Many of us say we want things to be different in our lives, but the loss of the familiar is way too scary.

We can stay stuck for years in non-movement, making excuses and feeling crappy. The main reason we stay there, beyond losing the familiar, is we don’t know how to proceed. What’s the best course? Is there a course?

There is and it’s in our heart. We have the map RIGHT THERE. We just have to listen and follow it, rather than analyzing, agonizing and getting stuck in our heads.

We are so afriad of change that we create a life of regret. How many people stay stuck in jobs and relationships that make them miserable? Perhaps they’ve compartmentalized themselves so much that they block out the misery and are just numb.

Whatever bulls**t we tell ourselves, it allows us to remain in the same place, never growing, expanding or really loving ourselves. The key is to be afraid–very afraid–and do it anyway.

Often we think we can walk away and close a door to a person or situation without really allowing ourselves to feel. For some of us, we pack it away and say, “I am gonna push my way through or be SO strong that I overpower my emotions.”

That ain’t strength or authenticity, and it leads us further away from transformation.

Transformation requires surrender; it means to stop the struggle. Yet, as people walk the ring of fire in transformation, they struggle to maintain the old; the familiar.

I know from all parts of my life what transformation really does: it allows us to let go of what we grasp, letting in a new process or new way of being.

In my business, I’ve struggled with finding the right coach. I’m a straight shooter and I find in my industry that quite a few people follow a pattern of sales, which is disturbing to me. Often, it doesn’t allow you to get what the coach really offers… there’s a promise of transformation, but it isn’t clear on how they can help you. It’s hard to get intimate enough to know if it’s a solid fit.

Chosing a coach requires me to know two things. First I have to open myself to knowing that hiring a coach is scary. It means transformation, so I have to be aware of any possible resistance on my part (what excuses do I around not hiring them?). Second, what’s the cost to me if I don’t hire someone to shine a light on my blind spots?

It’s the same thing when it comes to love.

First, we have to trust ourselves to honor our boundaries and not try to please or manipulate to get what we want. Second, it means to become vulnerable and allow someone else to see all parts to us, because when we do, we’ve accomplished transformation. To remain cut off, invulnerable and stuck in a non-loving position creates ailments across the board… and it begs the question, “What is the cost to us if we don’t allow?”

None of this is as easy as writing it because our old beliefs would like us to stay with the familiar (even if it sucks), trying to convince us to remain as we are.

Clarity in our motivation, along with the desire to transform key. Forget talking, it’s about dancing with the unknown, stepping out of our way and embracing all that we are and will become.

I had anxiety recently, something that has become unfamiliar to me. I woke up on my birthday with it, and after being in the theater watching Gravity (becoming claustrophobic, experiencing motion sickness, etc.), I had to walk out for air. I had a friend mention all the change I was creating in my life, and I said, “Yeah,” as though that wasn’t it. It wasn’t until I woke the next day feeling crazy, thinking I was losing my mind that it hit me. I wrote down all the overwhelm and my fears around change. I realized my thoughts were trying to sabotage me. My subconscious was trying to keep me stuck and unable to move forward.

Why do I share this? Because fear is insidious, and when you’re prepared to transform, your mind will throw everything it can in the way of changing the familiar.

For more on this topic, and to learn how to get out of your own way, listen to this podcast.