Living On Purpose: Moving Through Fear to Faith

This is part one of a two part article that I wrote for Purposeful Pondering Ezine.  I wanted to share it with the blogosphere as well with the hope that it would of interest and value to others during these turbulent times we face.

Ann and I have been married for 18-plus years….happily I might add.  But about a week before our wedding day, I was going nuts at work at the coaching and consulting company where I received much of my business coaching experience.  And Pontish, the owner of the company, heard from another of the consultants how nuts I was and called me.

After we talked for awhile, Pontish gave me an assignment which went something like this:

"Brad, take your dog for a walk. (Yes, even back then I did some of my best thinking while walking my dog).  While you're walking I want you to contemplate what predictably is going to happen in your marriage to Ann.  To really be with the 'no possibility' side of the equation.  Since you have two prior divorces under your belt, and Ann has one, and you both have a number of other 'failed relationships' in your past, predictably this marriage will end up in divorce as well.

During this walk, don't be with the possibility of it all. You and Ann have hung out there your entire time of knowing each other.  Just spend a little time being with the the other side of the coin — the possible worst case scenario.  And then, choose whether or not to go forward with the wedding or not."

Moving from Fear to Faith In One Self
It turned out to be one of the hardest coaching assignments I've ever been given and one of the most powerful as well.

You see, I did what Pontish asked, and really hung out with the fears and pains of going through another failed marriage…and I came out the other side.  I realized that if that was what happened with Ann and me, I'd still be OK.  I'd recover from it and go on, and so would Ann. In the process I grew in my faith…my faith in myself and in my relationship with the Divine.

And having faced the greatest fears around it, I could authentically stand for a much larger possibility, which has since that day been that our marriage would be a demonstration of what's possible in a loving, committed relationship. That stand has allowed us to go through some hellish times and only become stronger as a couple for them.

We recently conducted this exercise with our business and the down economy and realized that no matter what happens, we'll be OK, as a couple and as a family.  It was part of the foundation that led to taking a stand with our business as well, as we'll explore next.