What Lives in Your Cave of Shadows?

Reading “The Cave of the Shadows”-an excerpt from Journey to Orphalese

In The Adventures of Isabelle Book II: Journey to Orphalese our heroine Princess Isabelle of Xamayca has to overcome some pretty scary challenges. As we all know trials and ordeals in the form of dragons and other baddies are pretty common when you are on the heroine’s quest to achieve your Vision of Success. For that matter so are visits to shadowy places like the Underworld. Remember Orpheus and Eurydice and his little trip down there to pick her up? But what of the “dragons” that live in our own minds? On the quest to living her Vision heroines often have to contend with the dragon named Self-Doubt and other limiting beliefs about ones abilities and chances of success.

These self doubts live in The Cave of the Shadows, the dark recesses of our mind and they often appear as whispered or even shouted negative self talk. They say things like “You are too old, not strong enough or smart enough etc.”  Here’s a secret, the voices often get really loud the closer you get to your Vision so beware but know this means you are on the right path. Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way calls these little nasty voices “blurts” and even has nifty exercises to help you contend with them.

These inner demons of self doubt revolve around FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) and in a weird way they are your ego’s way of trying to protect itself. The ego will tell you that it is protecting you, but do not be fooled! You are perfectly safe whether you succeed or “fail.” It is the ego that will be diminished and this is a good thing! Your ego slows you down and blocks your way. If you are afraid to fail you will not take risks and you will not try. If you are afraid to succeed the same things happens. (Check out my post Overcoming the Fear of Success )

Now what the ego and all the other little boogie men in your head (cave of shadows) will never tell you is that achieving your Vision of Success has NOTHING to do with you, nothing to do with how you look or how popular you are or what others think of you. Your Vision of Success is your Mission in life. It’s what you are meant to bring to the world through you for others.

Trust me. Whenever I am afraid (walking through the cave of shadows) my ego is always involved, but as soon as I remember that I have a mission and that it is to serve others, that fear and anxiety goes right away and I get brave. A prayer or two usually helps me to get back on track.

So the next time you find yourself plagued with self doubt or fear, when you hear those negative voices pop up in your head tell them “thanks for sharing” and live your Vision anyway. Or as our friend Winston Churchill said, “If you are going through hell, keep going.” I personally would have said, “Don’t stop!” but don’t tell him I said that.

Book II: Journey to Orphalese coming soon, so if you haven’t already, get Book I: The Embryo Goddess and the Morpho.


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For over 12 years Nicole Cutts, Ph.D., licensed Clinical Psychologist, Success Coach, Author and Organizational Consultant has been inspiring and empowering people to achieve a more balanced and successful lifestyle. Dr. Cutts has consulted with and trained executives, managers, and teams at Fortune 500 Companies, Federal Government Agencies, and Non-Profit Organizations. As a master facilitator and Success Coach, she helps people create an exceptional life by honoring their mind, body, and spirit so they can experience joy, passion, meaning, and ultimate success in their work.
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