Living with the “What if it Never Happens?” Fear
“What if … ?”
Two terrible tiny little words that every now and then I hear in the back of my mind. It’s not so much the words in and of themselves. No. Those two words alone and even as a pair don’t have that much power. The power comes in those three little dots after. That’s where the fear resides. Those three dots open up space for so much more. They are unsaid words hanging in the air.
“What if it never happens?”
There, I said it. Yep, this thought scares the heck out of the three of us. It is, after all, a real possibility. What if we try and try and just can’t save up the money we need? What if the bipeds lose their jobs and we have to refocus completely? What if there is a health issue with one of us and it means no traveling? What if we have a sudden responsibility that comes into our lives and can’t ignore?
There is nothing more terrifying than sharing our plans for our great Big Trip – putting it all out there – while accepting the risk, however big or small, that we might not make it. What if we let ourselves down? What if we let you down? All of you, Dear Readers, cheering us on, believing in us, wanting this for us so badly that, sometimes, I’m not sure who wants this more: you or us. What if we fail? Then what?
I can think of nothing worse than this.
The Law of Attraction – if you believe in it, and yes, for the record, we do – proposes that “like attracts like” and so, by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, one can bring about positive or negative results. Thus, if we declare our dream out loud and then follow every action possible to make our dream happen, our dream will, in fact, do just that: happen. We believe that once we direct our energy towards making our dreams come true, the Universe (you might call it God) begins to co-create with us, initiating opportunities and minimizing obstacles on the path to realizing our dream. That means the more focus and action we direct towards our goal, the more things seem to fall into place.
But here is the thing: expressing our dream out loud like this, so publicly, also makes us vulnerable because our failure – should it occur – would also be public. I really don’t think we could live with that. Well, we could, but we don’t want to. It’s not just the embarrassment either; it’s something else.
Sharing every step of the way with you likely doesn’t really make us any more prone to failure than if we kept it to ourselves. But, Dear Reader, sharing our plans certainly opens us to everyone else’s expectation. Everyone likes a feel-good story. No one wants to read a book or watch a movie that ends with the hero not making it, especially after spending more than two years planning. That’s not the Disney ending we’ve come to expect. We want to be inspired by people’s stories, not confronted with their failures.
That’s a lot of pressure.
Should I/we care what the world might have to say if we don’t make it? If we never get to buy the sailboat and sail the Med? Most of you will likely say “No! Oh, Monte, you shouldn’t care what others will have to say!” But see, I do care. We do care. I know you’ll still love us and you’ll still follow our little adventures. But that let down? To have our own dreams dashed like that and publicly? That is scary stuff, my friends.
But I have learned something important: you can feel the fear and still do it anyway.
I will continue to share the steps, the crazy thoughts in my head, the process and yes, the occasional angst-driven post, because the more I talk about this dream, the more fuel we have for it, and thus the more likely our dream is to come true.
Planning this trip makes us so happy, excited, nervous and … yes, a little bit scared. Frightened of the unknown, failure, disappointment, and, most of all, frightened that we will have let everyone down. Yep, it’s a rollercoaster. But, in the end, I think having a little bit of fear is healthy. It reminds us that we can’t slack off and just expect our plans to come to fruition all by themselves. We have to work, sacrifice and move things forward. A little bit of fear keeps our goal at the front of our minds and keeps the dream shining bright.
Have you ever had that happen, where putting your plans or dreams “out there” for all to see actually made the whole process more frightening? What was it? How did it end?