As I glanced at my coworker’s computer screen, I was struck by the desktop background. In large font, the screen carried the words of Bill Cosby: “Decide That You Want It More Than You Are Afraid Of It.” Inspired reflection is found in the strangest places sometimes!
As I share my story of this year at Ei, I find that people respond with the greatest disbelief not to the fact that I develop my own experiences to learn from each term rather than taking traditional courses, but to the fact that I move to a new location every 4 months with frequent travel to Chicago. Just moving to a new part of town can be stressful, but when you think of moving across the country, finding a new home, starting a new job, making new friends, creating a new social life, and being immersed in new environments while working with new skills and ideas, all together it can be quite overwhelming—scary, actually.
The main reason these collective changes and challenges seems so scary is because there are a lot of unknowns, a huge potential for failure and a sense of uprootedness that cause us to scramble to find some kind of grounding. To overcome this fear, we have to truly know what makes us feel grounded beyond the typical realms of home, work and family. With the help of my transformational coach Adrienne at Ignite Adventures, I’ve been able to articulate what helps me to feel grounded when most other aspects of my life are in flux. The most important one for me is to find a yoga or dance studio right away. I used to wait until I had all the “essentials” settled before I started attending a studio, yet my biggest lesson is that I actually feel I’m settled when I engage in that practice even before I find a long-term place to stay. Not only does it provide a personal sanctuary, feel-good endorphins, and a community, but within the practices of yoga and dance it’s impossible to fail as long as you try your best.
The moment I applied to Ei was the moment that I decided I wanted to thrive more than I was afraid of trying. We all tend to restrict ourselves because of our fears of the unknown, of taking risks and failing. However, if we get caught up in that, it’s hard to go after what we really want. We’re not willing to truly take important risks in our lives until our desire for what we want surpasses our fear of potential failure. Fear will always come first, but you have to decide that you want it more.