I sit in my studio late at night. Ideas roam through my mind as I search for solutions and think of creative ideas to introduce to the world. But there’s a voice in the room. It speaks softly, sometimes in whisper, sometimes in echo, but it’s there… nagging me. Reminding me:
“Play it safe”
“Don’t take the risk”
“Follow in the footsteps already laid on the path”
But then, I look. Those size ten steps are going down a road I don’t want to travel. They lead to a destination I have no interest in. And, more importantly, my feet don’t fit in such a small imprint. That voice, my friends, is a little demon, and that little demon lives in most of our heads. It pops up not at random, but in the face of random. It fans our fears. It slices down our aspirations. It reminds us of all the other voices that have filled our minds since the age of two, when we first understood that phrase: “You can't”.
“You can't” has a place. “You can't” can keep us safe… but it can also hold us back; and what are we held back from? The unknown. We will sit in our warm beds, sweating over an impending bill, fearing that cold kick-out moment in the future. We will cry all night, spy on our lovers, and even do backflips just to prevent that feeling of loss over a breakup. Yet, in most circumstances, the actual experience leads to relief, or better yet, it leads to growth. Leaving the old job can motivate for a better career. Breaking up with a lover can lead to a greater understanding of you tastes and quite possibly a better relationship. So, why do we allow our minds to roam through the most chaotic murk our brains have to offer? Why do our thoughts constantly repeat the worst-case scenarios where life ends at failure?
A better question still: Why do we have to strive to be positive when being negative is so god-damn easy?
The answer is simple: your ego was built to protect you from harm, and harm comes easier from what you don’t know or understand.
So, how do we slay that demon, that inner antagonistic voice? We listen to it. Don’t fight it. Instead, put your energy into discovering what you’re capable of. Break through the unknown by trying something different. If you know the path you’re on leads you to a destination you know you don’t want to arrive at, then turn your @$$ in a new direction.