Recently, as I was leaving Bible study, a young woman approached me for mentoring advice. She was moving forward on what she felt was her Spiritual Calling, which she was very excited about. But one part of her felt sure that she was moving in the right direction, but another part of her felt very insecure. She had never stepped outside of her comfort zone before and now her fears were starting to bubble up. What should she do? I was really glad she asked, since I have been there, done that and bought and worn the tee-shirt.
Because let's face it: a lot of things we once thought were secure weren't really so certain at all. For example: Enron, Arthur Anderson, the World Trade Center, the real estate market, the U.S. economy, a job as a lawyer, or at the post office, or as a teacher. And a lot of things that didn't previously exist are now central to the lives of many people: the Internet, cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to name a few recent examples. They too, however, will pass.
So move in the direction of your dreams, but don't stress about whether things turn out exactly as you envisioned. They probably won't and you don't want them to. The world is dynamic and you will (hopefully) grow and change. There's also no need to wed yourself to an idea or a vision of yourself that represents a previous level of your development. I find that as I move toward my dreams things often turn out better that I had imagined. For example, I used to envision myself as becoming a novelist. I had no idea that book collaborating existed. But I do a lot of that now and absolutely love it!
And the insecurity that you may feel as you step into new situations is temporary. The more new things you try, the more likely it is that you will develop a new skill set: the ability to feel comfortable in situations when you don't know the answers. You will start to know discover that no matter what happens, you will know how to handle it when the time comes. And that confidence will empower you to take even greater steps forward. It will also give you peace from the fears that used to keep you stuck in a life that you longed to outgrow. When you know you can handle pretty much anything that comes your way, there's much less to fear. Least of all yourself. That was my advice.