From the "Passion Unlocks Prosperity" series:
Why You Deny Your Passion
How often do you kill your passion?
Through the years you have either downplayed or outright denied many interests and feelings. We all have. After a while what once may have been a passionate interest becomes a fading dispassionate memory. What you are left with is little or no desire to pursue it or anything outside of your current day to day reality.
You know something is missing in your life...
but you can't put your finger on it.
So you move through your life day after day just going through the motions.
You do what you have to do because it is expected of you. You honor your commitments because that's the kind of person you are. It's just that you find yourself feeling as if all you are doing is "giving" and not really receiving.
What you want and what you need is something just for yourself...
You first need to understand how your life got this way. There were steps you took consciously and unconsciously which acted, over a period of time, to eliminate all passion from your life. It wasn't a sudden closing of the door on your passion. It was a slow and steady chipping away over time. In this article I am going to examine the excuses and reasoning, which over time, has created a virtual barrier preventing you from experiencing the kind of energy and excitement that makes life an adventure.
The Most Often Used Excuses:
1. "Not the right time"
Many of us have a tendency to view our lives as some kind of strategic plan we must adhere to. Such as: "I'll do this job for so many years". "I'm going to live in this house until..." "After the kids go off to college...", and so on. So it's not unusual for a new idea or feeling, which does not immediately support your day to day life, to quickly become labeled as "not relevant" or just "entertainment". This can happen to the very ideas and feelings that will lead you to discover something new about yourself. ...and possibly enhance the quality of your life!
What happens is your current mind set, which are your attitudes, opinions and beliefs, act as a filter. New ideas and feelings are sifted through this filter to make sure they serve your life as it is, not as it could be. Anything your current mind set considers frivolous or time wasting will be blocked and suppressed. This same mechanism may be at work at this very moment keeping you from living the next exciting chapter of your life.
Do You Really Own Your Life?
When was the last time you gave yourself permission to explore new ideas and feelings. The steps which could lead you to discovering something about yourself. What you really want. How you really feel. Has your life become a series of so many commitments that your days are now occupied just going through the motions? Have you become a prisoner shackled to fulfilling those commitments? Not with joy or passion. Not with a sense of adventure... but with the uncomfortable feeling that you've been here and done this before...and tomorrow it will just be more of the same?
2. "I feel guilty"
Have your good intentions conspired to trap you? Do the commitments you made, which at one time made a lot of sense, now seem empty and draining? What's worse is that you feel guilty about even questioning those commitments. As if there must be something wrong with you for doing so. It 's amazing what degree of misery a person will endure because he or she feels guilty about merely thinking about change. Where did we humans ever get the notion that it was somehow wrong to evolve and grow?
After all, this is how our brains are hard wired.
Spiritual, emotional and intellectual growth is natural for humans. You know when something is missing in your life. When you are not using your mind and imagination to explore and consider new possibilities you feel empty and unfulfilled. We humans know when we are not filling our joy and fulfillment quota: It's the lack of passion for the various activities of our day-to- day lives!
3. "It may affect my personal relationships"
It is human nature to want to preserve our "status quo". We don't want to change or upset the predictability in our lives. The last thing we want to do is affect our personal relationships!
"What if I find that my passion takes me in a direction which will affect my home life? Upset my family routine...?"
The truth is, not following your passion will one day explode upon your personal relationships in a manner you never expected: Have you ever heard of "mid-life crisis"? How about the person who seems to be happy and well adjusted who out of the blue does a "180" one day? You know, quits their job or starts acting in a manner which is completely out of character. It shouldn't come as a surprise that these were people who routinely downplayed and denied their feelings and passions. They did it for years. Until one day all that suppressed emotion literally exploded!
You cannot escape from who you really are. Neither can you dance around what you really feel. You must allow yourself to ponder and experience new ideas and feelings which appear in your life in a safe, natural way. If you don't, there may come a day when you will no longer be able to suppress the "need" for change. The result of which will inevitably turn your life upside down.
What about those people who don't have a mid-life crisis or do a "180"?
