“Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins.” ~Charles Stanley
Conquering Fear: It’s what you do when you do the scary thing, even when you don’t want to. Some folks call it courage. Some folks call it bravery. I call it force of will.
It’s that time again, time to do an overview review on how we’re meeting our goals this month at its halfway mark. I’m doing fairly well; overall, each day I’m able to spend just a few moments or focus on one activity that either allows me to conquer a physical fear, embrace failure, write about something I fear, or entertain fantasy.
So far this month, I stood out in a thunderstorm under the patio (so you don’t think I’m tempting lightening. Thunder storms in the Pacific Northwest amongst the Cascade foothills are much different than they are in the Midwest plains. For me, at least, they are much scarier. I went running (it made my OA act up and caused some tendonitis in my left knee, but I did it and I did well and I’ll return to it as soon as the knee is better). I stood on the edge of a cliff near my home. Heights aren’t really the problem for me – it’s not having a safety rail. I remember the roof of our barracks in Frankfurt Germany. Many of us smokers (although I quit back in 1994), would go up on the roof in order to smoke, to drink, to watch the city on clear nights. It didn’t have an edge or a guard rail. It was scary. Put me in a helicopter hanging off the seat to take photos and I was fine – I was in the monkey harness. But put me somewhere that seems too easy to fall, and I turn into a blob fish of fear.
I’ve also realized that compared to other folks, I’m doing fairly well in the “fear” department. Spiders don’t freak me out. In fact, I can’t say that I have an unreasonable fear of any critter. I also confronted an asshat in the park who was lighting bottle rockets off at 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday. Bottle rockets, well the noise they make, shakes me to my core. It sends me back to Iraq. Not a cool thing if you live in America and everyone else seems to think that fireworks are cool. Of course this was AFTER Sept. 11th, when somebody thought the date was equivalent to July 4th, and was shooting off fireworks, to include the ill-favored bottle rockets. I said nothing that day. Hell, I had conquered running the day before, so I was still recovering. I even stood up to a bully in the grocery store who was harassing a store clerk. Poor girl, she was just trying to help the man, but he apparently thought she was Samantha from Bewitch and could wiggle her nose or snap her fingers and get it all fixed. I told him to back off and let her do her job…Okay, I wasn’t that elegant, but it did the trick. It took the pressure off the girl long enough that she was able to correct the error from the scanner and send the jerk on his way. She gave me free milk for my action. Pretty cool, eh?
Embracing failure has been easy. I try. I try again. In between, I forgive myself. I refer back to The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan W. Watts. Failure is living in the past; it can also be what I like to call “future tripping,” which is when you worry about what’s going to happen later, tomorrow, next year, whatever. Failure is how we learn oftentimes. It makes us better at a particular task, skill, allows us to move forward. It’s disappointing; we have such high hopes for ourselves. But in the end it really is a good thing.
Writing about fear has been centered mostly on my fears for my special-needs child; it also, lately, has been focused on the world at large, which lately I have been finding very unkind and hard to digest. Writing, as usual, really isn’t a hard goal to have; however, this goal provides a prompt to let me speed off the thoughts, the stories, and all those emotions wrapped up in words.
Someone asked me why I put “entertain fantasy” as one of my goals during my month of Kill Your Fear. Because allowing to think fantastically can be fear-making. You forget to enjoy the fantasy and get bent about it not ever coming true. In my mind, it’s fear taking over your imagination. I’ve taken to allowing myself five minutes before I begin my meditations to just think about some fantastical scene. It’s been like a weight has been lifted off of me when I finish. I’m letting that fantasy run free, allowing it to play out, to have its time. Then poof – it’s gone. Except for the fact where the fantasy brings an idea for new fiction pieces (which I have many), I have to spend some time writing it down to let it live another day.
September is a month of changes. Always. The autumn begins it march across summer’s landscape. The crops are producing their last and dying off. We ready for the darkness to come. Before then, it’s a good idea to kill your fear.
How about you? How has your happiness project this month been? Are you reaching your goals? Are you killing fear, or doing something else? Click below and comment! Let’s chat about happiness, fear, and whether or not you scream at spiders. 😉