I am at that point, standing at the edge of the unknown, deciding whether I should step back to a place of certainty, or take the leap forward, and risk falling.

Perhaps you have been there too.

Starting a new business in the middle of a pandemic certainly has its added level of risk. But then again, we are all living with more uncertainty, unpredictability and risk these days.

So, I ask myself, what keeps me going, moving into the unknown?

Commitment

Commitment is a funny thing. When we fully commit to something, we want to see it through to the end. All too often, however, we actually don’t fully commit. We keep all options open to be able to quietly navigate a side exit or be able to explain it away as something we really didn’t want to do in the first place. We play it safe, bubble wrap things and protect ourselves from the potential adversity.

After all, committing yourself to a path where there is no guarantee of success or where the unknows far outweigh the knowns is scary. We fear failing. We fear falling.

Limiting Narratives

Then the stories start creeping in like an insidious toxic liquid in the basement of our souls. They reinforce familiar narratives that we are not good enough, or we won’t succeed, or perhaps worrying about what we have imagined to be the worse case scenario. In essence, we stop trusting ourselves.

This has devastating effects. It leads to feelings of despair and a search for the exit sign.

So what prevents us from giving up at the first sign of failure or distress?

Transformation

Being grounded in our why or having a sense of purpose will give us that clarity, perspective and direction. More powerfully stated, it is knowing that the muck, setbacks and adversity hold the very promise of the transformation that we are ultimately seeking by having taken on the challenge in the first place. So keep going, we must.

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” ― Haruki Murakami

We have this idea that we can orchestrate our transformation by making annual resolutions, but of course, transformation – real transformation – is more often the by-product of having fully committed ourselves to an unknown path or been pushed into one (like as a result of a pandemic).

“Let everyone else call your idea crazy . . . just keep going. Don’t stop. Don’t even think about stopping until you get there, and don’t give much thought to where “there” is. Whatever comes, just don’t stop.” Phil Knight, Shoe Dog.

It is about trusting ourselves, now in the moment, which then builds important trust for the future. It will be tough and it may be painful and we may not even succeed, but more importantly it is about having exercised our opportunity to fail.

And you will likely surprise yourself, instead of falling, you fly to reveal the potential you didn’t know you had.

Unself yourself and take a first step. New course starting – October 20th.

It’s our masterclass in mindful performance enhancement, combining Olympic experience and mindful performance into a powerful approach towards being our best selves when it matters most. The course is offered in partnership with Mindspace, a leading clinic offering workshops and training in mindfulness, psychology services and counselling.