Finding the FUN in Fear!
As a child I was taught to fear everything. Strangers in windowless vans offering candy, Jehovah’s Witnesses going door to door trying to spread their message or anyone from our rival town just 10 minutes away were all sources of fear. I’d definitely advise against the whole strangers with candy thing, but like so many fears, the other two are pretty irrational. In rural Ohio, we basically feared anything and everything that took us out of our comfort zone or challenged our personal truths, even for a moment.
As an adult, I know better, but the journey here was not easy and I certainly was not fearless. Hitting rock bottom enough times has a funny way of motivating change and although it wasn’t overnight, I did make the shift, eventually.
It took me over 30 years to discover a simple truth and that is this. Life really does begin at the edge of your comfort zone. If you’re not living a life that terrifies you from time to time, you’re not living up to your potential…not even close! Once you can view life through that perspective, the world becomes your personal playground.
I’d heard this idea my entire life, but never actually examined it’s real life implications or how it could help me to break through my own personal roadblocks and boundaries. After all, who wants to live at the edge of their comfort zone? It sounds so…UNCOMFORTABLE!
Like so many, I was raised to view comfort as the goal. As long as my day to day life remained safe and predictable, I would be just fine. The problem with that mentality is that it simply isn’t true. We were all created to live beautiful, profound lives and that does not happen while remaining fearful of change and averse to even the smallest amount of discomfort.
Contrary to the way I was raised, I now know we were not created to live small lives, yet many of us know nothing more than the insulated reality we’ve created for ourselves. If that is you, I’d like to first say that I can relate, because I was you for a long time. I’d also like you to know that just because you may feel that there is no other way to live your life or no way to attain the things you once dreamt of as a child, that does not mean a way doesn’t exist. I assure you it does and that internal fear you experience each time you allow yourself to dream of a better life is a good thing. It’s actually your best friend, because it’s the truest emotion a human being can experience.
That fear is a beautiful thing, because it’s a reminder that your dreams do still exist! That’s great news! Now, it’s your job to start embracing that fear and living beyond your comfort zone.
Fear is our soul’s way of letting us know that we are in alignment with our true purpose. As we move towards a goal and that feeling creeps in, we must embrace it and push through it, because our sincerest happiness always lies just on the other side of that fear, so get excited! If you’re scared, it means you’re getting close and the only thing better than getting close, is getting THERE and THERE is where we all long to be, because THERE is where we are meant to be!
How do we get THERE? Well, that’s part of a longer conversation that I look forward to having with you, but for now let’s start small. Today, let’s do something that terrifies us, but that also awakens our soul! I’d like you to think of one thing that has been on your heart for some time. Maybe it’s a childhood dream or a more recent one, but it’s something you’ve disregarded as silly or unrealistic. I want you to walk into your bathroom, stare into your mirror and say that dream out loud.
As you verbalize this secret dream of yours, I want you to stare into your own reflection and find that version of yourself who is a fearless dreamer. You may have to repeat this dream out loud 5 times, 20 times, 100 times or more, there is no right or wrong answer. I want you to say the words, hear your words, connect with your words and feel the passion behind them. It will most likely feel weird, but the beginning of any journey worth going on always does.
Do this each morning as soon as you wake up and throughout the day, right up until the moment you go to bed. There is no need to announce this to the world, as this is your dream and yours alone. Allow your mind to wander and your soul to expand as you consider the endless possibilities that this dream will unlock in your life. Hold on to that feeling and be proud of yourself for taking the first step towards kicking fear’s butt! You’re back in the game and that’s an extraordinary place to be!
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