Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night worried about the track you’ve chosen in life?

Do you look back and say, “I wish I’d done this, or that, instead?”

Are you unsure about which fork in the road you ought to take?

Just recently I coached a client who wanted to know if she was on the right path in her life. She’d been downsized from her corporate job 5 months ago and hadn’t been able to find work in her field since. She’d been sending out a steady stream of resumes and attending any networking events she came across; all with no luck. My client was getting depressed and fearful over not having a job and money coming in each week.

In the meantime, she told me she’d had this “crazy idea” of starting her own business.

“What’s so crazy about it?” I asked.

“I’ve never done anything like this before – I don’t know if I’m doing it right, and I don’t know if it’s the right path for me either,” she replied.

It was clear to me from her response that fear of failure was the crux of the matter. It was also clear that her fears were undermining her natural instincts, or intuition, about knowing whether she was on the right path or not.

Plus, when we want something different than what we put our efforts into – it negates the energy we’re putting out. My client was effectively canceling out her own efforts to get a job, by really wanting to start her own business.

Fear is the biggest dream killer there is. Fear is also the mother of – “woulda, coulda, and shoulda.” And, fear is also a built in safety valve that’s important and necessary at times for our survival. The problem isn’t so much that we have fear – it’s when we have fear and about what.

If we walk up to our front door and it’s open and we see that the wood around the lock is splintered – we should be feeling fear. It’s obvious that someone’s entered our home and the fear is a warning to keep us safe. But, the fear that hinders our growth and is of no use to us is the fear of the “unknown.”

When we fear beginning something new, like our own business, and letting go of the “known,” it’s because we are projecting our fears into the future. Inside we fear for our survival. We fear we won’t make the money we need to live. It feels safer to stick to what we know than to try something new and risk failing.

The way out out of the maze of fear is to focus on one step at a time, and put one foot in front of the other just like you would if you were physically in a maze trying to find your way out. Pretend for a moment you’re in a garden maze of tall hedges. If you were in a maze like this you’d keep trying to get out until you finally did. You’d know that there was a way out and that it was only a matter of time, and trial and error of going down a few wrong paths until you found the exit, right? You wouldn’t be afraid you were going to die in the maze would you? No. Why? Because you’d know that there was a way out and that the maze was only a game.

That’s exactly how we need to view all new ventures we undertake in our lives. We need to take fear out of the equation. Fear blocks up our intuitive guidance. We can’t think straight – let alone hear this inner guidance.

First, we need to realize we take everything in life way too seriously. There is always a solution. Always. To tap into your inner guidance read this post on generating ideas like a genius.

Second, we need to stop allowing fear to get the best of us and hold us back. What’s the worst thing that can happen? We fail. So what? Usually through failure we find another, better way of approaching the problem, so that the apparent “failure” it turns out, is only another step in our eventual success.

In this example with our maze – what we would do is turn around and try another path in the maze, and keep trying until we found the right one to get out.

If we give up too soon – we’ll never get out of the maze!

Once we tame the beast of fear of the unknown and calm down, the next step is convincing ourselves that we have the means within us to “know” whether we’re on the right path or not by tapping into our intuition, or inner guidance system.

The next time you’re unsure about whether you’re on the right path try answering these 5 simple questions. Answer the questions quickly based on your feelings. Keep your rational mind out of this exercise; this is the key to accessing intuition. After answering the questions you’ll have the clarity you need to decide if you’re on the right path or not.

1. Are you considering two different options/paths right now?

2. What are they? Quickly review each one.

3. Visualize yourself living Option 1. Spend a few minutes immersing yourself in this reality. What is your life like when Option 1 is your path? Has anything changed? How does it make you feel inside?

4. Visualize yourself living Option 2. Spend a few minutes immersing yourself in this reality. What is your life like when Option 2 is your path? Has anything changed? How does it make you feel inside?

5. Compare the reactions you had to the two options. Were you feeling: Happy? Excited? Motivated? Free? Powerful? Or, Fearful? Uncomfortable? Stuck? Uninspired? Sad?

The answer to which path is the right one to follow lies in how you FEEL. If you’re feeling excited and enthused and energized, even while being a bit scared, then that is the path for you!

The path that makes you feel dead inside is NOT the path to follow, despite the fact that it may be the more familiar less scary path. This doesn’t mean you throw caution to the wind and gamble, or act financially irresponsible though.

You may have to take a job in your field for a while to enable you to work part time at your business in the evenings. You may have to downsize your life and finances. You may even have to do a series of different part time jobs while you’re creating your business. But, the bottom line is this: your true path is the one that makes you feel energized and excited about getting up in the morning!

Find the thing that makes you FEEL like that and go for it, even if only part time, but make sure you take at least one step each day toward making it a reality.

The secret ingredient in success is feeling motivated, enthused and excited about what you’re doing. Feed those feelings daily – and you’ll be on the right path!

Are you on the right path now? If not, why not? What would need to happen in your life in order for you to take this new road?

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