Research Paper By Naela Omar
(Life Coach, EGYPT)
Before I start, I dedicate this to Moustafa Hosny. His program this year “Live the Moment” has been an inspiration to me. The program is about moments that change life. That topic defines the niche I decided to specialize in, transformational coaching. And, watching the few past episodes has inspired me for whatever is coming next.
So, what is a crossroad?
It is the moment that we have to make a choice, turn right, left, or keep going on the same road. Decision making is a process we go through every day, all the time. But, it becomes critical when it can change our entire life. And here starts the confusion. Most of us get overwhelmed and lose control. But, in the end we have to make that choice.
And here comes the question, how would you define the right choice?
The right choice is always the most challenging. Before we go through this we need to ask ourselves another question, why does life bring us crossroads? I will quote here from Paulo Coelho’s “Warrior of the Light”, about tedium:
– What is reality? It is that which we imagine it to be. If many people “think” that the world is like this or like that, everything around us crystallizes, and nothing changes for some time. However, life is a constant evolution – social, political, spiritual, on whatever level it may be. In order for things to evolve, it is necessary for people to change. As we are all interlinked, sometimes destiny gives those hindering evolution a push.
Change, we can never avoid it. It is the nature of the evolution of life. And, if we look deeper into this, we would understand why it has to be the most challenging choice. It is the choice that will make us learn, the choice that will make us evolve. It is the choice that should shake all the inside of us!
Like in day to day life, imagine you need to go to some place that you have never been to before and you are lost at some crossroad, you decide to take a direction, but suddenly you find yourself going back to the same point you started and having to make that decision again. What does this indicate? Simply, you made the wrong choice. And, that is what happens when we have crossroads. If we find ourselves facing the same decision over and over again, it means we have been taking the wrong choice. We made the choice that looked easier to us, the less challenging. But, what happens is that it gets harder every time! It gets harder because we spend time feeling lost, fighting hard to make that choice work. We do everything we can to stay with it. But, what we are really doing is swimming against the current. It takes time and energy. We get feelings of desperation and disappointment for we find we can’t do it. We lose ourselves in that process. We get drained. The trick is we had to take that other choice, the one that had more risk about it, the one we wanted to avoid the most, the one that brought us fear!
As defined in Oxford dictionary, fear; noun, an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.
Fear is what makes us take the wrong choice every time. Most of the time; it is fear of the unknown. Let’s take another picture, if you imagine yourself going into a dark room you have never entered before, you will start thinking of all the things that could cause you tumble down. You may start feeling anxious, in some cases some people will imagine snakes, hear amplified sounds of monsters, they will start to shake and lose control. And again, this is what happens on crossroads. Because we have no idea what could happen if we make the harder choice, we start imagining all the bad scenarios, and if we give in to our fears, we will keep making the easy (wrong) choice.
So, how can we handle this fear to be able to take the hard (right) choice?
Quoting Mustafa Hosny;
Fear was created in order for us to beat it
this means, that, we have to do the thing we fear the most, because this would be what is expected from us. That’s what God wants. Having courage doesn’t mean we don’t have fear, it means we do have feelings of fear but still we choose to act anyway.
Going back to the dark room story, if for a second you think there could be a switch and you start searching for it, you find it, and you turn it on, suddenly, you find the room is clean, the walls are painted with beautiful drawings, and you find in the corner a baby in his cradle playing himself to sleep, it was only the sounds of that baby! Now, we understand that fear is all in our heads, just a bunch of negative thoughts that start taking over. While in reality, nothing of what we imagined probably existed at all! And this leads to a very simple thing to start with in the process of gaining the courage, self-talk.
Ideas in our heads come from previous experiences of oneself or stories we heard. They could be beliefs we had .We keep repeating these to ourselves till at a point we believe they are really true. Changing what we tell ourselves is one of the most crucial ways to get ourselves moving. We need to find support for the new ideas. People around us have a great effect on our thoughts too, especially the ones whom we trust the most. Those do participate in the self-talk. We have to make sure to listen to the words that would support us beating our fear, and ignore the ones that would take us down. The ones that will make us believe in our own powers to take that choice and make it work.
Yes, it is ok to be afraid, we are just humans. Without accepting our human feelings we will not be able to move any further. Without acceptance there starts a fight inside of us between what we feel and what we think we should feel. This fight is the best way to fail. It drains us, it kills our hope, and most of all challenges our self-love.
