Welcome friends to Episode #131 of the Own Your Best Life Podcast. When you’re on a new path, it can often feel like you’re taking a leap of faith. It feels like a bold move to go into a place where you are investing your time, energy and resources into something that isn’t yet proven. What if it fails? What if you fail? How do you know when it’s the right time to take that leap or make that decision to go all-in on your dreams? Today’s podcast is on what it feels like to take leaps of faith and how to do it successfully.
I want to acknowledge that taking leaps of faith comes with a lot of trepidation and uncertainty. If you’re changing careers, starting a business, creating new behaviors, connecting with a new person and you feel like you want to go all-in – it can often be a time where we stall. Many achievers like to feel in control and that we’ve mastered something, yet taking leaps of faith often will look like a lack of control and that we’re starting all over again.
We wonder if our investment of time, energy and resources will pay off. We wonder if we’ll be embarrassed because we’ll fail.
Yet, leaps of faith will always be the critical path between a life that you’re currently living and the one that is possible. If you want anything to change, you will have to take a leap.
I’ve talked to a lot of achievers and something that comes up often is this thought of running away. They wonder what it would feel like to just give it all up. To give up their responsibilities and their jobs. To give up all the overwhelm, boredom and stress. They want to just take a break and feel differently than they have been. They want to give it all up, but they’re scared.
Faith is required for living in this world. We think faith is only reserved for those that are religious or spiritual, but we have faith guiding us in our basic assumptions in how the world works. We take risks every day in our businesses and lives. We don’t see them as leaps of faith because we’re used to these risks. We’re used to doing calculations on ROI or assessing people. We’re used to making decisions for how to plan for what’s next.
What you’re not used to is this exact flavor of faith. It’s very likely that the leap of faith you’re thinking about is new to you. Perhaps you’re growing your scope and taking on new challenges, opportunities and therefore risks. There’s more on the line because you’re handling more now. You have to make choices that involve more people, money or time. This is a leap.
You might also be taking a leap of faith that is about you doing something that feels like a change from the way you’ve been living. Perhaps you’re wanting to simplify life, reduce the intensity of your work, have more time for yourself and your family or pursue a creative endeavor.
What keeps us from taking those leaps successfully are usually 2 things.
The first one is binary thinking. We keep to an all or nothing mindset. We either burn the boats so we learn to swim or we never learn at all.
You know this happens when you’re so sure your plan’s going to work that you don’t account for any risks. You don’t think about what could go wrong. You go faster than what’s helpful and you end up failing on things that could have been prevented. Instead of just the failures that are a natural part of learning or from situations out of your control, you fail more than needed on the things within your control.
The same thing goes for thinking it’s not possible.You know you’re in the other binary mode of thinking when you don’t think about possibilities. You think it’s never going to happen or you never even entertain the thought and you shrink back. You are thinking more about the risks than how to solve for risks so you stop. You decide that your need for control outweighs your need to grow. You avoid making new connections, self-isolate and reduce any unknowns by reducing what you experience in life.
Neither of these modes of thinking are very skillful if you only use one of them. You can, however, use both of them and find the middle way that allows you to move at a pace that you are comfortable with. You can take risks while feeling safe and a bit breathless. You can stretch without breaking.
Other People’s Thoughts
The other thing that keeps you from taking a leap of faith are other people’s thoughts. You think more about what others would find to be good, honorable or worthwhile than you do about what you think to be good, honorable or worthwhile. You know your worth mostly through the external validation of others.
You know this happens when you find yourself becoming whatever anyone wants you to be or resenting people. This often looks like people pleasing or rebellion. Both are due to a decision to take an action due to an external authority. People pleasing is to not upset external authority. Rebelling is to resist external authority.
There are completely valid reasons for wanting to people-please or rebel. Yet, if you know that the only thing that keeps you from taking that leap of faith is other people you are at a place where you can decide.
You can decide that this is the time when you’ll start listening to your own inner voice more because the risks of not doing so are greater than the rewards of listening to others. Or you can decide that this is not worth the risk. That the risks of what other people think are too much for you now to bear.
It’s important to note that this is your own path to take and make. Some people are so used to hearing other people’s voices before they hear their own that they don’t know what their own voice sounds like. They don’t know what they would do in a world where other people’s opinions don’t matter. You can think about the way you dress. What would you wear if other people weren’t looking? It’s such an interesting concept to think about because you might have no clue. It turns everything upside down. Yet, how much are we doing for others in our life? So much. It’s really so clarifying to see the way we look outside ourselves before we look inside ourselves.
If you can start to look inside yourself more often, you’ll find yourself taking more leaps of faith. Not because you’re willing to tolerate more risk, but because you’re more able to see that what you’re looking to do isn’t such a leap of faith anymore.
If you’re looking to switch jobs, create a new career, invest in people or yourself in new and different ways – it’s often not a leap of faith. It’s not as far of a jump as we think it to be. There are also so many ways for you to do it in a way that feels safer or simpler. You get to create a new life with the myriad of options that support you if you’re worried about risks. You get to decide the pace of your life and journey.
The hardest part will be letting go of that sure footing for long enough to reach the other side. Just remember that it’s not supposed to feel normal until you get to the other side. A new standard, a new way of living is what’s waiting for you. I hope you take your leaps of faith friends, no matter if you start with the small ones. They matter because you do. Each time you try something new towards the life you’re creating and the person you’re becoming, it becomes a habit. Taking leaps of faith will no longer be abnormal. They’ll be the only way you know how to do life. You’ll remember all the times you’ve taken them and the ways in which you’ve made it work. Every single time. This is your new reality.
What’s most interesting is that as soon as you commit to do whatever it takes to support yourself through your new leap of faith and you let go of the need for control, you will become open to whatever happens. That openness is the key for you to be able to actually receive the results that will come for your highest good. Often, this is when grace fills in the gaps. I can’t tell you how many times this happens.
As soon as you commit and decide to do the thing, put down the money, take the different role, ask for your needs or step into that next action – you will suddenly see something entirely unexpected come through for you. Someone will support you that you weren’t expecting. When you take the steps that are aligned from your heart to your brain, you will be supported. Try this and see what happens. Can you move forward to experience this for yourself?
That’s your work.
If it feels like it makes sense to you to explore spiritual achievement coaching, where we work to develop your intuition and energy so that you can achieve your personal and business goals with spiritual fuel, then I invite you to join me by reaching out at www.mayempson.com/contact.
You won’t want to miss our next Spiritual Achiever retreat coming at the beginning of next year. Live teachings on time and energy management, intuition development, leadership and life design. All connected with other spiritual achievers who want joy, peace and impact in this lifetime.
That’s it for this week. Have an amazing one and I’ll talk to you next time.