It’s the butt of many a joke and potentially good advice when you’re in Vegas, but the saying ‘quit while you’re ahead’ is the worst advice you can give to a person. When you’re ahead, quitting is the last thing you should do! When you finally get what you’ve been striving for, after fighting fear and all the rest, why the hell would you quit?
Most of us are affected by fear on a daily basis. Fear sits in our minds telling us to be careful, play it safe and not make ourselves look like idiots. Because, let’s face it, nobody enjoys looking like an idiot.
Putting yourself out there is scary. It’s way easier to simply stay home and eat chips than dare to do the things you’ve always wanted to. But by never trying anything new or never daring to push yourself to the next level how can we expect to grow?
The Scary Things are the Most Important
Life is scary. Take it from me. I was that kid who was afraid of EVERYTHING. I was afraid of bees because they may sting, so I was also afraid of walking barefoot on the lawn by association. I was scared of sharks (therefore the ocean), the dark, peeing at night, putting my hand up in class, talking to adults, talking to boys, haircuts, horses, babies and knives. At 13 I was terrified of the dentist and pitched such a fit about going that my mother gave up and I went 10 years without dental care. #stillnofillings
As I got older my list of scary things changed. They became the things I wanted to do but was too scared to try. I was scared to look like a dick. I was scared someone would laugh at me or tell me I was crap. And like most girls after the age of nine, I was scared I was too fat.
After a while though, I started to realise that I was missing out on things. I was so busy being afraid of everything that I wasn’t really growing as a person. I was going about my life but there was now sense of achievement or excitement. Playing it safe was boring A F!
Ever noticed how the things you don’t really care about aren’t scary at all? They’re either fun or necessary. Like hanging out with friends or filling up your car with gas. These things don’t register because they’re not on that special list in your mind – the list of awe.
Living in Awe
When we decide that certain things are too awesome to ever be ours, we push them away. We place them up on a pedestal and gaze at them longingly from afar. But fuck that pedestal. You gotta burn it down!
When we place things up on that pedestal we make them bigger and better than ourselves. It becomes harder and harder to attain those things because our ego is separating them from us.
But the secret is that by simply daring to do those scary things we can start getting rid of the awe around them.
Remember as a kid when you’d beg for Santa to bring you that AMAZING toy. You’d dreamt about how cool it would be for months. You’re sure this toy will change your life. Christmas comes and you are so happy that you finally got that toy. You play with it all day long and then the next day. But you find yourself growing bored. Pretty soon your new Glam Glow Barbie is sitting up on the shelf. You still love it but it’s no longer the unattainable golden egg it was before.
The same thing goes with daring to push yourself out of the comfort zone. When you dare to do it, it eventually becomes the new norm and pretty soon you will be ready to level up again. That is called growth.
Self Sabotaging Potential Growth Opportunities
Just like Santa, The Universe is always watching. Thoughts are not just confined to our minds – they become things, affecting the energy around us.
When we want something The Universe does its best to bring it to fruition. So when we get given an opportunity that offers to bring us closer to our goals it’s only polite to take it!
Do not let fear sabotage your potential growth opportunities!
Don’t Quit While you’re Ahead
And that brings me to my point. When we finally manage to push ourselves our of comfort zone we must applaud ourselves. The last thing we should do is retreat back into our safe space of playing small.
I’ve found it the past that when I finally get what I want I’m so god damn shocked that I go into a fit of imposter syndrome.
I can’t believe they accepted my article pitch! OMG OMG OMG. This better be the best work I have ever done! OMG. What if it’s not? What if it’s shit?
The fear makes me doubt myself and worst of all it takes the fun out of the process which means suddenly this thing I have wanted for so long isn’t any fun. It becomes an anxious process that actually brings me physical pain. It’s like the self doubt is punching me in the solar plexus chakra (because it probably is!).
Seeing as it’s only human nature to avoid the things that bring us pain it’s not surprising that when it’s all over and done with – even it it’s done well – we may never want to do it again.
What’s more, when we enjoy things we send a signal to The Universe to please send us more of this! But when we create from the place of anxiety and make the process shitty, we tell the Universe to please never send us this again. That’s why it is super important to find a way to enjoy the process!
How to Ensure you enjoy the Process
My favourite tools for helping myself work from a space of calm are exercise, meditation and Emotional Freedom Technique.
Every morning before I start work I go for a walk, a swim or head to F45. There’s just nothing like a hard cardio to clear your mind. Then I come home and do at least 10 minutes of meditation (loving this Kundalini chant RN!), and if I’m feeling particularly anxious about something I use EFT – also known as tapping.
Tapping uses meridian points on the body as well as affirmations to release old emotions and anxieties from the mind and body. You can tap on pretty much any issue from headaches to your attitude with money.
This guided tapping meditation is also very good!
But the truth is you can do whatever the heck you need to do to get into a good space to work from. Dance to loud music, sing, make love or eat chocolate! What ever gets you into the vortex!
When you’re ahead, keep pushing
So you did it! You felt the fear and you did it anyway! So now what? Now do not stop! Keep riding that horse! Find a way to do more of what you just did until doing that thing is no longer scary.
I am always comforted about what Malcolm Gladwell shared in his book Outliers; 10,000 hours is the amount of time you need to spend doing something in order to become a professional. He goes on to use Bill Gates and the Beatles as examples, both of which definitely hit the 10,000 hours mark well before they hit the big time.
The only way to achieve your goals is to keep going. Don’t quit while you’re ahead. In fact, never quit at all!