I’ve mentioned before that when I’m not sure what to talk about, I listen to music - right? Sometimes I get lucky and I’ll know what I’m going to talk about and the soundtrack is already in my head. Other times it takes two hours of listening to music and dancing around my office before everything comes into focus.
Hard. Work. I am all about it ;)
I started by browsing a few of my playlists where I listened to Of Monsters and Men, Jack Johnson, Florence and the Machine, and lots more. Then I made my way over to the new music section of Apple Music and listened to Ariana before finding out Evanescence has a new album coming out. Of course, I played all of that - at full volume - before seeing the new album by Andra Day and time stopped.
I love a lot of her music, but Cheers to the Fall is an anthem for living life on your own terms. That starts with knowing what you want and going after it full force despite the possibility of a fall.
The thing about stating that you have a goal (even if it’s to yourself) is that it means you’ve admitted you want the thing. This isn’t a problem.
Where we get into problem territory is when we’re afraid not achieving the goal will make us sad, unhappy, or some other subjectively negative emotion if we don’t achieve the desired outcome.
Nothing good ever comes from fear - it’s the mind killer, after all. (Bonus points for anyone who recognizes or is obsessed with the Litany Against Fear.)
So what’s a witch to do?
Think of those potentially negative emotions. I mean it. Go all in with the doomsday fantasy situations in which you lose your job, spouse, self-respect, or whatever it is that you think about that makes you have all the feels about why the goal is for sure the wrong thing to do.
Can you FEEL how disappointed you’ll be? How heartbroken? How utterly devastated and on the edge of a despair from which you’ll never recover you’ll be if your book never makes it to bestseller status?
Or whatever your goal happens to be. It could even be losing weight. Maybe you want to lose 25lbs and you’re so afraid to fail (again) that you have donuts and pizza for dinner - followed by pie and ice cream for dessert and a few snacks in between - because if you don’t get started you can’t feel the feels of failing, right?
Except that’s not how it works.
I may have gotten you to that place inside your body just now where you’re worrying about all the ways what you want will never happen or turn into a complete disaster, but you’ve been doing this to yourself for pretty much your entire life.
How do I know?
Because you have a human brain and that’s what human brains do. To be fair tho, if you’re listening to this in the distant future as an artificial intelligence entity OR if you’re an alien eavesdropping in for an anthropology class, this might not apply to you but hopefully it’ll help you understand us humans better.
Because for realsies, human brains are worst-case scenario experts. It’s how they evolved to keep us safe and obsessing on why something is a bad idea is a great way to ensure you remember not to annoy the nearby bears.
But the thing is, when you’re worried about what will happen and how you’ll feel if you don’t achieve the goal or if you lose the person or whatever, then all you’re doing is feeling the feelings before you need to.
Instead, when you dive into those feels early remember to swim back towards the surface and take a deep breath then swim back to shore and keep moving towards your goal.
You’ll also need to be eager to celebrate the falls. No, really. Instead of worrying you might fall or fail or land on your face while everyone stands around laughing at you, get excited about the amount of growth and learning you’ll do every single time.
Let’s say you ask the object of your obsession out and they say no. At least you’ve narrowed down the dating pool and aren’t wasting time on them anymore.
Or - even worse - they say yes and then the date is only slightly less horrible than a root canal. You just worked out a more precise idea of what does and doesn’t belong in your dating criteria checklist.
I can take this all the way up to a bad breakup, divorce, cheating, or death. All things people consider to be falls they might not survive and all of which will put you on the other side of growth if you’re willing to allow the experience.
If you’re willing to learn from literally everything then the very worst-case scenario ever is that all you walk away with is a greater understanding of yourself and how to get what you really want.
Now about the song that stopped my little dance party. This week’s episode is inspired by Cheers to the Fall by Andra Day.
Sometimes I go right
When the right way was left
Don't draw inside the lines
Because the scribbles look so sick
And who says you can't win them all
If you try
They say the higher that you climb
The further when you take the dive
But it's comatose
And I can't live that closed
'Cause I don't know how to never try at all
So cheers to the fall,
What is that thing you want so much that you’re terrified you won’t get it - or that if you do get it, you’ll lose it? What is it you’re scared you’ll feel if one of those happens? Does knowing that you can dive into the fear of the feels and swim through it help you want to make it back to shore?
Spend time with these questions and see what comes up. If you’re feeling frisky, hit me up on Instagram and share your answers with me.
Until next time, my wish for you is that you allow fear to pass over and through you so you are able to move towards the life of your dreams.