Halloween is around the calendar corner so I thought it was the perfect time to talk about something spooky. I’m not really referring to ghosts and goblins, even though they may give you the heebie-jeebies, but more so the main obstacles that hold us back in life… our fears. We all have them, some more than others. We’ve collected them along the way of learning this thing called life and sometimes we forget to let go of them. Facing your fears isn’t necessarily about abolishing their existence (although, wouldn’t that make things much easier). Fear is almost impossible to avoid. In fact, it’s merely there to protect us from aspects we believe to be harmful. A helping hand of sorts. However, most of the time it just gets in the way. And since fear, by default, exists in our lives, we might as well find ways to maneuver around (or through) it. So, while you’re putting on your costumes and setting up your haunted house to scare the neighbors, let’s talk about some ways to make it through the maze without getting caught in cotton spider webs and stinky mechanical fog. (That’s a good metaphor for life, right?)
“Think logically,” my pragmatic Aquarius friend always tells me when I’m in the midst of a big scary decision. It’s easier said than done for some of us emotionally-driven people, but when fear comes into play, thinking logically cuts it off cold turkey. To better explain how to apply this, let me use my own personal example. When I was a little kid, I used to sprint upstairs like an Olympian champion after I’d turn out the lights because I was terrified that a robber was going to grab me and take me away. Now, I was probably in 2nd grade, and in my 7 years of existence, which broken down mathematically equates to two-thousand, four-hundred and ninety-two days of running up the stairs away from this imaginary monster (minus the first year or so of crawling, but you get the picture) this has never happened. Not even once. The point is, when you really think logically about what you are scared of, somehow it just doesn’t add up. The chances of getting kid-napped on that one day is only a .0004 percent change. Once you start to realize how unrealistic your fear is, it will put things into perspective and shift from absolute terror to a faint whisper. Use that big brain of yours and bounce back to bravery. Realize the chances of your worst outcome actually happening, then tell that little distressing voice in your head to shush!
Do it with your hands shaking. We all think that we have to be soldiers to fight the war, but just because someone did something that, to you, is the scariest thing on earth, it doesn’t mean they are any stronger than you. One of the best ways to face your fears is to just DO IT, even if your knees are trembling, your heart is racing and sweat is dripping down your face. A great example of this is on my 20th birthday, I went skydiving. Now, I’m a daredevil so this was no big feat for me (don’t get it confused though, my fears are in other avenues), but this story is about my mom. Now, she just came to watch and support, and make sure I didn’t splatter on the ground after flying through mid-air a billion miles an hour. Now let me first mention that my mother’s biggest fear is heights. Not like looking down from the 70th floor of a sky tower type of fear. More like walking across a 10-foot hiking path over the beach type of fear. So, in her mind, flying (which she referred to as falling) was absolutely not an option. In fact, to make sure of this, she wore a maxi skirt and sandals. But with no intention of getting her to go, whatsoever (insert evil smile here), I packed an extra pair of jeans and tennis shoes.
I brought two friends to skydive with me, except once we got to the site, we were told that only two of us could go at a time. I offered to fly by myself so my friends could go together, but since it was my birthday, they wouldn’t let me go alone. So, as my friend and I were getting our suits on, the other one started chickening out. I playfully insisted that my mom would join her (insert evil smile again), but my mom laughed it off and exclaimed “yea right, no way”. My friend said “come on! I’m doing it,” which then my mom replied with “yea, but you are way braver than me”. And right in the moment she realized what she said wasn’t true. My friend was just as terrified as she was, but she was still going to jump. Long story short, I passed my mom my extra jeans and shoes and next thing she knew she was up in the air about to puke and talking faster than the plane was flying. She faced her fear by just DOING IT, and she hasn’t been afraid of heights ever since!
Remember, it’s not about being fearless, it’s about facing them.
Boo! Did I scare you? Happy Halloween!