We’ve all got a spark in us. A flame that burns, tiny at first but that if properly fuelled can develop into a towering inferno of awesomeness that could transform the world.
But all too often the world and the circumstances of life conspire to extinguish that flame, either through a deluge of unfavourable circumstances or by the steady drip, drip, drip of society’s messages that “you can’t do it”, “it can’t be done”, “it is a crazy idea”, “who are you to think you can change the world?”
And so our crazy bright flame becomes a funeral pyre for our dreams.
The Hidden Menace
But even more insidious and arguably dangerous than the external forces that conspire to hinder you in fanning your flame is the impediment built into your very being: your thermostat. A built in safety feature, your thermostat is designed to keep you alive, to save you from peril, to protect you from risk, to hold your flame at a moderate temperature that will not cause danger.
Your thermostat will keep you on the mid-line: just warm enough not to freeze to death in the stultifying condition of boredom, but also never letting your fire really take hold. Because fire burns. And that’s dangerous. And the ancient lizard part of our brain does not like danger. Not one bit. Danger threatens our very survival, both as individuals and as a species and thus must be spotted and avoided.
And so the thermostat keeps us safe. It is the voice that whispers in our ear, “really, you want to do that? Ooooh, can you afford it? Do you have time? Do you think you’ll manage it? What if no one likes what you are offering?”
And if you are really getting out of line and not listening, it roars. “WHAT IF YOU FAIL!!!!!”
Does that mean then that we are destined to live our lives on the mean line, never falling too low, but never reaching too high either? Must we settle for a cozy, comfortable but ultimately dull existence?
It is time to reset your thermostat and let your light shine.
Raising the Thermostat Setting
We have good news for your reptilian brain. The risk really isn’t as great as it appears. These days it is possible to test things out without going all in from the outset. Side hustles – businesses built up on the side as you continue to work at a day job – are huge. You can shadow those working in your chosen field, volunteer at a relevant club, or look for internships at a company who work in your chosen area. You really can try things out, test, see if it is truly for you, before you quit your day job and go all in.
There really never has been a better time to start a dog business. Or pursue any kind of endeavour that lights your heart on fire. Social media channels and online sales make reaching your audience and market so easy. You can interact with your customers in a way that just wasn’t possible twenty years ago. Gone are the days of needing costly physical premises, complicated payment systems, and expensive marketing budgets. You can start a dog grooming business in your hut, with a simple online payment system and social media marketing.
Want to sell bespoke, bejewelled dog collars? Get on Etsy.
Do you write and sing songs about your dog? Get on YouTube.
Whatever you want to do. Whatever you want to create. Whatever your thing is. Whatever you want to bring to the world – the world is waiting. And you can speak directly to it. Believe us, your niche is out there. You just need to turn up your flame, shine your light brightly and let them find you.
Fear of failure is a very real fear that often holds us back from chasing our dreams. But there is a fear that lurks quietly in the background, rarely showing its face, preferring instead to whisper quietly into your ear: the fear of change.
Fear of change often holds us back without us even realising it. But surely you chase your dreams because you want your life to change, right? It all seems so straightforward. Why is fear of change even a thing? Is it even a thing? Unfortunately so. And it all comes back to the old thermostat, trying to keep you safely in the known, cocooned in your comfort zone with a moderate wage packet and a pleasant lifestyle to keep you ticking over.
Your lizard brain does not approve of change. Change is scary. Change is risky. Things might change for the better. You might change. You might grow. You might light up the whole world with your offering. And then what will you do! Things will be so DIFFERENT! Or things might not work out so well. You may lose all your money. Your product might not sell. You might end up starving and destitute, with an empty order book and a warehouse full of stock no one wants. Your reptilian brain cannot abide these extremes and strives to bring you quickly back to that comfortable middle ground.
The thermostat keeps you cozy. But great things never came from comfort zones.
Turn that Dial to Dazzle
Can we overcome our thermostat?
You can raise the temperature setting on your thermostat. You can turn your dial to dazzle.
You can make brilliant your new normal.
How do we do that?
Follow our three simple steps to reseting your thermostat:
1. Take Baby Steps
Making small changes allows you to take things slow, not biting off more than you can chew, see how you cope and see how you feel about it all. It lets your life changes develop slowly, giving you time to adjust to the new normal, and budges your thermostat up a bit to a new normal without triggering any alarm bells.
What is the first step you could take today towards pursuing your passion? It could be researching your chosen field, signing up for a training course, arranging work experience with someone experienced in your field. Whatever it is, take that step!
2. Don’t try to do it all alone: get teaching, guidance and support
You don’t need to be an island as you strive to achieve your dreams and you don’t need to know everything to get started. These days the opportunities to access any knowledge you need to take your passion forward are endless. Books, online courses, podcasts, YouTube videos – you name it, you can learn about it. And usually from the comfort of your own home.
Having accountability buddies and a supportive network of likeminded people like the absoluteDogs Pro Dog Trainer tribe also helps to bolster you as you take steps to light up the world. The brain loves social proof, and if there are already people out there doing what you’d love to do, or something similar, and you can learn from them and be supported by them, your brain is less likely to view your idea as a crazy risk. And so that thermostat bumps up a few degrees.
3. Take Action
Action often lessens anxiety. How much better do you feel when you are thinking about something then you just do it? Once you’ve taken a few steps, you will start to build momentum. Taking action becomes the new normal, your thermostat setting rises, and you become an Action Taker, someone who puts one foot in front of the other every single day and makes amazing progress because of it.
Don’t get stuck in planning, thinking, pondering. These are seductive because they feel like you are taking action, but you aren’t really. Your lizard brain likes them because they are no threat to you. They don’t change anything. They are just mights: it might happen one day, you might do it later, you might give it a go.
Light It Up
So don’t hate on your thermostat. It is only your brain’s way of trying to keep you safe. Recognise when it is kicking in and take steps to reset the dial. Turn it all the way up to sparkle and make brilliance your new normal. Don’t settle. Don’t be cozy. Be exceptional. Let your light shine. The world needs to see it.