Continuing with the theme of “approaching end of summer, beginning of autumn, and the start of the school year (whether or not you or your kids are in school)” I began in the previous post, let’s talk about how to actually make that change happen.
Do any of these goals or projects have a sense of taking a risk or send a subtle prickle of fear down your spine?
When this happens to me, I always know it’s a good since because it usually means I’m approaching something that will cause me to get out of my comfort zone, grow, and become stronger.
I see these challenges as mini firewalks.
For those of you who have read my book, Firewalk: Embracing Different Abilities, you know a firewalk is my metaphor for living life fully with a disability. If you want to get the abridged version of this, check out my blog post, What’s Your Firewalk?
The core philosophy of a firewalk (taking on a risk or a challenge) is that if it’s done with the right intentions, you will grow and be more fulfilled from the experience.
When I did an actual firewalk, the biggest lesson I learned is to pay attention when I desire the experience (taking the risk or challenge) enough to move through the fear that may hold me back from it.
Breathing through the fear I had about doing the firewalk and actually placing my foot on the bed of hot coals changed me. I became less fearful and more confident. I learned taking risks, both big and small, is a good thing for continued growth and feeling fully alive.
I’m a firm believer that when you live with disability, the need for risk and challenges is even more vital. Your disability, and perhaps the world, will always tell you what you can’t do. In this short life, there shouldn’t be much time eaten up by “can’ts.” Let’s work on making what’s possible.
As the seasons change, consider a firewalk you want to take in the coming months. Do you want to renew your job search? Learn something new? Meet someone new?
Here’s some easy steps to help you figuring out the best firewalk for you right now:
1. What is it that you ultimately want? What’s the feeling you’re looking to experience? This will be your guiding force to taking any risk or challenge. Always keep this in focus.
2. Focus on what you want from the experience? How do you want to grow, gain a new skill, or learn something about yourself? It helps to write or record this so you can keep it in your focus.
3. Do you want the experience of a risk or challenge more than the fears you have about doing it? If not, go back to Step 1 and get more clear about what you want. If yes, or precede to Step 4.
4. Inhale and exhale deeply as you take those initial steps, trust that you’re doing the right thing, and connect with the aliveness you feel.
Sounds easy, but you may be thinking ACTUALLY DOING IT, TAKING A RISK, MAKING A CHANGE, may be another thing. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be breaking down each of these four steps.
Do me a favor before next week? Think about an action, change, or risk you want to take in this season of change to live more fully and confidently with disability.