A Guide to Navigating Past Your Fears to Discover Your Heart’s True Calling
We all want to know that we have made some sort of a positive impact on this world before it’s our time to depart. If that means touching just one soul on a deeper level, we feel a natural pull to contribute. We want to know that our life has counted, that we have infused it with meaning.
Getting in tune with your heart’s calling is a process. It naturally takes time. You are unlikely to have a sudden flash of insight or a vision where you will know “this is IT & I’m ready to go for it.”
It’s a gradual pull toward something that you feel wants to be born through you. The pieces of the puzzle are constantly being put into place to show you a clearer picture of what that “something” is.
Your fears often obscure your ability to see the outline of that picture. In this guide, we will address those fears so that you can see what lies beyond them.
First, it is essential to realize that you are already having an impact by who you are being.
Your life itself is a message. Every time you make someone smile, you’ve touched their soul. Every time you express yourself authentically, you help another know that it’s ok to do the same.
The smallest actions you take are meaningful, impactful and purposeful. But if you feel there’s a larger theme that you are here to set in motion, this simple exercise can help nudge you closer to what that overarching theme is.
First, you must dust the fears out of the way long enough to see a glimpse of the wonderful future your inner self wants to show you.
1. Identify The Fears That Are Holding You Back
You already have some sort of an idea about what you want your ideal life to look like and what impact you want to have. Start there. Identify the most basic fears that you feel are holding you back from taking action.
Fears stem from the perception of having needs that are not met. Your fears will fall into the following two major categories:
Physiological & Safety Needs — Physical Security in the form of Food, Water, Shelter, Safety.
Love/Belonging & Esteem Needs — Need to Belong, To Be Loved, To Be Understood & Accepted. Need to Feel Worthy, Valuable, and Important.
It is important to identify fears in both categories. As long as we are human beings, we will all desire to have these needs met — they are a natural part of our biological need for survival. Know that you are not alone in feeling the fears associated with not having these needs met. It’s simply a sign that you are a beautiful, living, breathing human being like the rest of us.
If you consider Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (illustrated below), you will notice that the need to Grow & Achieve Your Potential (Self-Actualization) is at the top. Your mind and body must feel some level of comfort with the four other needs before it will allow your focus and energy to be directed mainly towards achieving that purpose. For simplicity, I have combined Physiological & Safety Needs and Love/Belonging & Esteem Needs since they are closely related.
Thinking about the main needs you feel are still unfulfilled in your life, write down your greatest fears in both categories.
Realize that you are the one who is able to identify the fear. Therefore you are NOT your fear. You are the one who is perceiving it or feeling its physical sensations.
2. Step Into The Future Where Those Needs Have Already Been Met Even while you’re feeling this fear, you can use your mind to think greater than the fear. Consider setting aside some time to do the following visualization exercise to bring you closer to your true heart’s desire.
Shift your attention to the question of what you would be doing if the basis for those fears dissipated, if those needs were met. How would your life be different if these fears were no longer in play? Who would you be, what would you be doing with most of your time?
To help you do that, let’s imagine that all of your needs are already met.
Your Physical Survival and Safety Needs Have Been Met
One way to think beyond the fear for your physical safety is to imagine that whatever amount you think you need to live on, you already have. You have won the lottery. Not only do you have enough to sustain your lifestyle for another 100 years, you also have enough to support you in your mission to leave an impact on this world through whatever means you imagine that can be accomplished.
An even more powerful way to get through this fear, is to notice the fact that there already is enough. Right now, there is enough in this world to provide for your basic needs. There are enough resources on this earth to feed you. Nature is constantly producing fruits, vegetables, and grains regardless of what your financial situation is. Yes it may take time and effort to find, cultivate, grow, or process these resources, but they are there — somewhere on this Earth — all year round. Nature simply will not let you starve. If it really came down to it, you are creative enough to find ways to plant the right seeds to produce enough food to keep yourself alive.
