We recently explored the idea of life as a maze. Now I want to explore life as a valley. I just want you to understand that every person’s journey is different. These examples are what I’ve experienced in my own life and what I believe a lot of people go through, but the order in which it happens is vastly different for every person.
The maze is windy, but the exit is finally here, you’ve gotten out of the maze and discovered what it is that makes you tick, this beautiful landscape is laid out before you and you can see an incredible future ahead… and then you enter a valley. There is thick fog, you can only see the road just ahead of your feet, the fog it envelops you and wants to suck you down into a passionless void. What do you do? What does this mean? You thought that everything would start getting better, you’ve found your passion and you know what you want to do but suddenly everything seems far worse. Why did you even choose to follow this path? It would be so much easier if you were still back in the maze.
So many thoughts enter one’s mind when they’re in the valley. The fog is a fog of inadequacy. All the past failures flit across the mind’s eye. Memories taunting you, telling you that you’re not good enough. The fog is a fog of fear. Fear that you’re doing the wrong thing, fear that you’re never going to accomplish things.
I have been in this place. It is a terrifying place. It sucks hope right out. The fog invades your bones eating at you. Everyone will get out of the valley in their own way, but I would say that a great way to begin is to stop being afraid of who you are. Stop being afraid of what you can accomplish.
This entire battle of life is about fighting the mindsets that you create in your own head. Don’t let your thoughts become fixed. Flexibility in thinking is one of the greatest abilities to cultivate. If your thoughts become concrete then the ability to understand another persons perspective becomes fixed and you cease to recognise that everyone comes from a different background, has different goals, and comes from a different place. Once your ideas are fixed you put yourself in the valley.
Don’t be afraid of change. Don’t be afraid to take a risk. To adapt a phrase which I’ve seen a lot of places: “If you don’t take a risk. If you don’t move, then nothing will ever change and the answer will always be no.” Never forget what you’re passionate about, your passion can act as a lamp as you walk through the fog.
Take heart though, because once you have navigated your way out of the valley, the view of the land laid out before you is incredible.