I wanted to address the name of my column and the general concept I will be running with throughout my posts. I’m sure I will deviate from that in many ways, but it will be a throughline in my writing. (note: i write a column HERE and will publish those posts here as well).
So what the heck does Falling Forward mean?
In my guest post a couple weeks ago entitled Why are You Hiding? I addressed that the biggest reason we hide is out of fear. Truly becoming ourselves is scary and so we live our lives at arm’s length. It is closing this arm’s length gap that should be our goal.
A lot has gone on in my life in the past couple years. I have been through some challenging situations and continue to learn more about myself and the way in which I am overly hesitant to truly live my life as myself. I used to think I was fairly self aware but I have come to realize that I don’t really know who I am much at all. I share this bit about myself because I am going through this process with you. I am learning to fall forward.
When I began to think about this concept I was thinking about trust and faith. Not just in a religious sense, although it is quite spiritual to rely on something, but also to just trust and have faith in my self, my strengths, and my abilities to work through failures. I was thinking about the trust exercise where one falls back and allows another to catch them. Do you let yourself fall or do you hesitate? Do you put a foot back because you can’t let go? This pertains really well to relationships, but when we start thinking about what is needed to get into our lives, it is usually the lack of movement forward that is the problem.
When we really begin to take risks and live our lives fully, we get closer to the edge. We must close that arm’s length gap, and step up to whatever it is we are hesitating to engage. It doesn’t always have to be doing something, or career choices, but finding ourselves immersed. Think of a craftsman who is so immersed in their work that their work becomes an element of who they are. The craftsman loses him or her Self in the work in such a way that they obtain a fuller and richer self. We all must let go of the false self that protects us from ever immersing ourselves into anything.
So falling forward is a way to begin conceptualizing our lives so that we lean into them. This requires faith and trust because we are falling into uncertainty and into the unknown. But without that sense of falling forward, we will not fully access our resources. Creativity comes from this edge. Success comes from this edge. When we create too many securities around us it becomes a forcefield that doesn’t allow us to feel life more closely. We need to feel life closely as the individuals we are otherwise we will be doing what others want, what society wants, or just plain guessing.
Think about how you might be living at arm’s length, afraid to really be who you are, afraid to really step up and get into your life. It can be scary but it is real and invigorating.