Writing Inspiration: Look 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.
Henry James

How many of you are afraid to work toward your dreams? Worried of what your friends and family will say? Afraid of messing up the comfort of your life?

Maybe the thought of what you need to sacrifice seems overwhelming. Or, if you make a mistake, you’re sure people will rush in line to tell you it serves you right, who do you think you are, why are you so special you think you can do it?

Are you afraid of failing at your dream? Afraid of maybe succeeding and finding out what that really means? Do you secretly fear discovering you’re capable of something wonderful all along, and @#$#*, if you stepped up to the plate the first time around, your life could have been so different?

You’ve come this far. I’ll admit I get freaked out at times. But, I’m also tired of just dreaming. Aren’t you?

Maybe we can help one another. Are you in?

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 something, no matter what.

Other people are afraid of failure. It makes them work hard, so much they break the barriers of what held others back, to succeed beyond what they ever imagined.

Think back to when you remember life as 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, hit the ball further than anyone else, won a race, became someone’s best friend. Or when you started your first real job and saved 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 of your younger days. 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 get things done.

Think about what motivated you. Were you determined to prove to your friends you weren’t a chicken? Did you want to show off in front of the cute boy or girl in your class? Did you want the job because you’d make more money, get more perks, receive more visibility? Or maybe you were mad because a door closed in your face or someone told you that you were stupid, not good enough, too young or too old, the wrong race or gender…and you wanted to prove everyone wrong. You worked your tail off to make things happen. I KNOW you did.

No matter how you went about it, you’ve already learned through your disappointments, failures and successes. You’ve already done things in your life that make you proud. 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 hope you now realize it may not be so different 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’s 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 look fear straight in the eye and 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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