Friday, January 4, 2019

Insight: Going out on a limb

By Lorraine Glowczak

Collins Dictionary states that the term, “going out on a limb” is defined as: “[doing something you] strongly believe in even though it is risky or extreme and is likely to fail or be criticized by other people.”

As we enter the new year and set our resolutions for 2019, there are some of us ready and willing to jump off the cliff and “go out on a limb” to live life in a way that may take more courage than we believe we might have.

It is true that the annual habit of creating “whole new you” resolutions has a low success rate, but there is something to be said about self-reflection and its contribution to a life lived with intention.

Whether you make resolutions or not, a look back in the present moment in order to move forward into the future is not only helpful in reaching goals (if that’s the sort of thing you are in to) but has the potential of creating gratitude for what we have, providing more courage and confidence to step out of ways that no longer serve us or to provide the conviction we need to chart a new course.

We often associate “going out on a limb” as taking a big leap of faith into the unknown, and although this is true, sometimes going out on a limb are those small courageous steps to everyday living.

Maybe going out on a limb for you is:

Being yourself: To live life authentically, in our own way takes a lot of courage. Even poet e.e. cummings knew how difficult it is to live in such a way when he stated, “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight.” And, if that is not going out on a limb – I don’t know what is.
Slowing down: In this busy, check off daily “to do” list sort of culture we find ourselves in today, perhaps for you, it takes courage to not have a “to do” list every day. Maybe there will be a certain level of bravery to relax, watch the sunset and the sunrise, to laugh with a friend while at the same time, you battle the guilty feelings of taking it easy from time to time.
Following your gut instincts:  Knowing when to trust your intuition and when to disregard logical reasoning can be more like jumping off a cliff than going out on a limb. But there is a lot of evidence that suggests that your “gut” is one of your greatest advisors and mentors. Still, it can be one of the most challenging endeavors of the year.

Whatever your “going out on a limb” may be for 2019, if you can gather the courage to follow it through, despite the times it may seem risky, extreme or criticized by other people, who knows see what kind of “new you” will sprout as a result. Be afraid, if you must, but do it anyway. The only person who you will have to answer to at the end of 2019 is you. I’ll wish you luck if you throw some luck my way.

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