For many people the suppression of passion creates stress. This long term stress results in physical maladies: Heart conditions, cancers and other debilitating diseases. Stress is probably the number one real cause of cancer. Denying who you really are and what you truly desire creates an enormous amount of stress. Unresolved over time, this stress will work, in its' own way, to change the course of your life. It will seldom be the direction you want to take but you can be sure of one thing: Your life will change.
4. "I'm not qualified to do this"
I have never met an individual who's growing interest about something was deterred by a lack of knowledge and experience. This is the beauty of passion! It eases you into something. Your growing interest becomes your teacher! Knowledge and experience is gained in a very natural step by step manner. You'll find that as you continue to pursue your interest, opportunities will appear that will teach you what you need to learn. This is why following your passion about something is such a powerful process.
In my own life, time and time again, I was able to take amazing journeys into areas I had no previous experience or training in. I was led by my passion. As I took action and pursued those new ideas, opportunities always appeared which allowed me to gain knowledge and experience. As I pursued my passion it caused my priorities, as well as the direction of my life, to change ...always for the better!
My Own Experience...
About 20 years ago I borrowed money from a bank to finance the writing of a book. It was going to be a sequel to a successful self-published book on marketing I had written four years earlier. At that point in time I honestly believed my burning desire was to write that book. The bank was more than willing to loan me the money. With the best of intentions I began to write the new book. My interest and desire to write it was strong at the outset.
About half way through the project however, my creative energy stopped cold! I literally "hit the wall". I just ran out of juice!. To make matters worse, I already spent half of the loan! During this same period of time I became aware of an opportunity which would make me a dealer for a very advanced musical instrument. It meant I could purchase one for myself at a discounted wholesale price.
I will never forget the agony I went through:
How irresponsible of me to spend the remaining loan money on this completely unrelated item. How could I even consider such a thing? But, consider it I did.
There was a deeper much more powerful urge which continued to build inside me. I couldn't take my mind off of what this new instrument could do for me, After all, my real interest was music...So I bought the instrument! A few months later I had composed and performed a piece of music using this new instrument. It was responsible for me being awarded a grant to do my first album! The amount of the grant was virtually the same amount I had paid for the instrument!
It didn't stop there.
Within a matter of weeks I built a new recording studio in the downtown area of my city. Two years later I even owned my own building! (Go to www.bobbaran.com and read the entire story)
The desire I had to create music, was at the time, (21 years ago as I am writing this) completely out of step with the life I was living and the goals I was pursuing. Yet, my life took an amazing turn as the direct result of surrendering to what my heart truly desired. I shudder to think what could have happened to the course of my life if I had decided it wasn't the right time or felt guilty about spending that money.
What if I allowed concerns about the impact it would have on my personal life stop me... or the fact that I had little or no experience with the type of musical instrument I wanted to purchase? I had to wrestle with all of those questions. Luckily a calming "knowingness" that everything was going to work out gave me the confidence to move ahead.
I had to overcome each one of the four most often used objections to embracing my heart's desire and my passion. Anyone observing my situation at the time, would probably have encouraged me to wait. "Finish writing the book!...Use the proceeds from the sale to buy the instrument!" That would have been the common sense thing to do. But sometimes common sense, especially when built upon a foundation of faulty information, can become the walls of a self made prison.
Finishing the book would have been the dishonest thing to do.
Writing that book at that point would have been a lie. A complete compromise on the truth of myself. My heart wasn't into it.
On the other hand, pursuing my passion for music was an unrelated and unrealistic path at that time in my life too. Surrendering to my passion rather than my "common sense" was an act of faith. The result empowered my life to move in a new direction. The outcome of surrendering to my desire turned out to be better than I had ever hoped for.
By the way, that same bank loaned me even more money to open that recording studio!
No, that book never did get written.
I don't know if such a powerful life changing passion is waiting to unleash your new destiny. There is however a simple and powerful lesson to be learned from my personal experience:
Don't be afraid to find out!
Avoid using convenient excuses which will keep, who you really are and what you really want on the back burner, out of sight, out of mind and suppressed. Give yourself the freedom to imagine, think and feel...
Remember: The clock is ticking...
The day you run out of excuses
is the day your life changes...