Self-love is always the start for any solution. If we know our nature, if we love ourselves well enough, we will make sure to care for it. We will work for its best. We will be able to know what is right for it. Self-love is the source of abundance. And loving oneself is not by not taking any risks; it is though by making sure it fulfills the self. Self-love is knowing we deserve to be our true selves, not what others expect us to be. We deserve to be happy, we deserve to live life as we wish. With self-love we know we should answer that call.
God made us, and He knows the best for us. He decided a role for each and every one of us. He knows the best. Whenever He finds us lost, He will put things in our way to direct us back to the right road. Those things are the ones that look like crossroads. This causes pain! And pain causes us to go back to God asking for guidance to do the right thing. And in return, God will talk back to us, telling us what He is expecting from us.
Intuition is that feeling we have in our hearts, that little voice we may hear in our heads. Intuition is that sixth sense that God put into our hearts for us to understand when He talks to us. Intuition should be our compass, it knows what is right, and it knows how to do it. If we hear closely we will know, we won’t have more doubts. We will believe we know what is right, and we will believe we can do it. But, there is always something confusing about intuition, how would we know if it is really intuition, not just thoughts of the mind depending on other experiences or expectations?
In Carl Jung’s theory of the ego, described in 1916 in Psychological Types,
intuition was an “irrational function”, opposed most directly by sensation, and opposed less strongly by the “rational functions” of thinking and feeling. Jung defined intuition as “perception via the unconscious”: using sense-perception only as a starting point, to bring forth ideas, images, possibilities, ways out of a blocked situation, by a process that is mostly unconscious.
According to Jung, it is a subconscious process. We don’t actually think, just ideas that we perceive.
To make it easier to understand, here’s how it is explained on, a blog post titled “How to Tell the Difference between Intuition and Thoughts”:
- Intuition does not explain. You will feel inspired to do or not do something, but there will be no explanation. Your mind would explain, but your intuition will not.
- Intuition is not compelling. It will not try to force you. When it nudges you and you don’t accept its input, that’s fine. Your mind would insist and try to convince you: your intuition will never do that.
- Intuition feels “lighter” than thoughts. Soul-level energy is less dense than mental energy. When you think a thought, you can feel that you have to make a small effort to think that thought. It feels a bit like a very small tension in your head. Just a tiny wee bit of heaviness. You can feel something happening in your brain. When it is intuition, on the other hand, no such thing. The information pops into your head completely effortlessly. Your brain just observes, it does not do any work.
You can find the whole post at: How to tell the difference between intuition and thoughts
With all the previous work, the belief grows. The belief we deserve, the belief we know what is best, the belief we can do it. The belief it is time we take that step. With that, we have all the courage we need to take the leap of faith.
Leap of faith
There is barely a rational source telling us we should be taking that step, jumping over that cliff. But, with our belief, we choose to do it anyway. We take that crossroad, and take that hard (right) choice. We know we are afraid, but we decide to beat that fear, because deep in our hearts we know that’s what’s right for us, we know this will lead us to answer our call. We know this is the road we should take. Now, everything changes. At this point everything will look so different and what we will be experiencing is a new world. At this point, we feel relief, mainly because we don’t have to think about it anymore. We dropped it. Also, there would be a part of excitement about starting a new life!
But, all that doesn’t deny that we will be facing challenges on our road. We will be facing times of confusion if whatever step we took was right at all. Here we will have to take responsibility of our decision. No matter how things look like we will work to make them right. We will not go back to our comfort zone. After knowing it is never the same again, we can’t un-know what we have already known. Trying to fall back into the comfort zone will bring more pain. It is choosing to fall back into that loop of making the wrong choice and living lost for the rest of our lives. Here, staying aligned with our intuition, keeping the faith is what will help us through, till the new life brought by our choice becomes our normal life.
This article is intended to anyone going through a transformation or any coach who has a client to support through his/her transformation.
This is a part of any transformation that we may go through, the part through which we make the decision and make the leap of faith. Knowing how it goes and what we may go through, could allow us help our clients (and ourselves) to be compassionate. It helps us understand it takes a lot of work, energy and time to take that leap. Everyone will go through transformation in their lives, everyone in his own special experience with his own special way. All we need as coaches is to have patience and to believe that our clients can do it. We could be their only support through this journey.