Right now there are enough raw materials to build a basic form of shelter. There is always enough kind, hard-working people in this world to help you build this shelter, even if it may take some time. If it really came down to it and you weren’t afraid to ask for help and to put in some sweat equity, others would be happy to help you build a roof over your head to protect you from the earth’s elements. Even if the concept of money disappeared from the world, there would always be a way for you to ensure your most basic physical survival. The universe has your back.
Think about all of the work exchanges that are out there. There are so many people who would love to open their home to you and feed you in exchange for just a few hours of work.
There are individuals out there just like you who love meeting and connecting with new people. Programs like Workaway are proof that no matter what happens, as long you’re willing to contribute, you always have a place to rest your head and warm meals to keep your body happy.
You Are Surrounded by Inspiring, Kind & Uplifting Individuals — & You Are One Of Them
Imagine that magically, everyone in the world who you believe would criticize or judge you has lost their ability to communicate with anything but kind and loving words. They suddenly realize that any criticism is a result of their own fears and insecurities and they’ve decided to work on themselves to cultivate their own light. Now that they’ve dropped their fears and are empowered, they can only help and offer support from a loving and compassionate space in a way that benefits all being involved.
There is no one to judge you, criticize you, or disapprove of your ideas. There will always be people with constructive feedback, but it is offered in a supportive and kind manner.
There are so many people in this world who would love to join you in your mission, who would love nothing more than to see you lead, to support you with everything you need- you simply haven’t met them yet. Imagine if you could connect with a handful of them over the next year. They are grateful for the work you want to do and are excited to help join your efforts.
Right now, there is enough support. There is enough love. There are so many people who are excited about your vision turning into reality. There are so many people that are grateful for your courage to go after it. So many lives are already blessed because of your decision to step into your grandest vision. The people whose lives you have touched are hopping into the present moment from the future, appearing before you and thanking you for how you’ve helped them. Who are they, what exactly are they thanking you for?
3. Spend Some Time with The Future Self Who Acted Even Through the Fear Now that your mind has been able to expand beyond your fears, how are you spending your days and what impact are you having on others?
Think about the vision you had in your mind before you started this exercise. How does addressing the fears shift that vision — does it expand it beyond what you could’ve ever thought about? Was that initial vision truly yours or was it influenced by society’s ideas of who you should be or what you should be doing?
Identify a few common verbs for what you are doing more specifically to help serve your target niche. Perhaps teaching, speaking, writing, organizing, sharing ideas, providing encouragement, sharing knowledge, bringing people together?
Identify some adjectives for how people are feeling as a result of your contribution. Thanks to you, do people feel more knowledgable, understood, accepted, empowered, loved, care for, or as if their lives have been simplified?
What character traits might you need to cultivate in order to be the person who makes this vision happen? Who can you look up to for inspiration and advice? What people can you start making connections with that will help you along the way?
What skills do you need to build or expand on? How can you start doing so today?
The vision will always keep shifting — it will never be crystal-clear. Sometimes you just have to go with it. Now is the time to see what resonates within you, decide that this is “IT” — and go for it. As you take action, you will know what adjustments to make along the way.
Life will offer you feedback, but it can’t do so unless you start moving in one direction or another.
If you keep waiting and remain stagnant, there will be no feedback available to let you know whether you’re heading in the right direction or not.
Spend a few minutes sitting with the image of the kind of person you want to be. Remember that you’ve already exhibited the character traits of that person many times in your life. You can exhibit them more often when you bring more awareness to your life.
You’re already demonstrating the highest form of kindness and compassion just by reading this — for if you weren’t aware of that pull to make an impact, you wouldn’t be spending your time with this exercise.
Thank you for you. For your willingness to be in this world, to participate, to play full out, to let your joy out, to share your knowledge, to share your smiles. You matter more than your mind will ever allow you to admit. You are an essential part of nature, an essential piece of humanity.