Don’t get me wrong. I love the Law of Attraction. I believe in it wholeheartedly. And you know what else I believe in? Taking action, and taking risks. At some point, you have to act. At some point you may have to get a little scared. Maybe even a lot scared. You may have to step forward and give some weight to your affirmations, visualizations and good vibrations. It’s the best way to let the universe (and yourself) know that you’re serious about this dream of yours and about this life of yours.
When I was a kid, my neighbors had a wheelbarrow. They’d leave it out in their yard a lot. Sometimes my older brother gave me rides in it. I’d sit in the front of the wheelbarrow while he’d zoom me around in the yard making vrooooommmm noises like little boys do. And then, as boys also do, he’d get kind of obnoxious and go really fast. Then he’d make the little-boy sound for brakes – errrrrrrht! – and dump the whole wheelbarrow forward. I’d tumble out and land on my butt in the grass.
It can be like that wheelbarrow ride the way the momentum of visualizations and affirmations carry you along. And it can be lots of fun. (Yes, I’m stretching a little bit with this metaphor. Just go with me here.) But if you feel like that momentum has stopped, and you’ve been dumped onto your butt surrounded by all of your gratitude journals, visualizations, and affirmations, and you’re just waiting for something to happen, it might be a sign that the momentum needs some help from you. Something needs to change.
Is it time to give up on all of that good stuff you’ve been doing? No. It just might be time to put some legs on it. It’s time to act. To take a risk. All of the visualizing and affirming in the world isn’t going to do anything if you don’t step up to the plate, face some of your fears, and make some kind of move.
When I first knew I wanted to write songs and perform, I wrote about it everyday. But at some point, I had to make the move to change my life. I moved to a place where I could live cheaply. Then I had to find some open mic nights and begin to play in front of people. Then I had to get a regular gig. Then I had to make a CD. Was each risk scary? Ohmigod, yes! But it was necessary. No one was going to come find me in my kitchen plucking on my guitar, no matter how many affirmations I did!
Risk is different for everyone. For some, it’s a simple action, like exploring alternative health options for an illness. For others, it’s a big giant change, like starting a business or moving to another city, or letting go of a dead-end relationship. Starting a blog can be a risk. Taking a vacation can be a risk. Honoring your values enough to let go of a current comfortable living situation can be a risk. Sometimes it’s not really even a risk. It’s just an action. But since it’s not what you’re used to doing, it feels like a risk.
I believe there’s a point when you know it’s time. You simply know that it’s time to take the chance or to take some action. You might not know it consciously, but you do know it deeply.
Well, it might be time to take a risk if…
– You’ve said, “…at least I have benefits” more than once in the last month.
– You’ve written “My job has benefits” in your gratitude journal more than five times in the past month.
– You think to yourself, “I need to just learn to surrender to this place and be present and grateful.” And a few seconds later, you think, “Don’t I?”
– You keep returning to the Personal Growth section of Barnes & Noble hoping for just one more book that’ll give you the answer.
– You’re waiting to be discovered.
– You check your email regularly to see if you’ve been discovered yet.
– There are more than three empty Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough Ice Cream containers in your trash this week.
– You envy Paris Hilton.
– You are Paris Hilton.
– You’ve thought, “Maybe God just doesn’t want me to succeed.”
– You’ve watched “The Lake House” more than three times in the past month.
– You’ve used any of the following words or phrases when referring to yourself: “Stuck.” “Can’t.” “Shouldn’t.” “Should.” Or “Maybe I could be on American Idol.”
– You’ve used the following word when referring to anyone else: “Fault.”
– You’ve used any of the following words or phrases when referring to your situation: “Wish.” “Sucks.” “Benefits.” Or “Maybe I could be on American Idol.”
– You sigh more than 8 times a day.
– You envy your cat.
– You bit off an entire set of acryllic nails last week.
– You’ve decided that other people must not have fear.
– You worry about upsetting your parents.
– You worry about upsetting your friends.
– You worry about upsetting your boss.
– You worry about upsetting the cashier at the grocery store.
– You’re waiting until you’re sure you can do it perfectly.
– You think “getting out of your comfort zone” means getting out of bed in the morning.
– You’re horribly offended by anything I’ve written here.