Yet again there I was with another massive construction project set before me that was beyond my depth of knowledge. Saying I felt a sense of incompetence would be an understatement. My insecurities and fears had fully matured and were ready to reproduce themselves like cancer in my blood. This was yet another challenge against my self-confidence and masculinity. Would I become overwhelmed and shut down? Or would I allow myself to put in the hard work and learn that which I did not know? Fortunately, this time around I permitted myself some grace and was able to break the process down into small tangible steps and efficiently work through and complete what was assigned to me. What I have been learning is that the unknown is very close to a toothless lion. Yes, there could be some potential physical danger but my fear is more so what controls me than the actual tangible threat. There is no bite, just roar.
Is it possible to navigate the unknown? YES! Is it feasible to navigate the unknown with little to no struggle? NO!
I am sitting on the precipice of a proverbial dark cavern that I am about to start exploring, one that I have never been down nor dreamed about going into. This is a whole new stage in my life, and the amount of variables seem to make all my past struggles pale in comparison. Yet, I have this profound sense of peace. I wonder if it comes from a vital lesson that I have continuously learned over the years... Everything will work out, just not the way I expect it, and most of the time it turns out better than I anticipated. I know that might seem a bit simple, but it is the truth. No matter the amount of adversity or challenge my life has been confronted with if I do not allow it to overwhelm me or force me to shut down and run away I win. That is right. As long as I just show up every day I WIN! Now winning never manifests how I want it to, but I can honestly say in reflectively thinking back on my life to date in every situation where I chose not to run away and show up and be present, personal internal victory was awarded to me.
So how does one embrace the unknown? How can I be counter-intuitive and accomplish that which I render impossible? The journey is challenging. The goal feels intangible, yet, there is this small fragment of hope that I cling to, it is this beacon of hope, this weapon which empowers me to fight off the shadows of hopelessness. I wonder how overwhelmed and afraid the people of history that I look up were feeling in similar moments. The following ideas are what I am committed to doing through this season of my life.
- Showing up.
This may seem cliche, but I find it to be so foundational and essential. When I want to shut down and hide in bed, I will force myself to get out of bed and set another brick on the wall of my dreams. When I feel insecure and unintelligent, I will take a deep breath and continue. Being a man isn't knowing all the answers it's just showing up and trying to take life one step at a time.
- Embracing reality.
Have you ever talked to someone who is ignorant of their life situation on purpose? They chose not to acknowledge the fact they have lost a proverbial limb. It is essential and necessary to embrace reality whether happy or sad. My hope and goal for this season is to honestly assess life and embrace the reality that I am surrounded by, positive or negative. I want to embrace the exact place I am at and then determine if it is where I want to reside or move on from.
- Finding friendship.
This is an area that I feel fortunate in. I have a handful of great friends to run to. In this season of encountering the unknown, I plan to heavily rely upon the encouragement of my friends, family, and mentors.
What are some values that you hold to when going through struggles of the unknown?