed at your seat. That's alright. Even though I'd say facing a fear head-on is best, but maybe let's do that later.
Now that you've increased your consciousness, I'd like to highlight that consciousness is more like an observation skill, to be aware of yourself and your environment. What's more challenging is to use a skill called Courage. And like all skills, Courage is a mental skill where you will get better at it as you use it more and more. It is not hype or just an emotion, it is a skill where you reason scienfically and intellectually to reach a conclusive decision.
That doesn't sound so tough eh? Actually it's easier said than done - when speaking in front of a thousand people, many people would feel their hearts in their throats and that they're about to die. Logically and literally, that's not the scene, but you know what I mean. Likewise, you may be in a stagnant job, but you can't seem to decide to say "I have enough, good bye folks."
Just like your strength, courage can be trained to be stronger and stronger too. The first time you join a dance class you won't expect to immediately represent in an international dance competition, right? Or the first time you go gym you wouldn't lift 200 pounds immediately, so likewise, you will slowly train your courage to level up.
I'd recommend a two-pronged approach to building courage (these principles are universal, and can apply to any skills you want to improve on). The one-two approach is (1) garner knowledge and know-why and (2) practice the knowledge immediately upon getting it. They must go hand in hand.
Win half the battle by researching and finding out additional knowledge and skill within the domain or areas of your fear. While I love confronting fears head-on, but really, if your fears are more caused by lack of experience, skill and ignorance, then these kinds of fear can be greatly eliminated and reduced with information/education and training. A good example is when we started our business - we don't know where to go, how to start, how to sell, and even what to sell! With a good week spent on reading books, blogs and speaking to business people and entrepreneurs, we had a pretty good idea (theoretically) to start a business. With just $65, we have grown our company to a six-figure-business.
If you want to quit your job and start your own business, start by reading books and taking classes on how to start your own business. Spend time researching the topics, and you can even research from the internet. Go for business meetings, networking events and even conferences. You can also get the help of a mentor. Build your skill and know-how to the point you start to feel confident that you can succeed, and go out and do it.
The second part is very similar to progressive strength training - we start with weights you can lift first but are challenging enough, and slowly make our way up to heavier and heavier ones as you grow in strength. Likewise, work on smaller fears first, then move up the ladder to the bigger boys. Lifting a weight of 200 pounds doesn't sound so bad if you're already lifting 195 pounts with one hand.
Now create a list of fears that you'd want to overcome, and for each fear, break them down to a level 1 to a level 10 version, level 1 being the easiest and level 10 being the most nerve-wracking. Repeat for all the fears you have. Prioritize them if you have more than 3. An example is public speaking. A level 1 can be talking to someone you already know. Level 2 can be someone whom you've associate before, but barely know. Level 3 can be someone you meet randomly in the street....all the way to level 10 where you face 1000 people in front of a stage. Start with the easiest, and do it until it doesn't cause you any anxiety anymore, or until you want to go to the next level. Repeat until you reach level 10.
Of course, there's always higher mountains. You can always push for a 10,000 person audience. You can always reach for the ultra-smart-supermodel for a spouse. You can always push to create 10,000 jobs. The beauty is that it's your choice, but pace yourself.
By doing this, you'll condition yourself to systematically increase in courage, and de-condition the avoidance response. From a mental-cognitive perspective your skill in courageous planning and problem solving will increase more and more, and fears will decrease more and more. Over time, you'll live more consciously than ever before.
How you do it isn't the key point. What's important is that you decide, consciously, to do it and to finish it. Like a muscle that will shrink if you don't work and stress it, your courage centers will shrink too if you don't always challenge youself to face your fears. If your courage atrophies, not only will your mind weaken, but your body and emotions too will weaken, as you'll be strengthening fear and doubt instead.
There is no middle ground.
You can do it. =)
You Are Great
So, what now?
Where would this new and developing courage bring you to?
Where and what exactly, we may never know, but it will lead you to have a more fulfilling, meaningful and fun life. You will live more. You will develop your greatest talents, strengths and gifts. You will life much more consciously than you ever been before. Instead of being a reactor and reacting to events, you will actively and proactively create your own positive, fun and productive future.
Make it legal, ethical, moral, and profitable not only to yourself, but socially.
