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Old Merchant Ship Sailing on the Sea
Wed, April 1, 2015
Commanding Our Life's Ship by Sailing Through Uncharted Fears
Most everyone who has experienced a near death and lived to tell the tale, shares in a common, very clear sense that there is nothing to fear. Many wonder why they have lived in fear for most of their lives and wasted so much precious time.
 
Imagine you are the only person on the planet that possesses a certain talent, gift, or ability. What is the price of an unrealized mission? So many of us tend to play small, we sabotage the opportunity to shine before we even begin… due to fear and resistance. Fear we bought into, fears passed on from generation to generation, or a fear that took root due to a childhood “alarm”.
 
My daughters were 3 and 5 when we moved into our new home. Our first rainstorm in the house was a doozy and the girls’ father ran through the house in a panic, looking for leaks and fallout from the storm. The girls watched this and heard him screaming orders to get buckets, bring towels, and move it because the basement was flooding!!
 
As you can imagine, thereafter when there was thunder or even the slightest sprinkle, I noticed that my children were bracing themselves. The girls recalled how terrifying it was for them and their father’s example of running helter skelter in fearful panic.
 
It took time, but in time with each new storm, I would point it out and we would watch it arriving from a distance. We would talk about the noise, the lightening, the thrill and excitement, and the many benefits to the earth. We would listen as it came closer from a calm and safe place and pretty soon we were counting off the lightening to the crack of thunder.
 
Eventually they took their fear of storms to a new level as they demanded we all get into the car and chase the storm. No longer a fearful experience, the two of them became storm chasers and weathermen long before the weather channel existed. With our book about clouds in hand… off we would go.
 
Fear that is real or imagined… why not develop the skill set and the perspective to understand and take charge of that fear? It is our responsibility to prove the fear wrong, or as I like to call it, “defuse the bomb” by taking away the illusion of power behind the fear.
 
Caution… can be a good thing; it keeps us safe. But fear is different and can be arresting, debilitating, and a lifelong challenge. I am speaking of a pattern that keeps you from becoming and being your best self, prevents you from trying new things, or thinking your own thoughts. Anything that keeps you from realizing your dreams and your talents deserves a second look and some challenging.
 
Ask yourself, “Why am I afraid of this? So what if I fail? What if I succeed? If I am no longer afraid of this, what more will be possible?”
 
When you are free from fear, you are truly free. Turn your fear into freedom.
 
There is NO boogie man; monsters are man-made. Everything in the world that is horrible is fabricated by humans to control or prosper through your fear. Sometimes it is just a mistake or accident. My friend was left behind as a little girl when her family visited a rest area. It took them 40 minutes to realize their mistake and to circle back for her. She never forgot it, and still she fears being left out or not included.
 
Nothing lives under your bed… are you living in fear of fear?
Begin by declaring to yourself, “I’m not buying that piece of real estate, because it isn’t real! It is learned. It is a habit. I’m not buying it!!”
 
Here are some things you can do to no longer allow your fears to control you and to become more freely yourself in your own life:
  • Keep a daily journal: Write as if no one will ever read it - the Truth. Date your entry.
  • Once a day, notice a fear, a doubt, or behavior in yourself that stops or inhibits you. Write it down, what you feel, what you notice, all of it.
  • Find powerful phrases and quotes that will anchor and ground you in your own power as you move forward.
  • Have examples of people who are fearful and people who are fearless.  What is it that they do differently?
  • Review your list of fearful and fearless people. Identify where you may be similar or dissimilar. Then listen to your thoughts, ask yourself where they came from, notice your feelings, write about it in your journal in as much detail as possible.
  • Create a list or plan of the items you might want to try that would be new for you, regardless of whether or not you may have previously had fears or been afraid to try them.
  • Watch for the right day, or moment or event to create a plan for when you will have the courage to try something new, lean into the behavior, or event, or thing that you would have resisted in the past.
  • Take baby steps, small doses to begin and expand as you feel more confident.
  • Engage a close friend in your process who will listen, encourage, and support you.
  • Whatever our attention is upon…grows!  So pay attention to your thoughts and listen to what you tell yourself within.
 
The more you practice freeing yourself, the better you become at freeing your Self. The more free you become the greater your empowerment. This empowers you to venture beyond your immediate world to try new things, to truly see the world, to express your self, and to look beyond your own world and perhaps into the world of someone else.

This is when compassion becomes possible.
 
When you conquer the illusion of your fears, anything and everything is possible – you are free to be exactly who you are, with practice, the person you came here to be… living the life you are meant to live. Imagine there is nothing that can get in your way of that life. Wow!
 
“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” ~ George Eliot
 
My thought is that this alone is our greatest gift to ourselves, to those who love us, and more importantly to the world around us.
 
Have courage, be brave, and set small goals for yourself. If it didn’t work out as you hoped today, try again tomorrow. Create situations and opportunities to practice the moment of just leaning into your fear.
 
I used to be terrified of snakes. As a young adult with small children I knew I did not want my own fears to cause my children to create similar fears within their own lives. So I started small, I got a book on snakes in my region so I could familiarize myself with what I might actually come across. In the process, I learned even more about them, their habits, and character and this began to open my eyes rather than squeezing them so tightly shut!
 
I discovered that snakes do not eat people!! And they will not chase me and they do not spit poison or want me dead. They are more afraid of me than I am of them. Hard to imagine, especially back then, but likely true. My daughter’s class had a reptile guy come in each month and guess what he brought… yes, snakes.
 
So I decided to be a hall parent on that day, and I watched from a distance, slowly getting closer and closer to the activities. As I was observing the children handling the critters, the nature guy asked if I wanted to hold one. My heart raced… pressure… it’s too soon… the kids are watching… um… UMMM… no thank you. Chicken!!!
 
But then, he said, “Do you want to just touch her while I hold her?” And, slowly… with lots of squirming and heebie jeebies… I did. It was huge for me! The classroom of kids clapped softly, as excited for my giant step forward as I was.
 
Whether your fear is of interviews, unfamiliar surroundings, new foods, or flying…our mission on earth is to become commander of our ship, master of our own soul. Real or imagined, unchecked, our fears have the capacity to derail our entire life course. Our individual greatness lies dormant in a sea of potential that has never been activated if we don’t address our fears, steering the ship of our lives through those uncharted waters. And once we do, once we set that sail and accept that challenge, what we all discover is not only the thrill of the adventure but the greatness within our soul.

You have just become commander of your ship!! Try it!!

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