Why We Avoid Breakthrough Moments
May 21, 2019
As as leadership and life design coach, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing many breakthroughs in the lives of my clients. We usually think of epiphanies as positive moments, filled with elation and joy. We imagine a flood of relief and peace that comes from our sudden realization. In my experience, these things are part of the breakthrough-story, but they are just the prologue to the real story.
The moments immediately following a breakthrough are scary.
Why scary? Although the breakthrough moment reveals a path, it's usually dark and fraught with danger. Although the idea of reaching the end of the path is appealing, the idea of taking the path is anything but. It feels impossible. Now you're stuck.
Part of you knows if you don’t follow that path that you will feel incomplete. Part of you knows that if you follow the path, something bad could happen. Something really bad.
You're left with a difficult decision. Do you plunge forward, following only the faint whisper of possibility, potentially risking everything? Or, do you ignore the whispers and simply go about your business as if you never saw the path in the first place? The decision to follow the path into the unknown is incredibly difficult.
Part of you knows this and tries to keep you from putting yourself in those difficult situations.
Meet your Protector. She’s been with you your entire life and she has only one job. To protect you from anything that might cause you harm. She knows that if you have an epiphany, you’ll be tempted to follow the unknown path and that path is fraught with danger. Your protector will to anything to keep that from happening so she tries to keep you far from the places where epiphanies occur. She’ll make sure you’re comfortable, no doubt. But we all know our comfort zone is not where epiphanies happen.
The problem is that your Protector is really good at her job. She’s several steps ahead of you and she’s had years of practice. You can’t just ignore her and you probably wouldn’t want to anyway. Your Protector does some good work on your behalf. You need to honor her. You need to enroll her. You need to collaborate with her.
What might that look like?
I recently had the privilege of appearing on the Man of Mastery
podcast where Mike Bulloch and I go deep into the idea of creating crucible experiences to accelerate personal growth and development.