Louise Thompson: Passion seeking (part 5)
Can’t find your passion? Lost it down the back of the sofa? Hidden it in a really safe place? Or have you? A significant proportion of people who come to me bewailing the fact they can’t find their passion actually do know what it is. It’s just that they don’t want that to be the answer because going after it involves a lot of inconvenience/tricky conversations/financial implications/social disapproval/varying degrees of risk and fear and a boat load of hassle.
So it’s far easier to decide that thing can’t be your passion. That if it was indeed your passion it would all roll out easily, with no risk, hassle or fear. It would be a sure thing. A golden path of ease without nerves, and with a permanently steady hand. Truth be told, that’s fairly unlikely to happen (sorry).
In order to not feel uncomfortable or fearful, it can be easier to deny inner whispers about our passion rather than mustering our courage and moving in favour of it. It can be easier to tell ourselves we are stuck because we can’t find our passion, rather than being honest and saying we do know deep down what it is but we do not have the wherewithal to reach out and grab it.
We give ourselves a psychological get-out-of-jail free card by pretending we don’t know what it is. So we stay stuck. Because we want our passion to be risk-free. And yet change often involves risk. Yes, we want to make wise and pragmatic choices, do our homework and get some savings in the bank or whatever we need to do, but, we cannot wait for a magically perfect time where there is no risk involved.
Part of our work is not just restructuring our mortgage to give us breathing space while we retrain, but to actively look at how we manage our mindset around risk and comfort to make the decision in the first place.
The truth is, getting out of our comfort zone will feel scary. Getting out of our comfort zone for something that doesn’t serve us, is not our passion and is the wrong choice for us — that is naturally going to feel risky and scary. However, getting out of our comfort zone for the right thing, that is connecting us to our passion is likely to feel risky and scary too.
Absence of risk is not presence of rightness. It’s a common confusion. Out of comfort zone is out of comfort zone. The key is accepting there will be moments of adrenaline and nerves and harnessing them into action, not taking them as a sign you are going the wrong way.
It’s an absolute fallacy to believe the right choice will present itself without any sensation of fear or risk. The fact is, following your passion is about identifying something that allows you to be courageous enough to proceed anyway. That your passion for what you want is bigger than your fear of reaching out and making it happen. That the bigger risk actually becomes a lifetime of denying your passion. That it’s a bigger risk to play small for life than to look your fear in the eye and take affirmative action.
Anais Nin wrote “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Passion very often requires exercising courage. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is believing in something bigger than your fear in order to move forwards despite it.
Maybe you are one of those who is not stuck or lost at all? That you do, deep down, know where your passion is hiding. In which case, it’s time to call off the search and decide whether it’s scarier to live it, or to deny it.
Through her online Happiness programme “Wellbeing Warriors”, life coach Louise Thompson helps people unlock their happiest and healthiest life. Sign up at louisethompson.com and find more from Louise at bite.co.nz/wellbeing