Perhaps you consider...
What will "they" think?
Who am I to do this?
How do I do this?
How will I survive?
Am I crazy?
Is this really worth all the trouble it will bring up?
Maybe you even have outer voices trying to dissuade you from acting on your impulse. Perhaps fast talking people in positions of power, maybe a lover or family members who force you to choose between them and what you desire, or maybe even friends mired in fear who find life safer with you living predictably. Maybe your entire community even challenges you, openly berating you for going against the grain.
When you can stay true to you under the heat of such intense criticism, this is the crucible which forms greatness. Looking back on my life, I can now see that it is the times when I stood up for what I believed in which now define me. It has been in the little conversations where I had to speak up for myself if I wasn't being treated with respect, in the times I revealed something on my mind even if it created extreme discomfort, in the times I acted on a "hair-brained" scheme which turned into a life changing success. For me, these are magic moments of opportunity where I am invited to become who I truly am.
Tonight I saw a movie at the Mill Valley Film Festival called, Made in Dagenham, which depicted how an "ordinary" woman changed history by feeling the pummeling doubts of her own mind and many around her, and moving forward to take action anyways. She acted, not because she was an alpha personality who was comfortable being a leader, but simply because she felt called to do it. Because those around her asked her to step into a higher vision of herself on their behalf.
This movie depicted the struggle of Rita O'Grady as she led a strike against Ford Motors in Britain in 1968, demanding equal pay for women. What I loved about this woman was that she was not naturally composed. She was nervous and it showed. The opinions and hurtful words of others deeply effected her. She had doubts. But she spoke her heart's truth, plain and simple, and it was the power of her heart that mobilized change. She also backed up her heart's truth with stubborn tenacity to prioritize her calling no matter what. Rita had everything on the line... her job, family, friendships, and savings. Even her furniture which was getting re-possessed! But she continued to act on her inner truth.
In additional to being a fantastic movie ~ I laughed, I cried, I was mesmerized ~ what I loved about this experience is that it immersed me in the deep levels of resistance which Rita felt. I viscerally felt the insane level of strength she needed to sustain her commitment. By the end I thought, "hey, if she could do that, I can do anything on my list!" The bigness of her battle made me realize that all the opportunities I have to live more courageously are quite tame and surmountable in comparison.
So today, I invite you to enjoy the pauses which visit you. Savor the moment of reflection which arises when you are on the edge of a choice which feels big and scary. Notice when you feel a twist in your gut. Feel deeply into all the hesitations and criticisms which arise and appreciate them. Love your doubts. They are really angels, not demons, here to invite you to step into the next level of who you are destined to be. Instead of imagining that you shouldn't have doubts or questions, invite them into your own heart as guests. They are emissaries arriving right on time to invite you to step into a bigger you.
Rita demonstrates that the bottom line is action ~ through movement or speaking. The only thing that matters is that you do it. Do it, especially if it is sloppy and imperfect and full of heart. You don't need to wait to become "ready" or have more skills. You will learn everything you need to know along the way. You don't need to wait for circumstances to be "easier". There is no "one day when" it will feel more comfortable. If you are feeling called to do something, then the time to begin is now.