Whenever we see the effects of Factor-x and we see why it hinders us to move forward, the possibility exists that when we want to move forward, we won’t know where that next step will take us. This might create major anxiety, and might possibly prevent us from taking the route indicated by the next step in breaking out of our Factor-x–patterned lives. As a result, when faced with the unknown, taking the route into the unknown is a struggle. And invariably, we’ll stay put: stay with the status quo.
Factor-x has this effect on us. Whenever we encounter a path where we can’t see what the way forward will bring—and there usually seems to be no guarantees—we tend to stay put, whether staying put serves us and those around us. The unknown, related to moving away from Factor-x, is usually just too much to handle.
Scary as this unknown might seem, when we don’t take that route into the unknown, how will we ever see where it leads us? Besides, failing to move forward contradicts our enjoyment and excitement of exploring the unknown.
Recall when you were a child and received something you weren’t familiar with, or when you went on holiday to a place you’d never been, perhaps a different country or city or town. During these times, you were excited about the unknown. Now, this excitement likely won’t happen if you’re up against the unknown, and especially when Factor-x is staring you in the face. This is a very different reality, and you’re likely to think the following: I’m making a mistake. This certainly takes away the fun and excitement of the unknown.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
It takes courage and brutal honesty to see what holds us back—what holds us at status quo. But once you see that you’re struggling, and why you’re struggling to move forward on an unknown path, you’re already part of the way there. When you realize why you’re unable to move forward and are brutally honest with yourself, you’re able to see past Factor-x. When you have the courage to see and accept that you want to go in a particular direction, and then have the willingness to go wherever it takes you, that liberates you from Factor-x.
Again, this is easier said than done. To move into the unknown and reach the point of letting go of Factor-x isn’t that straightforward. It might take more courage than you have at that time, or that you’ve ever needed before. Some steps might be easy, some slightly more difficult, and then there most likely is a big step—a step so big, every time you attempt to get past it, it just absorbs you to the extent that it seems impossible for you to move forward.
The big one, the difficult one in terms of standing at a crossroads and wanting to move forward, brings new meaning to the words, “having the courage of one’s convictions.” Not for the fainthearted at all. So, with this big step, you might not succeed the first time, or the tenth time, or the hundredth time: That’s just how big “a big one” might be.
But don’t despair. It isn’t impossible. If your intentions are there, and you see it, even if only vaguely at first, rest assured by the umpteenth time, it becomes clearer, and by the umpteenth time plus one, it’s likely you’ll take the step past the big one . . . the big crossroads . . . the big, scary unknown. And if you take that step when finding yourself at a big crossroads, your life is likely to be very different than before.
And again, be aware that, while you might understand conceptually how your Factor-x influences your life, and you might have every intention of breaking out of that pattern, when confronted with the unknown, you might throw the whole idea out. You might even reject the existence of your Factor-x. That’s how scary the unknown is likely to be. Yet if we do reject this knowledge, we’ll be back to square one with our lives: back to where Factor-x governs our every move—our very existence—and we remain in our second-choice existence.
To break out of the pattern when the path into the unknown is too big for us, all you and I can do is to be aware of the dynamics taking place and acknowledge them. To fight it will not help. Our best ploy is to accept it. Accept that it’s possibly just too big for us—at the time. Perhaps at a later stage, you might have the courage to overcome it. Perhaps at that umpteenth time plus one, you will have the courage to take that route—the scary step into the unknown and away from Factor-x. When you do, you’ll be one more step away from living your second-choice life and one step closer to your firstchoice life.