Inspiration Monday: Looking Fear in the Eye

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.
Dorothy Thompson

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.

So how many of you are afraid to work toward your dreams? Afraid of what your friends and family will say? Afraid of messing up the comfort of your life? Afraid of what you will need to sacrifice? Afraid of making a mistake and having it thrown in your face that it just serves you right…who do you think you are, trying to do something outside the norm? Afraid of failing at your dream? Afraid of maybe succeeding and finding out what that really means? So afraid of finding out what you are capable of and then discovering you could have done this all a long time ago and your life could have been so different? So afraid of any consequence…you’re paralyzed, and you choose to let life go right on by.

Okay, you’ve come this far. I’ll admit I get freaked out at times. But, I’m also tired of just dreaming. It is time to do something about it.

So now what? Now that we’ve acknowledged our fears, let’s figure out what we will do with our fear. Some people are automatically motivated by fear and work away from what they are most afraid of. For example, some people are afraid of having no money. They end up working long hours and do just about anything to earn and squirrel away the money. This gives them the comfort of knowing they have money. Other people are so afraid of failure, it makes them work so hard, so much so they break the barriers of what has held others back, to succeed beyond what they ever imagined.

Think back to when you remember life as so easy and triumphant. Think back to all the wins you’ve had over the years…maybe it was the freedom and excitement when you learned how to ride a bike. Or the first time you aced a spelling or math test. Or hit the ball further than anyone else. Maybe it is when you became someone’s best friend. Or when you know you helped someone who was troubled. Or maybe it was your first real job and you could go out an afford a new pair of shoes. Maybe it was when you were able to save enough money to pay your way through school, buy your first car, rent your first apartment, buy your first condo, your first house.

Remember all the sweat and hard work you put into a project to make things happen. Smile and enjoy the glory you remembered. Doesn’t it feel great to feel competent, to feel successful and powerful with what you’ve accomplished so far? You handled the stumbling blocks just fine. You might have grumbled a bit, but it didn’t sway you, because you had to or wanted to do it.

Maybe you had to do it to show your friends you could ride a bike. Maybe you had to jump off the high diving board to show your friends you weren’t chicken. Maybe you wanted to show off in front of that cute boy or girl in your class. Maybe you wanted that promotion because only you could take that new job to a whole new level. Or maybe you were so mad because a door closed in your face or someone told you that you were stupid or not good enough; too young or too old; the wrong race or the wrong gender…and you wanted to prove everyone wrong. And you worked your little tail off to make things happen.

No matter how you went about it, you have already learned through your mistakes, disapointments, failures and successes. You’ve already done things in your life that you’ve been proud of. So, what’s so different about trying to reach your dream?

I can’t make you change your life patterns to make you reach toward your dream. Only you can do that. However, I can show you that it may not be so hard from what you have already accomplished in your life. Little steps, that’s all I’m saying. It takes little steps to make big things happen.

And in case you have’t read it lately….You are good enough. You are smart enough. You are clever enough. You have the right combination of genetic codes to do whatever it is you want to do. You can do it. Get rid of all that mental garbage that’s telling you otherwise. Besides taming the fear, throwing out the negative thoughts will be one of the most liberating things you do.

You are capable of so much, it is up to you to choose how you will let the fear into your life. Will you let the fear in and dominate your whole existence or will you totally kick it to the curb? You decide.

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Vivian Lee Mahoney

Consider yourself warned: I write books about rebels. I'm also a postergirlz for readergirlz, a literary advisory group for teens. Who knew going back to the teenage years would be so rewarding?

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