Taking that Leap of Faith: Why our brains are an enemy and intuition is our best friend when moving towards growth
There is a moment when you are on the edge of something new and your whole body screams out at you to move back from the edge to safety. We all experience it at some stage in our lives, it is normally at this point when we really do need to make that change. These are the moments where we need to move beyond the fear and take a leap of faith, not just the new thing working out, but in ourselves. We need to take that leap to have the confidence that we are making the right choice for us despite the fear.
I know a trainer who talks about facing fears and raises the topic of how you might feel standing at the edge of a cliff as an example. She goes on to talk about an experience she had with an Army Psychologist when they discuss one of the questions on the Psych exam which ask about what you would be tempted to do if you were standing at the edge of that cliff. Now we know that we don’t jump because we know logically that we would end up at best extremely injured at the bottom and in the worst case very dead. We make a rational decision in this situation. Our fight or flight mode kicks in and makes sure we make the safe decision for ourselves.
Due to our modern living, we don’t actually have as many situations where our brains need to keep us safe – from predators and other dangers that came with a nomadic lifestyle many centuries ago. As a result, our brains spend a lot of time misunderstanding hormone changes, adrenaline rushes which come from different types of fear, and still tries to protect us from a danger that doesn’t exist. Well a danger that it thinks exists due to our fear but doesn’t really because the fear is not based on a life-threatening situation.
This is understandable. Our brains are hardwired to protect regardless of the cause of risk.
This means that the step we take from what we know to the unknown is one of the hardest we ever have to take. We have to deal with our brains becoming our enemy and we need to trust in ourselves in a way that is often unnatural to us. Modern society has taught us to fear what we cannot clearly see the outcome of. From the moment we step into a school and move through the system, our brains are being trained to trust hard facts and not intuition or instinct.
We then step out into the world, where instinct and intuition are what we really need to move beyond limits set by ourselves and those around us.
If we look at those who have succeeded in life there is always an element of braving the unknown in order to get to the prize. Whether it is in developing a new business idea, stepping towards those life goals you have or reaching a smaller personal goal. In order to succeed you, at some stage in the process, have to trust in yourself and step into the unknown.
When I was moving forward after the death of my husband, I found that I was being faced with, and am still being faced with, challenging decisions. It was through trusting myself and my intuition that I was able to not just take the step but to embrace a whole new way of living my life. I opened my mind up to new ways of doing things and was able to see a different way to my true life goals.
This took faith in me.
I had to overcome my limiting beliefs.
I had to overcome those voices in my head telling me that this was not the way to get to the goal. That I needed to follow a sensible path. It was saying I should do what was logical to do. Most importantly if I had listened to my limiting beliefs, I would never have had the courage to listen to the messages I was being given. I would not have written a book. I would not be living a bigger, fuller life and helping to empower others.
What do you need to do to take that leap?
You need to become conscious of your limiting beliefs first. This includes the unconscious biases which your brain has stored up for you. To become conscious of what they might be it is always good to reflect on why you react in a particular way to things. This helps you to find your triggers. These can be found in those moments when you react to something a little more forcefully that you think you should, or maybe get very defensive about something, which on reflection is an overreaction. You need to take note of these moments and start to delve into why they bring out these reactions in you.
This will help you find your limiting beliefs. It will also help you find the why behind those beliefs. To do this you need to be willing to question if the way you are doing something is the only way, and if not is there another way to do it. You need to be willing to question yourself in order to eventually strengthen yourself and help clear the path to the changes in your life that you have been afraid of.