Every time I hit the pavement I delight in how great running is for stress relief, meditation, feeling freedom and nature (which in Chicago could be joyous or extremely irritating, even within minutes of one another…) but ultimately, for the process of generating unexpected ideas, and on occasion, moving revelations. Today was one of those days.

As some know, I made a huge decision to divert from a “successful” career to pursue my deeper desires, and hopefully in the process, empower others to freedom and inspiration along the way. This has been a freeing, exciting, and terrifying path! As a Professional Life Transition Coach it is fascinating to have awareness about all of the things I coach others through, and how those same things hold me back. It is human, we all have similar fears, and the power of those fears can limit our greatness and the ability to fully honor those who have moved us.

Limiting beliefs tell you someone of your age, culture, gender or any other characteristic, cannot do things you want to do. Then there is the voice of the ‘Gremlin’, reminding you of words you may have heard or believed since childhood- that you are not smart enough, talented enough, disciplined enough, or just plain not good enough.

Knowing this, what kind of disservice am I doing by not diving in fully to every opportunity presented? Human nature is often to doubt our own skills, insights, and inspirational abilities, because we discount our differences. Too often we view our own knowledge, experiences, successes and struggles as common, and thus discredit its extraordinary value to others.

We must all ask ourselves, what greatness are we not sharing with the world by succumbing to fears and not stepping broadly outside our comfort zones?

What stirred me further as my body and mind continued running, was considering how I was failing to honor my Parents and their gifts to me when I listen to fear. That damned Gremlin holding me in my comfort zone, creating common excuses to procrastinate or hesitate. (A process actually proven in neurological science that the subconscious mind does to protect us.)

My Father, who instilled in me a strength and independence most men of his older generation would not have offered a daughter, which allowed me to create my early successes. My Mother, who instilled in me an almost painful compassion for others and desire to save the world in as many ways as one small human can!

The irony was that losing my Father made me realize I was killing myself slowly as I continued my “successful” climb. Fourteen hour plus days with stress-induced illnesses is not truly success for a thirty-something, nor anyone at any age. That traumatic and sudden loss propelled me into the training that would become my new life aspiration. To use the strength and determination my father gifted me in more fulfilling ways, to make a difference.

Still holding onto fears of losing financial security, I didn’t yet fully shift. By her side every moment, helplessly watching my sweet Mother suffer a frightening and painful death propelled me further. A powerful and terrifying gut felt re-affirmation of how short and fragile life truly is. It isn’t about salary, job title, material possessions, or what society and peers think or expect of you. It is about living to your core values and desires, your fullest authentic potential, your true message from deep within.

As I thought I’d be copping out on my running goal for the day by running home to my computer to process my brain dump, it began to rain. A sign from the universe? Perhaps. Or simply the Chicago forecast actually holding true. Either way, I thank my Mom and Dad for bringing me home. Any time I feel the trepidation of doubt as I step toward my dreams with a shaky knee and churning gut, I will remember that the rest of my life is dedicated to honoring their greatness, and that which they instilled in me.

Next time a fear holds you back, think about how that hesitation is doing a disservice to yourself and others, and how it may prevent you from honoring those who inspired you toward a momentous shift, whether they are physically or energetically still with you. This could just be the kick in the ass you need to step into the opportunity-laden unknown. Keep Soaring!

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” ~M. Scott Peck