As much as I like to think of myself as a renegade go-getter, fear rules me — a fear that I’m always falling behind.
This realization emerged while unpacking and settling into my new house. I’d planned to slow down and embrace the pace of nature, but found myself pushing through. Just one more box. Organize this, and then you can rest. Clean one more thing, I told myself. But it was never enough.
I wanted my house to feel like home, and I wanted it now. It felt like I was always falling behind, never caught up. It sounds like such a small thing, but how we do one thing is how we do everything.
This internal narrative oddly resembled the exact same one that led to catastrophic burnout last year.
Just one more email. Plan this one more thing. Achieve this arbitrary goal — and then you’ll be able to relax.
Fear there’s not enough time, that I’m not doing enough. That what I want will never happen if I don’t rush through and do everything right now. Fear that maybe it won’t happen at all.
It’s easier now to trust the process, looking out of my window to see the beautiful Washington trees and soft cotton candy sky after years of looking out to see the harsh, parched Arizona landscape that I couldn’t wait to get away from, wondering when or if I’d ever leave.
It’s easier to see now that if you just hold the faith and take inspired action, magic happens. It’s only a matter of time.
But along the way, I tried to control so much, thinking it would speed my journey along when the only thing those fear-based efforts did was cause pain.
In an effort to leave when I wanted, not when the universe was ready to let me go, I tried to control my business, thinking that if I made enough money, I could travel more, which would make living in Arizona tolerable.
Unwittingly, I placed a condition on my happiness: Make enough money to travel. And as long as I fell short of that goal, I felt like a failure, like I was falling behind.
It made me grip and control. It caused me to move forward based on fear and doubt, instead of faith and inspiration.
The feeling that we’re always falling behind is a false fear.
The problem with unpacking my house (or growing my business) was not how much progress I had or hadn’t made, but the feeling that no matter what I did, it never looked like the picture in my mind. It always fell short.
Instead of relaxing, trusting and taking inspired action, I gripped and planned and analyzed. Stress and tension poisoned my long-awaited happy moment.
Soon, I realized my expectations were the things that needed to change. Instead of overworking to accommodate my perfectionism, I needed to expand my ability to sit with the discomfort of chaos.
Enjoying the present moment will bring me happiness, not having a perfect house.
The good news is…
How we do one thing is how we do everything. This illuminates all the ways in which our neuroses control us and allows us an easy access point to unravel them.
For example, all year while building my business, I pushed through from a place of masculine, action-oriented power while forgetting that true power includes the feminine principle of receptivity.
While pushing and falling into fear, I broke my most important rule: I started comparing myself to others and listened to outside advice against my own intuition.
As I disconnected from my own, internal source of power, and felt the confusion and stress of that disconnection, I worked harder, gripped more and pushed myself to unhealthy limits. It didn’t feel good, but I didn’t know what was happening, so instead of backing of and retreating, which felt like giving up, I kept pushing.
Just one more thing. Finish this. Check this off your list. Then you can relax. But it was never enough. I always felt like I was falling behind, and my results were never what I wanted them to be.
Trapped in fear, I felt like I wasn’t good enough, that other people had something I didn’t have, that my dreams would never come true. The best results come from intuitive action, but my actions were fear-based, which didn’t yield the results I wanted, making me push harder. The worst cycle!
Looking back, I accomplished so much, but at what price?
Did I accomplish the right things? What magical moments did I miss out on while pushing? How much happiness did I leak while striving for something that was always just out of reach?
This is how people give up. Trapped in fear and doubt, and feeling like it’s never enough. Not taking the action your intuition calls for, but the actions everyone outside of you recommends.
Fear-based action is never enough because it takes you in the wrong direction, away from the flowing, true source and toward the neurotic, relentless cycle of karmic action and reaction.
To get stop feeling like we’re falling behind, all we need to do is reconnect, re-center and remember that we are exactly where we’re supposed to be; that we have everything we need to thrive.
Take time to marinate in the energy of each cycle of completion, whether a task, a project or a day, and allow space before starting something new.
Over the past year, I stole that the present of space from myself, the chance to appreciate all the work I was doing because I was so stuck in the fear that it wasn’t fast enough.
We’ve got to leave space for magic because it’s not our sense of control that morphs a house into a home or a fledgling business into a grand enterprise.
Something outside of us does that, something intangible and beyond our control.
For heart-centered people, it’s about the pulse of the home, the pulse of the business. It’s a journey of having the faith to leave room for the magic, to stop suffocating the joy out of our lives by trying to control and plan everything.
It’s about trusting that our dreams and desires were placed in our hearts for a reason, and that when those dreams and desires contradict our present reality, that tension also exists for a reason.
Navigating that tension in all areas of our lives gives us the skills we need to do great things and most importantly, to live with peace in our hearts.
This tension is not a burden, but a blessing, a gift to illuminate all the ways we hold ourselves back so that we may lovingly transcend our earthly limitations and live in such a way that we can truly feel proud when the day is done, not like we’re falling behind.
Because it’s not about what we did, but who we were, how we felt, and how we made others feel.
Nobody’s perfect. All we can do is forgive ourselves and begin again. Keep the faith even when it looks like nothing is happening.
And always remember to leave room for magic.
>>> A few questions for personal exploration or if you’d like to share in the comments below (please do!).
Where in your life are you gripping or controlling? What fears do you have around that? How is that effort to control affecting your life for the worse? Set the intention to let go.
If this article served you, please share!
All the love,
Suzanne Heyn is a spirituality teacher and online course creator. Her life-changing online course experiences and popular blog help people heal their hearts and love who they are. With an online community of more than 20,000 people, Suzanne is known for her practical, authentic take on spirituality that creates space for deep healing and heartfelt connection.
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