Sometimes the Safe Path Is Not
The Right Path
these questions. Deep inside my subconscious mind, I knew I was searching for something I could only find by pushing myself to my limits. I
kept coming back to the same things. First, I wanted to thrive and not just survive. I want to create art that inspires people as well as
providing me with income and finally I want to heal people. (That’s another article, coming soon).
How did I move myself out of my comfort zone in the past? In the past what worked best for me was when I listened to my subconscious
mind. The subconscious mind is the feeling mind. Its ancient roots are primitive, and it is the home of emotions such as fear, anger, love and
desire. The subconscious is powerful and tireless. Within it, both my fears and desires became formidable forces. But desire was stronger. The
subconscious’s nemesis is the conscious mind, driven by logic, reason, and foresight. The fundamental truth is that whenever the two minds
are in conflict, the subconscious always wins. Deep emotional feelings overpower reasoned thought every time.
Here is what I discovered on my journey of inner truth:
Discovery #1: Fear works in two ways: it will make you run or it will paralyze you. Fear is a curious beast. It manifests itself differently in
everybody, but the result is always the same — you fight like heck or you run as fast as you can. But you cannot run or escape a mental threat,
so escape becomes paralysis. You escape through inaction by avoiding the decision itself.
Discovery #2: For every decision you make, caution will present hundreds of safer alternatives. Successful life decisions are all born as
“what ifs.” It is easy to be confused by the volume of possibilities and the memories of past choices, and miss out on your best decision.
Discovery #3: You are sharply aware of every door you close, but blind to all the doors you could open. Hindsight is a beautiful thing. The
trouble is that it shadows our foresight. None of us have a script for what lies ahead, but we all have a critical role to play in casting the
characters and choosing the scenes.
Discovery #4: Every fear conquered today makes tomorrow easier. Life isn’t always easy. In fact, it is damned brutal sometimes. But every
battle you face makes you stronger and you are better equipped to deal with the next inevitable blow you face.
Here is what I plan to do to meet my current challenge and recommendations you can try to. First, go someplace quiet so you can think through
your options, taking note of how you feel during each moment. The answers are there.
Listen to your body. I just cannot understate the importance of this one. Your body is a better guide than your mind, but sometimes I lose track
of it. For example, I knew, for sure, that the job I left was wrong for me because every single time I thought about it, my body, especially my
chest, clenched into a tight ball. A message like that is the body saying loud and clear “wrong direction.”
Stop listening to your thoughts. Just as you want to start listening to your body, you want to stop listening to your mind and your thoughts. Those
fears are just words, and if you let them lead you away from what you truly want, you’re going to be in trouble.
Do it a little at a time. If you are enmeshed in a career or relationship or financial situation and you have people relying on you, it probably
doesn’t feel so easy to just say, “Eh, I don’t want to do this anymore.” Try one small thing at a time, building toward the life that you really want.
Never buy into the idea that the safe way is the right way. If you find yourself thinking anything along the lines of, “Well, that’s boring, but it’s a
smart career to get into” or “He’s from a prominent family and would be a smart choice,” run! Or at the very least, slow down and check to see
what your body and heart are telling you.
This whole being human thing is hard. I believe that it can be delightful and joyful and wonderful, but it takes work. We have to push against
societal norms that tell us we should do things a certain way. We have to get clear on what we want, and be willing to pivot when that
changes. We have to be flexible; we have to be aware.
My goal is to choose what feels good for me. I hope that you will do your best to choose what feels right for you, too, even if it is not what other
people think is safe.
“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
As a child I wanted to be an artist. I had a natural talent and I was always happy coloring, drawing
and creating things. Being an artist was not a viable career — or so my family and friends told me,
in subtle and not so subtle ways — so instead of going to college to delve deeper into drawing or
painting or sculpture, I went the safe route: Psychology.
Currently, I feel like I am facing what feels like one of my biggest What-My-Heart-Wants Vs. Take-the-
Safe-Path challenge ever. I feel like I am stuck by fear. When dealing with difficult situations, I first
look at my past. Have I ever been fearless? Yes,! I quit a “good” job —that made me absolutely
batty and went against all of my core beliefs — even though it seemed like there was no way to
afford to do so. I fulfilled my dream of being a Jazz Radio Host (the last time I felt fear this deeply).
Was I terrified? Definitely! Was I excited? Out of my skin. Looking back, I believe courage won the
battle that day because it was backed by my overwhelming desire for discovery. I wanted to
discover the world and my rightful place in it.
I explained how I was feeling to a close friend who asked me two important questions. “What do
you really want to do? What does your heart say?” Even after our conversation, I kept asking myself