For accessibility and ease, you can listen to this post narrated by Mike:
I was never a big risk-taker.
As a kid, I was afraid to even ride rollercoasters. Or be honest about my feelings. Or try pretty much anything that I wasn’t 100% sure I’d succeed at.
I was perpetually afraid of failure. And there was a lot of opportunity to fail all around me. As someone who’d grown up feeling “too much” and “not enough,” I didn’t bet on myself all that often.
It’s not for some inherent bravery that I’ve taken any of the biggest risks in my life. It’s for love. Falling so hopelessly in love with something that it doesn’t feel like I have much of a choice. It feels like devotion. Determination. Unfolding.
When we’re so deeply in love, we don’t have to push quite so hard. Because the love pulls us forward.
For me, that’s what courage is about. Literally coming from the heart. Love.
And deciding that what we love is stronger than what we fear.
Truthfully, I never believed I was capable of pulling off my engagement. Getting Garrett to Italy, sneaking down to his parents’ to ask for their blessing, paying many, many thousands of dollars—all without any suspicion on his part.
I truthfully believed it wouldn’t happen. But my crazy, in love mind was determined to find a way. If I didn’t love him, I wouldn’t have even dared to try.
And—I’ll be totally honest—if I weren’t so madly in love with this work, I would have given up long ago. If I weren’t so in love with every visionary, every person who’s ever been told they were “too much” and “not enough,” I would have chosen something way easier.
If I could help myself from falling in love with words and ideas and the potential in all people, including myself, I wouldn’t be writing this right now.
If it weren’t for love, I never would have told Garrett I loved him, I never would have left my job in PR, I never would have started this blog, I never would have bought this house.
I was scared shitless every single time. Convinced it wasn’t possible. Listening to all of the voices that told me I couldn’t do this. Mostly my own.
That you can’t find a dream home, minutes from Garrett’s work, in our neighborhood. That you can’t just keep writing a blog year after year and still have things to say. That you can’t create a business based around energetics and unique genius and life purpose out of thin air and pay your bills.
I’m not particularly risk-prone. I wouldn’t have taken one of these steps if my mind had any control. But my heart was beaming too strongly. My love won out. I was pulled forward.
Pushing is exhausting. It’s starting from empty and trying to get somewhere. In essence, it’s saying that we’re not good enough, and we will be good enough when we get somewhere. If we just don’t listen to our needs and push ourselves forward.
But pulling is different. Pulling isn’t saying we’re not good enough or empty. It’s say that, no matter where we are, something bigger is pulling us forward. Calling us to step deeper into our genius. And all we have to do is show up and answer the call. Even if we can’t control the details or be sure it’s going to work out.
Pulling requires trust. Trust in something bigger than ourselves that’s pulling us forward.
What’s bigger than love?
When we love something—a person, an idea, a vision—we tend to do things we never thought we could do. We take chances. We have faith. Faith in something invisible but very much real.
That’s the role of a visionary. To have faith in a vision that we can’t always see, but we can feel in our bones. We know it’s real.
A visionary doesn’t see into the darkness. A visionary steps blindly forward, trusting in some vision, some feeling, some possibility. And shines a light for the rest of us to see and follow.
I’ll be honest with you—I have no idea where my marriage with Garrett will go. Or where this work will take me. Or what will happen in any area of my life. I can’t know. And, to a large extent, I’m just blindly trusting.
But love isn’t about knowing we won’t get hurt. Love is about facing the very real possibility that we will get hurt but choosing it anyway. Because we’re in love.
It’s giving us something more important than our fear to fight for.
I’ve never known a person who’s been able to fake that love in their work or art or relationship when times get tough. But I’ve known a lot of people who were madly in love who kept moving forward, even in seemingly impossible circumstances.
We visionaries are never lazy or undisciplined. We just maybe haven’t fallen in love with something enough yet. And, when it’s the real thing, you know. Because, as scary as the risks seem, you can’t imagine a life where you back down from them.
Love makes us courageous. It makes us bold. It makes us do the things we swear we can’t.
In my experience, when we go after the things we fall in love with, we really fall deeper in love with ourselves. With our genius. Because everything we love is a function of that genius. A function of how we see the world. A function of who we really are.
Every time I’ve ever stood up for something I’ve believed in and taken decisive action, it was because I was hopelessly in love. So in love that I didn’t worry about how foolish I looked on that dance floor, the criticism someone might level at my writing, the laughter someone might make at my first attempts, the rejection I might receive.
I just went for it. Not forcing. Not striving. Being pulled by something bigger.
Love asks us to rise to the challenge. It asks us to step up to our genius. It asks us to do things we never thought we were capable of doing.
Whether it’s an idea, a vision, a person, or ourselves, when we choose love, we’re pulled straight toward our genius. And toward our greatest contribution to the world.
Questions for Reflection:
*Answer in a journal, in the comments right here, or take it over to the Sacred Branding® Facebook group where we can support one another:
Are you afraid to take that risk?
— Are you terrified that it won’t work out? Are you frustrated that you’ve already gotten up and failed a few times before? Are you sure that you can’t do this or that it won’t happen for you?
— Have you ever called yourself lazy or undisciplined or unmotivated? Have you wanted to push yourself forward and force yourself to take more action? Have you wished you could be more courageous?
— What if courage only ever comes from the heart and from love? What if, instead of pushing yourself, you can be pulled toward your genius? What if choosing love allows you to do terrifying things you never thought you could do—all because you were hopelessly in love?