Ancient cartographers, when they reached the end of known land, would inscribe on their maps: “Beyond this place, there be dragons.”
We too encounter dragons when we reach the borders of our unknown.
Our known territory is where we are now. This is what we know. We may not like it . . . but we know it. The unknown territory is the land over there. And “over there” is where we want to be.
But, look. Look! There be dragons! Big creatures. Menacing creatures. Dangerous creatures. Perhaps we should just go back to what we know. It’s safe.
That uncharted territory on the other side of the dragons is anything that we want to do differently. Anything that is new and challenging. Anything that might upset things at work. Or at home. People might not like it if I change.. Or not approve. And that would be bad.
And so, we turn back. We don’t make The Change. We don’t apply for the new job. We don’t ask for a raise. We don’t risk disapproval. We just day dream about what might be special, exciting and different across that “no man’s land” that stands between us and our desires.
For the Busy Business Woman time is scarce. Often resources and energy are too.
But . . . Oh, what would it be like to experience what is “over there?”
And who are these dragons?
These Fierce Dragons are: Doubt. Worry. Fear.
Often we turn back because we don’t know if we are strong enough or determined enough to seek something better. We wonder if we deserve it. Can we do it? Will it be too hard? What if I fail? What if I do well? What will people think of me?
And, sadly, we become what we think about most. Those things that we focus on with emotion will become bigger in our minds. And bigger still. Worrying is using your imagination and emotion to create something you do not want.
Fear-based decision making is when you let your fears or worries dictate your actions. Or, in most cases, your lack of action.
I’d love to go to graduate school, but it will take too long and probably won’t improve my job choices anyway.
I’d love to move my video addicted adult son out of the upstairs bedroom, but what if it makes him mad, and I’ll look like a bad mother.
I’ve been invited to a reunion, but what if I don’t fit in? And I need to lose some weight before I go.
Hard times in crossing your borders are normal. It is hard to make changes, but not impossible. And it will take effort. Rockets use 90% of their fuel in lift off. And so may you. Ah, but the view from the other side? Magnificent!
Confronting the border dragons may take a team effort. If you have something important you’d like to attempt on the other side of that dragon-infested no-man’s land, enlist some help. Pick a stable woman friend to hear you out. Do some brainstorming with your gal-pals. Speak to your pastor. Hire a coach.
But, please, please, please don’t let your “what if” fears keep you from enlarging the boundaries of your life into the exciting uncharted possibilities to which God may be calling you.
Dragons can be tamed!
“Fear is never a reason for quitting; it is only an excuse!”
Norman Vincent Peale
The disabling dragon that has dogged me for many years is fear.
What a dream killer that dragon can become.
I opened my personal journal at random last night and found this statement, written a year ago.
“Don’t be ruled by fear of failure!”
It was underlined and circled. Twice.
I was in the midst of transitioning from a Marriage & Family Therapist to be certified as a Life/Career Coach.
I didn’t think I could do it. There was so much to master.
At my stage of life? What was I thinking?
I would wake at night in a panic. Literally. My heart would race and I couldn’t breathe.
The “Three a.m. Gremlins” would whisper: “You’ll never do this. You’re too old. You’re not smart enough. Who wants what you have to offer?”
On and on they would go.
I would fight back by repeating scriptures of strength and comfort.
Do you ever hear those taunts? Recognize that those are lies!
The Biblical dragon is the “Father of Lies” and comes only to steal, kill and destroy. 1 Jn. 10:10 And what a destroyer he is!
I found that recognizing the lie is the first step.
The truth about ourselves can be hard enough. Don’t let your life be jerked around by a life-sucking lie.
Like The Little Engine That Could, my mantra became, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!”
And, before I knew it … I COULD!
You can do it too!
YES, YOU CAN!