Got a Tiger In Your Tank? Let It Loose!
Pamela Slim, the author of the brilliant Escape from Cubicle Nation blog, also publishes an e-zine on a monthly basis. Last month’s (March 2007) issue featured an article I think every Inspired Solo and IS-to-be should read, entitled “Is Your Inner Tiger Choking On A Short Leash?“
Here’s what Pam has to say about those of us living life on that short leash:
I believe that each of us is born with a strong, creative spirit that wants to jump, dance, learn and grow. I call it the “inner tiger,” and it is the life force that propels us towards an active, open, engaging, healthy and fulfilling life. It can also be called your higher calling or life purpose. So why do we often chain it up and not let it roam freely?
Well, the short answer is “fear.” I’ve been corresponding lately with a reader who is strongly drawn to the life of an Inspired Solo, but is battling a number of (very rational) fears. In her story, I see my own, so recent and so vivid in my memory yet so distant from my current “space” emotionally speaking. So, with the benefit of distance and hindsight, I can offer her quaint and perhaps somewhat trite cliches, such as:
- What is it that you’re really afraid of? Identify it and plan a way around it. Once you feel prepared for “the worst” – whatever that might be for you – you can let go of that fear.
- Courage isn’t the state of not being afraid. It’s the act of being afraid and doing it – whatever “it” is – anyway. It’s a choice.
- If an idea keeps presenting itself to you – keeps coming back up, time and time again, after you knock it down with practical objection after practical objection – then it’s obviously something you want to do. At this point, you have two options: (1) continue doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result (the definition of insanity, according to one old saw) or (2) accepting that you want to do it, and putting all that energy into figuring out how you’re going to do it.
Well, they may be trite cliches, but they’re cliches because they’re also true. If you want to let that tiger loose, as Pam suggests, you need to cut through the leash of fear, which truly has us tightly reined in.