If only we had the courage to take an honest inventory of our lives, we would be stunned to learn just how much of our choices, both large and seemingly small, are driven by fear. We would then be further shocked to realize just how much of our mental, emotional, and physical energy goes into anesthetizing or distracting ourselves from feeling the discomfort of this reality.
This constant dance – the unacknowledged fears and the choices we make as a result – will eventually lead us to experience a sense of “stuckness” in our lives. At any given time, we may find ourselves stuck in any number of ways: in our relationships, in our career, in reaching a desired goal, or even in a phase of life or stage of development that we just can’t seem to outgrow. We may even find ourselves stuck between two seemingly impossible choices.
In the words of Jungian analyst, James Hollis, “Going was dying, and staying was dying. When we get to junctures like that, we had better choose the dying that enlarges rather than the one that keeps us stuck.”
If we wish to not waste our precious and ever diminishing time on this earth by living an inauthentic life, then our only choice is to summon the courage necessary to be honest with ourselves. We start by identifying where we are stuck and naming the fears that are blocking us from moving forward. And then we give ourselves permission to reach out for the support we need as we do the most important work of facing those fears head on.
Mandy Persaud is a licensed marriage and family therapist, leadership consultant, and owner of Simply Brave therapy center in Orlando, Florida. She helps clients access the wisdom, courage, and self-compassion needed to live a more meaningful life.