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A Field Guide to Wandering in the Wilderness of the Soul

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When you’re wandering cobblestone streets in Europe, stopping at cafes and making unexpected discoveries, it’s fun to lose your way and wander off the well-trodden path. You’re on an adventure! When you’re out on a long run and don’t mind if you take a wrong turn or two, you know that the extra distance is good for you.

But here’s the thing: you’re not really lost in those situations. You’re exactly where you wanted to be, even if you didn’t know it before you took the detour. That’s why “getting lost” feels oddly welcoming.

When it comes to wandering in the wilderness of the soul, however, it’s a different situation. This is the wilderness where you feel truly lost. You lack direction, enthusiasm, or purpose—or maybe all three. You don’t know what to do, and every option you can see feels like two steps backwards.

Amenities are limited in this wilderness. You sprain your ankle on those picturesque cobblestones. Cafés serve overpriced, burnt coffee, and the servers are rude. All you want is to get back on the path, but it’s not so simple. The teacher appears when the student is ready, so they say, but you’re ready to drop out of class.

You curse the landscape, your traveling companions, and most of all yourself. You try to fight your way out, but any opponent you select is a straw man, any battle a proxy war that only ends up delaying your exit further.

No one chooses the wilderness; the wilderness chooses by its own logic. And once you’ve entered, your ability to determine the time and location of exit is beyond your control.

***

Let’s say you’ve recently arrived in this unpleasant no-mans-land. Perhaps this isn’t your first time here, so you try to get your bearings. You survey the landscape, recognizing familiar signs and features. With a shrug of your shoulders, you think, Well, I’ve done this before. I just need to lace up my boots and start hiking.

But each wilderness of the soul has some unique shape or challenge to it. You notice that the tools you used the last time have become rusty, or maybe even defective. The wilderness is mocking you, telling you that if a quick fix was available, you wouldn’t have encountered each other again.

As you ponder your options, you think, Where am I? And, How did I get here? And most of all, Where’s the off-ramp from this wilderness?

But that’s where you find yourself frustrated again. The off-ramp isn’t on the map! The very definition of a wilderness is a place where you find yourself wandering, most likely going off in the wrong direction multiple times. Your path out will be anything but direct.

Eventually you sink in and accept your fate. Damn. I guess I’m officially lost in the wilderness!

It’s at this point, or soon thereafter, that you finally learn something. First, you learn that you are not in control. The longer you fight this lesson, the longer you remain in one place.

It’s not that you have no autonomy whatsoever. You have skills, and you have life experience. You can draw on those times in your life where you had to do hard things. These memories and experiences won’t take you all the way, but they’ll help.

When you stop panicking, it gets easier. It’s hard to make wise decisions when you feel so desperate.

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Speaking of decisions, somewhere in the wilderness there’s a decision you need to make. Before you can escape and get back on the path, you need to find your way to that decision point.

That choice you must make is not obvious or easy. Whatever the decision is, there are no two ways about it. Trying to have it all only leads to a muddy compromise that further delays you.

Once you navigate that point of no return, it gets easier still. You find a rest stop somewhere. You find an unexpected guide or companion. You see the beginnings of a trail.

Note: try not to get too excited at this point, because it might not be over yet. There’s always that “Darkest hour before dawn” thing to look out for.

Clues appear that lead you along the way, bread crumbs drop from the sky to give you sustenance. At first these feel like the bare minimum of rations, but somehow the crumbs lead you to a place of comfort. You begin to take joy in small pleasures again. The coffee becomes much better, and the servers even smile once in a while.

Finally you emerge from that wilderness, dusty and haggard, face set toward the sun and the path that leads you forward. Maybe you look back for a moment and feel grateful for the lessons you’ve learned. Maybe you shake off the dust and vow never to return.

Or maybe you just pause and say, “What the hell was that about?”

***

There’s no “5 ways to escape the wilderness” guide. If it were that simple, it wouldn’t be a true wilderness.

But understand this: acknowledging that you are in the wilderness is oddly empowering. Admitting your powerlessness can build resilience.

You probably know the quote well, having seen it on bumper stickers and Instagram captions the world over: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Where does that come from? Oh, right, it comes from the human condition. The reality of life, love, and adventure. The choice to truly live, and to risk with no guarantee of return.

When you find yourself lost, release control but never give up hope. Always know that life is worth living no matter how hard things get.

And never doubt that there’s an off-ramp from the wilderness, even if that exit seems impossibly far away.

###

Image: Bradley, Glen

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About Darren Webb

Hello & Welcome to my blog. My name is Darren Webb and i'm on a magical successful journey and also helping others have a more stress free relaxed life. I truly hope that you find a lot of useful information on my blog and that it helps you through your life. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

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The fear of failure is something that all of us encounter at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, that is just the way we are programmed as humans.

On the other hand there are many different ways that you can help eliminate the fear of failure today, tomorrow and beyond.

It starts with one thing. You!

That might seem like an easy thing to do, but it isn’t. What I’ve done is broken down 4 of the Most important things you can do Today, that will help you eliminate the fear of failure.

