The only thing that has ever stopped me in the past from striving for the creation of something new and great in my life is fear. I have made excuses, I have justified, and I have blamed external circumstances. The bottom line, however, is that I talked myself out of stepping into the unknown because it felt unsafe, and I was scared. Each time I resisted taking that leap of faith, I simply forgot that I always have a safe place to come back to.

I have just got back from Bali after an incredible trip, including my wonderful seven day ‘I Am Author’ retreat, with a fabulous group of people in a beautiful resort. This resort was well away from the hustle and bustle of the closest tourist hub. It was an idyllic and peaceful sanctuary amid very traditional and authentic Balinese life. For the whole week, every person in this community felt safe and protected mentally, physically, and emotionally within these walls.

Just a few kilometres away was a beach, and one of the members of the group had jogged there one morning which inspired me to do the same. We had arrived at the retreat on the Sunday, and it was the Thursday morning, day five, I decided to jog to the beach, so we had all very much settled in and felt safe at the resort. It was early and still dark as I stepped outside the safety of the resort walls and immediately, I felt some anxiety rise in my body. The roads were narrow and there was not a lot of lighting, so I had to be very wary of traffic. In addition to that, I totally forgot about the Bali dogs.

If you have ever been to Bali, you will know there are a lot of dogs just roaming free. They are largely mangy, and possibly disease ridden, and getting bitten by one would not be good. Not long after I had started running, I ran past a small household, and three or four dogs came out, started barking, and then following me. They were paying no attention to their owner who was calling them to come back. They wanted to make sure they scared off the intruder. They succeeded. My heart rate shot up, my running speed accelerated, and I prayed to God they were all bark and no bite. Thankfully, I got passed unscathed and started feeling a little more relaxed. But not for long.

Soon after, the same thing happened, and during the course of the short 15-minute run to the beach, it was four times that a different pack of mangy Bali dogs protected their space. So, you can imagine how amped up I was and relieved I felt when I finally got to the coast. As my heart rate lowered and my cortisol normalised, I watched as the sun started rising above the horizon. It was stunning and I was mesmerised as a pink and orange glow started to envelop the morning sky. I thought about the run there, the barking dogs, and how grateful I was that I got out of my comfort zone and safe place to be able to enjoy this wonderful moment. Then, it hit me, I had to get back again.

The moment I started running, I was anxious, because I knew exactly where I would encounter these dogs again. I started praying, and I started visualising running through the gates back into the resort, and the feeling of safety I would experience when I got there. I am happy to say, I made it back unscathed, and the feeling of joy I felt when I arrived back was even better than I had imagined. I was very glad I had the courage to go for that run and face the dogs to enjoy the stunning sunrise, and, I am so grateful I had a safe place to return to.

Why am I telling you this story? Very simply to say, when you know you have a safe place to return to, finding the courage to get uncomfortable and chase your dreams feels more achievable. The bottom line is that everything you want and don’t yet have will require courage to do things that may scare you. However, without a safe place to return to, the fear for many is far too overwhelming. So, you maybe asking, what is that safe place? That is a great question and will be different for everyone, however, for me, it is my home, and it is a community of people I can talk to, who will support and encourage me.

After making some scary phone calls to develop my network and my business, my safe place is on the phone or in a meeting with my mentor. After a rugged training session, my safe place is my home and a warm shower. After some kind of conflict or unsettling experience, my safe place is talking with the people who love and support me unconditionally. After a moment of fear, anxiety or uncertainty, my safe place in is prayer with God. Where is your safe place?

In my podcast this week called Wisdom from Bali, I speak, on location, with different people about their experience of the ‘I Am Author’ Bali Retreat. In pretty much every case, they mention the beautiful community and how safe they felt to be open, honest, and vulnerable. The key to create permanent and positive change in your life is to do things that are uncomfortable and do them on a regular basis. To ensure you do it continuously and successfully, please make sure you have a safe place to return to each time.