You Already Know What Your Next Step Is, You Just Have To Find The Courage To Take It

It isn’t always the one that scares you most.

Maybe you don’t need to find more answers.

Maybe you don’t need to do more soul-searching.

Maybe you don’t need more clarity.

Maybe what you really need is the courage to continue, even though the path is no longer new and exciting. Maybe what you need is the resolve to keep stepping forward, even though the process has lost its glimmer, and it has instead been replaced with monotony and routine.

Consciously designing our lives can become a form of escapism. It lifts us right above our lived experience to a place where we believe we haven’t quite landed yet, so we haven’t really begun. We start to get the idea that we can put ourselves on pause, that we can save up all of the goodness we seek for a later date, when we are better, when things are clearer, when we’re better aligned.

This break from our preexisting timeline is absolutely essential, and the truth is that most people never find the courage to even do it once. Instead, they press on with a life that was chosen for them by their environment, by their peers, by their social expectations, and more than anything, by trying to avoid discomfort and fear.

It is courageous to begin, but most people get stuck again when it’s time to simply continue.

Instead of remaining on the journey that’s furthering us into alignment with the truth of who we are, the process of discovering more truth can become addicting. We’re always one step away from starting, always envisioning some new aspect of a new business, a new opportunity, a new idea, a new plan. We’re always wondering when we could take our next trip to a foreign shore to learn something new about ourselves, to bring it back and plant it in the soil of our current lives, and then to see what grows.

The truth is that your life is not on pause until you figure everything out.

You don’t need to uncover layers upon layers of directives from deep within.

What you find when you escape yourself is the same stuff you’re running from in the first place — the only person you’re going to wake up and see looking back at you in the mirror is you, no matter where in the world it happens.

The reality is that you probably already know what the next right step in your life is, you just have to find the courage to take it.

I don’t mean the courage to leap, endeavor, or try something entirely new.

I mean the courage to wake up every day and stick to the plan.

I mean the courage to face your demons moment-to-moment.

I mean the courage to do what’s less gratifying in the moment because it’s what’s right for you long-term.

I mean the courage to keep going, even in spite of your failures, even though you’ve messed up, even despite the fact that you very well might do so again.

I mean the courage to embrace your humanness.

I mean the courage to accept that not every day is a good day, even when you’re living the life of your dreams.

I am not talking about the courage to leap and build your wings on the way down, but the courage to keep simply stepping forward, even though it’s hard, even though you’re tired, even though it feels as though the world is crashing down on top of you, even though it’s unfair, and even though you’d very much rather numb it all out and avoid everything altogether.

The next right step in your life is not always the one that scares you the most.

Sometimes, it’s the one that bores you the most.

Sometimes, it’s the least exciting option.

Sometimes, it’s the one that you’re avoiding, resisting and running away from, because it’s the step that requires you to sit in your discomfort, metabolize your uncertainty, and do what you know you will have wished you did a few years down the line.

I’m talking about self-discipline.

I’m talking about vision.

I’m talking about not confusing the forest for the trees.

Because at the end of the day, almost every single one of us knows what the right thing to do is, the journey is developing the courage, bravery, resolve and willingness to do it again, and again.

It is not always about how we can start over, but how we might just show up.

It’s not always about reaching the mountaintop, but sometimes just being willing to take a few steps on the path and know that it is enough.

It is not that your life can never be exciting, just that most of us are under the unrealistic delusion that everything must be a peak experience all of the time. This leads us to a process of constantly uprooting, which is the self-sabotaging behavior of planting seeds, sprouting them, and then starting all over again.

What we need is not always the courage to disrupt the status quo, but rather, to stay on the new path we’ve chosen for long enough that we can build the new patterns we seek, create the new normal we desire, and finally see the results that we know are possible if only we can navigate through the moments when we aren’t inspired.

Nobody feels inspired all of the time.

It’s not about waiting until you feel ready.

It’s about doing it anyway, and knowing readiness will come.

For more of my writing, follow me on Instagram, or check out my books, 101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think, and The Mountain Is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage Into Self-Mastery

Author of 101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think and six other collections. Visit briannawiest.com to shop for books and more.

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