Clear Mindset toward Your Goals

Here is something that we might not think of as extremely important, but it is.

Think of it this way, the Fear of Failure is all psychology, we start thinking about the things that we want to achieve, then our minds start fighting back. That is just the way things work, and again how we are wired.

When you go into things thinking about one thing and one thing only, your Goals, then you are already taking a very crucial step into not being afraid to fail. Your goals must be very specific and most importantly attainable.

When you put these things together you are setting yourself up for success. Mindset is always the first step to anything big, especially when it comes to better yourself overall.

Having the Right Idea of Failure

Here is a tricky one.

You might be thinking,

Why would knowing what failure is help me not fear it?

Well,

Knowing what failure is to your helps create a better understanding to what you are dealing with. Failure is different to every individual person.

For example, my biggest idea of failure is letting people down. Whereas you might be afraid not to land a job, or finish school or get that big promotion. Failure is a HUGE thing in our lives, and we are burdened each and every day with it.

Knowing what failure is to you, will help you have the right approach when combating it.

Accepting that Failure is a part of the “Process”

Now if you are anything like me, you are always working ten steps ahead of everyone else. Which that is great and all, but you will encounter failure in one form or another.

The kicker here is that you don’t have to sit there and expect failure, but you have to simply understand it is a part of the process of life. Whether you are looking to start your own business, do better as a parent, find your own motivation  or whatever the case may be, you have to accept failure.

It is natural to fear something that is inevitable, which is one of the biggest reasons why we always are discouraged when failure does hit. However, if we are heading into Life’s ventures knowing that at some point we are going to face failure, then when that time comes its easier.

Having the Right Support System

Here is the most important of these 4 ways to Eliminate the Fear of Failure, having the right Support System.

Now,

This doesn’t always have to mean having 1 person to lean on when things get rough. First and foremost you have to be able to support yourself through everything that happens in life and success. Failure is again going to happen.

You might have that one person who is there and always has believed in you no matter what, or you may have yourself.

Whatever the case may be, you must be able to count on that one person to be there when failure hits. Knowing that someone has your back, will ease your mind and oftentimes you won’t even think about the failures anymore.

Regardless,

Support is the biggest deterrent in any sort of fear based system. Once again, this is all about psychology, and if our minds aren’t thinking about failure, or don’t have to worry if failure happens, then we live our lives in a much better light.


Dustin Meyer, Editor and Writer for The Evolutionary Mind. I have
a strict passion for expressing realistic ways to help as many people as I
can, and Pride myself in the writing that I do. I'm a new Father of a
beautiful little Girl, and 2 Step Sons. Along with writing, I'm extremely
passionate about my family and bettering our lifestyle along with others
through writing, video, and branding.

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Want seven easy fixes to become a positive person? Few people are willing to go on a spiritual journey to become a positive person because at times it seems like a tremendous amount of work. Inspired by Jim Carrey who spent years on his spiritual journey, why not learn what he has to teach and save yourself years of searching? Here are the seven ways to be a positive person. (You need all seven to be a truly positive person, but point 1 and point 7 are the most important.)

1 – Gratitude Is Your Most Neglected Tool

Want to be positive all the time? Learn how to be grateful. People who are grateful are positive almost semi-continuously because they appreciate what they have. They appreciate the fact they can draw breath without pain, that they can eat, that people love them, and that they have the capacity to think and grow.

Ingratitude is actually the source of most misery in the world. People would not steal if they were grateful what what they had earned, and people would not cheat on their spouses if they were grateful for their love. It is very difficult to remain positive if you are miserable, and misery is caused by ingratitude.

2 – Don’t Make A Point Of Being Positive, But Make A Point Of Pulling Yourself Out Of Being Negative

They say the best way to spot a liar is to look for signs a person is telling the truth rather than trying to look for signs that the person is lying. Take a similar back-to-front approach when it comes to being positive. Pull yourself out of a negative funk rather than trying to be positive all the time.

Both Sean Stephenson and Tony Robbins say that they overcame their darkest days by allowing themselves to feel sad and negative, but not allowing themselves to stay in that position.

3 – Ask Yourself What You Have Learned From Every Event

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If your daughter says she is going to sleep at her friends all night, then believe her and send her on her way, but verify what she said either beforehand, or after. Don't forget that you can verify after an event, and you can do it casually. For example, you may see your daughter’s friend when she drops her daughter off at school, where you can walk over, say hi, and say, “I hope my girl wasn’t too much of a pest when she slept over at yours on Saturday.

5 – Pray To A Creator

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6 – A Slap On The Wrist Whenever You Do Not Look On The Bright Side

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Whenever you notice yourself taking a negative path, slap yourself on the wrist because it will create a series of habitual memories in your mind that force your brain to take notice whenever you are negative. It makes it more difficult for you to be negative by accident or by default. This is not a punishment, it is a way of helping your mind recognize when you are being negative by default.

7 – Love, Money, Compassion And Equality Does Not Defeat Evil - Courage Defeats Evil

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Courage is powerful, and when courage is added to gratitude, you have all you need to be a positive and happy person.

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