“Don’t die with your music still inside you. Listen to your intuitive inner voice and find what passion stirs your soul. Listen to that inner voice, and don’t get to the end of your life and say, ‘What if my whole life has been wrong?” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

 

I’ve been thinking lately about the “stuff” that comes up when I’m creating something new, when I’m stretching way more than a toe outside my comfort zone.

There’s the pretty stuff and the not-so-pretty stuff. I’ve been wading through both for the past while – and I’ve experienced them before – so I’ll give it to you from my perspective, starting with the not-so-pretty.

What happens when you create something new?

You’ll face fears. Lots of them. You’ll have to stretch yourself beyond what you think you’re capable of, which will bring up all sorts of self-doubts. Which makes sense, because you’re doing something you’ve never done before – a scary thing to your ego, which is trying to keep you safe.

You’ll face being in that “thrash” mode, which is decidedly uncomfortable. You’ll question yourself, your knowledge, your ability, what the heck you’re doing and if you even CAN do it. You’ll then realize you have no clue what you’re doing. (It’s new, after all.)

You’ll start to feel isolated, as if no one gets you or what you’re doing or why. And maybe YOU will forget why you’re doing this. You’ll want to crawl under the covers and forget the idea altogether. You’ll feel incompetent, possibly stupid, frustrated with yourself and angry.

You’ll wonder, “Who am *I* to be doing this? Will anyone even care? It’s hard. I can’t see the way ahead. What if I’m headed in the wrong direction? What if I’m doing it wrong altogether? Will it even be worth it?”

And then there’s the sense that your life will never be the same.

On the other hand…

You’ll feel a beautiful, nervous excitement. The calling to do it. The allure of inspiration as the ideas flow in. The sense that this is important work, and only you can bring it to the world in this particular way. It’s an expression of your soul and you can’t not do it.

You feel it’ll make a difference. And if it doesn’t make a difference to others, it’ll still make a big difference to you. Because it’s somehow part of you yet it’s longing to be set free. And if you don’t create it and set it free, you’ll feel like you’re squashing down a piece of your soul.

In living on the edge of discomfort, you strangely feel alive and exhilarated. You feel a sense of meaning and purpose, and like you’re flying because there are no limits. Your heart feels full and content.

And then… there’s the sense that your life will never be the same.

Yes, I said that twice. Because on the one hand, if you create the thing you feel deeply called to create, you’ll be expanding and growing beyond your old perceived limits. (Maybe that makes you want to run for the hills, or it may make you want to throw all caution to the wind and create right now.) And if you don’t, if you push the creation back down within, somewhere inside you may be choosing to keep yourself small.

In the end, we’re each empowered with the choice: create what we feel compelled to create, or let it go.

So my question for you is: what is the cost of staying small?

 

Originally written for The Wellness Universe.

 

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