I stumbled across this quote and felt deeply moved to share it with you.
"If the path before you is clear, it's probably someone else's"-- Joseph Campbell
Man, that hit me like a ton of bricks. I will explain why in a bit. First, a little context.
We all have the same basic human need for certainty. Each and every one of us needs to feel certain we can avoid pain. Why? Because as Tony Robbins explains, "Prolonged pain equals suffering... and prolonged suffering equals death."
As a result, we go to remarkable lengths to avoid feelings of failure, rejection, and abandonment
- We pursue a career we aren't passionate about to feel certain our family will approve of us.
- We stay in that job for years (or decades) longer than we should because we want the certainty of the steady and predictable paycheck.
- We over-give to everyone around us and put our needs last to feel certain others find value in us.
- We stay in toxic relationships to feel certain we won't be alone.
- Sometimes, we cut ourselves off from any relationship at all because we want to be certain we won't get hurt.
- We put off writing the book, embarking on a new career, or launching a new business because we want to be certain the idea is "perfect" and the timing is "right" before we begin.
These are great ways to avoid pain in the short term, but almost impossible to sustain over time.
While we play small to avoid massive failure, we also deprive ourselves the massive joy and fulfillment which happens naturally when we align ourselves with our life's purpose.
We play it safe and avoid rejection in relationships, but we end up never feeling truly seen or heard by our partner.
Ultimately, we end up rejecting ourselves... and that's a huge price to pay.
Don't get me wrong. The desire for certainty is not a bad thing, as it's an essential survival mechanism. However, there is a big difference between "surviving" and "thriving."
If you want to fully experience all of life's bounty; excitement, passion, love, fulfillment, creativity, purpose, and joy, you won't find it in a life ruled by certainty. This is why we also have an equally big need for uncertainty. You could also look at this as a need for variety, new stimuli, and growth which can only be ours when we allow ourselves to step into the unknown.
Here's the tricky thing about uncertainty... if it causes us to feel like we're giving up control, it will rarely feel good in the moment.
It means you have to leave your comfort zone, take a risk, and let your authentic self be seen. It means you will stumble and and experience setbacks, maybe a lot of them. It may require leaving behind the approval of other people. Facing uncertainty will always feel messy and terrifying. It will trigger your deepest wounds and bring up every self-worth issue you have.
Which is exactly the point.
When you allow yourself to live on that razor's edge between feeling certainty and uncertainty, you force yourself to grow into the kind of person you must become in order to achieve your goals and give your unique gift to the world.
This brings me back to the quote from Joseph Campbell, "If the path before you is clear, it's probably someone else's."
If you are walking a path that's already been explored and defined by someone else, you might be cutting yourself off from the highest levels of creativity and self-expression.
I've realized this first-hand over the last week.
In my life as an entrepreneur, I am marketed to on a daily basis by entrepreneurial coaches. They all claim they'll teach a foolproof plan to expand my reach and impact in the world. They tell me if I want to go to the next level, I need to use their marketing model which made them successful.
Most of these coaches are coming from a place of love and service. I know many of them and have even worked with a couple. Some of their marketing principles have helped me grow the size of my mailing list and serve a greater number of people.
Yet, as I've focused hard on following other people's success path, I've actually ignored some of my own gifts, unique to me, which could help me create an equally successful, albeit different path than other coaches.
As I've gone within and reminded myself about my own unique background and skill set, some incredible new business opportunities have presented themselves which could help me serve more people than I could have imagined a month ago.
While I feel certain these new opportunities are aligned with my mission and I'm certain they will be game changers, I also feel uncertain because these opportunities will force me to put myself out there in a bigger way, become more vulnerable, and take bigger risks. Quite honestly, I have no idea how these opportunities will play out or on what timetable they will unfold.
That's precisely why I know I'm living in the Universe's "sweet spot." I know what direction I'm moving in but also have to trust clarity will come only if I continue to act with courage and faith.
Now over to you!
In what areas of your life does your path seem TOO clear? Where do you feel stuck in a routine rather than feeling excited and alive? Is there a place where are you following other people's path instead of creating your own?
- Are you working for a company who plans to move you up the corporate ladder, but you know deep down the ladder is against the wrong wall? Is the certainty of the approval and the paycheck holding you back from doing what you love?
- Are you listening to everyone else's advice on your next bold move, but ignoring your own intuition?
- Are you comparing yourself to others, trying to replicate THEIR success, while forgetting the Universe has a different and far better plan for YOU?
Comment below and let me know how this Joseph Campbell quote resonates in you life. I will personally read each email and respond to offer support. Not because I want you to follow my exact path to design the life you want. On the contrary, the world doesn't need another Dan Mason... it needs YOU! People are waiting to be moved by your story, your talents, and your great work. All that is required of you is a willingness to show up and overcome the roadblocks holding you back from letting yourself be seen.
As your coach and mentor, my great wish is for you to take the tools and life strategies I teach and use them to create your own unique path to more love, creativity, passion, and fulfillment, and joy!
Don't wait a minute longer. The world is waiting for your vision!
Sending big love,