“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
– from the Gospel of John
The truth is not always easy to deal with, particularly if fear of the truth has held you back for a good chunk of your adult life. But let’s see if we can debunk a few of what I’ve seen are the primary fear cons, the leg irons that hobble many who have then gone on to bigger things once we break those shackles.
Here’s the First Fear Con: that truth is the harbinger of Armageddon. And it usually goes something like this: if I pursue what I really love, I’ll never make enough to make ends meet and will end my days in complete and utter destitution. I’ll lose the support of my loved ones and friends. If I let my soul drive in the direction of my dreams and aspirations, the sky will fall, Mother Earth will open up to swallow me whole, letting out a lusty belch as my lone epitaph. If the melodrama in reading this has caused you to smile, it’s only because I’ve exposed this fear to the light of day. Viewed in full sunlight, it’s easy to label it laughable. But until you recognize this fear for what it really is, it will keep you anchored in place. And every year, the weight of this ball-and-chain will double.
The Second Fear Con contains an interesting paradox: that if I get real about who I am and what I really want, people will think I’m a phony. In other words, if I begin to act on what’s true to me, it will feel completely false, both to me and to those around me. As gently as I can, I’m here to tell you that if you’re not being truthful with yourself now, it’s more than likely those around you know it already. Again, you’re not alone. Many clients come to me earnestly desiring to be real, to drop the pretense, to stop being the imposter they’ve come to loathe and just be themselves. That transition–from the person you’re impersonating to the real you–is often painful. Instead, you’ll discover that whatever pain accompanies this transition is nothing compared to the daily discomfort you experience while they’re afraid to be who you really are.
I’ve left the biggest Fear Con for last, because it goes deeper than the previous two. For some, the biggest fear is ‘I sense that I have the goods to Play Big, but fear I’ll never be able to summon up the nerve, the chutzpah, the courage to crack out of this chrysalis so my true self can emerge.’ And here’s the kicker that goes right to your solar plexus, “… and if I should try this and I fail, it’s proof positive that I’m somehow deficient and should never have tried in the first place.” I find this myth that we’re deficient at some fundamental level is quite prevalent. Our culture has become a cult of self-improvement, teaching us to doubt our innate abilities. We think of ourselves as a fixer-upper home that could be flipped for a decent profit if only we could finally get everything fixed. If I assure you of nothing else in this book, let it be that, at a fundamental level, you are supremely capable. When you acknowledge what’s true for you and begin to act upon that truth, the real you will emerge. Playing Big is not about pretending to be someone or something you’re not. It’s about finally being who you really are–that person Nature has predestined to be big–and having discovered that ability, will never return to your smaller past.