Living your life with courage and with consciousness is something that only you can experience, alone. It is a very private victory, no one else can celebrate with you. Being able to consciously hear your innermost thoughts is never a group activity, and is never from getting approval from others. The purpose of your existence is yours alone to discover, and uncover. God has given each and every one of us a different purpose and vision, it becomes our job to find it, to live it, and as living by it, be a great source of power and life to others.
You may think it's a lonely thing. It doesn't matter if you're living alone or enjoying the best intimacy with a loved one, but consciousness and courage is always your own to live and choose. It is free will.
If you do down this path of courage and consciousness, you will be forced to confront your greatest fear - that you are far more powerful, capable, and filled with ultimate potentials that is greater than you've thought or expected...and with this great power comes a realization of great responsibility. If you commit a 100% to the realization, fulfillment and actualization of your true and greatest potential, you will very significantly impact the lives of many people, even across generations, positively, productively, spiritually, morally, and financially.
What is the difference between you and any other legendary historical figures who had made impact on the world? You are like them, having same fears, born of different strengths and weaknesses. The only thing that stops you is fear, and the only things that will get you past them are consciousness and courage. It's up to you alone, no one else can make decisions to live your life for you.
Catching a glimpse of your own potential can be very, very unsettling, deeply troubling and anxiety-causing experiences that you can imagine. More disturbing is that you are aware of the great challenges that will come with the decisions that you make. Living a life with consciousness and courage is not easy (hey I never said it was going to be easy), but it will be worth it. It will be an experience unique to you, and will require you to let go of that weasel inside you. Seeking after your greatest and most ambitions life dreams and experiencing failures, challenges and disappointments, running your ass against humbling experiences instead of living a life at the comfortable pace of a puddle - that's what makes life so much fun, and so worth living for.
The first few times you experience such fears, you may run away and hide - it's perfectly understandable. Keep exercising your consciousness and courage, and you will keep growing, and you will reach a point where you will accept challenges and responsibilities of life as a fully grown conscious human being. The weasel life no longer will no longer be an option for you, once you outgrow it. Once you reach this stage, fear will no longer have the power to stop you.
As you get a clearer and clearer picture of your purpose in life, sometimes it connects with what your current situation is, and sometimes it doesn't. If it is, great. If it isn't, start to independently build and focus on beginning the process of the new and updated version and vision of yourself from scratch. Doesn't matter if it causes a little friction (follow the legal, ethical, moral rule), do it anyway. For example, if today you're car salesman or saleswoman, and you envision yourself reaching out to little children who have been abandoned. You may think that it may not even make you enough money, or there's too much gap/disconnect with the new vision and the practical side of life. Instead of bridging this gap, start by contributing 1-3 hours per week volunteering at the children center, helping out in whatever ways you can. Don't hide what occupation you hold. Live in incongruence and change. Do them both.
As you slowly develop experience and expertise in the new area, you will definitely be able to support yourself by it, even though at this moment you can't seem to see it yet. That's ok. Just do it anyway, do it for free, volunteering without thinking about how you can earn money from it or how you can make it a full time job. Stay status quo doing both, until the clarity of the situation's answer come to you. When the time is right, you will be able to transition smoothly between the two and focus all your energy on the new one. You'll also be able to commit fully to your new self, letting go of your fears gradually and eventually. Thing is, even if you can only volunteer an hour a week in the new vision, you will likely find that this one hour is more fun and fulfilling than all the other hours put together, and that passion and purpose will lead to you finding ways to grow this one hour to more and more of your time and days.
No matter how tough it seems, decide to live consciously. There is no middle ground, so don't go to be half-unconscious and live in fear, living life with distractions to to avoid doing what you need to do, and participating in mind-numbing activities. Two choices - either life life with courage and consciousness to face your fears and live in potential and power, or give up and run away. But do either consciously aware of the consequences of either choices. If you plan to give up and let fear win; if you simply don't want to live in consciousness and courage; then life simply becomes a standtstill, where you will fill it with distractions, and get-aways, as opposed to living one's life as one lives an adventure.
You cannot die without living life the adventure it is meant to be. Yes, you may get rejected. Yes, you may get broke. Yes, you may meet really weird people. Yes, you may make mistakes. But these are all part of the package of the adventures of the conscious and courage-filled life. They are private victories. Feel the fear, summon the courage to live, take action and follow your life's ambition.
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