Friday, August 24, 2012

Fearless Fridays: Facing Your Fears

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

My journey got a swift kick in the butt four years ago when I was laid off from my job and dumped by my boyfriend in the same week. To top it off, my now ex-boyfriend had actually left me for someone else. My world had been turned upside down all at once.  I worked at the same job for seven years so it was definitely a shocker to suddenly be let go. I came into work at 8:30am. By 11am, my boss called me and said her boss wanted to meet with me. By 12n, I was being escorted out of the building, unemployed and stunned. I had no idea my day would turn out that way.  I didn’t know it then but that was the Universe’s way of basically kicking me out of my comfort zone so I can proceed on my journey.

We all go through moments in our lives where we become comfortable and unintentionally end up “stuck” in our current state. However, life is not meant to be spent in one place. Our journey is all about progressing and moving along. Our personal evolutions cannot happen unless we continue to move along in life. The Universe/God will always nudge you along your journey and throw opportunities your way that are meant to help you get to where you’re supposed to be. But this is where our free will comes into play.  It’s like what my dad used to always say: “You can lead someone to the pool but it is up to them to decide if they want to jump in or not.”

Despite those great opportunities in our path, we ultimately choose which road to travel. These opportunities look very good to us and we may feel that twinge in our heart that tells us it is the right opportunity for us. But… something holds us back from seizing that opportunity. We choose to instead stay where we are, where we are comfortable. Almost always, the reason why we stay in our comfort zone is because of fear.

Fear is definitely a roadblock on anyone’s journey.  Don’t get me wrong; fear is normal to experience.  We all have our moments of fear at times in our lives. However, in order to be successful in life, we have to learn to face our fears and push through that roadblock on our path. Or else, you will never realize your full potential.

When we let fear block us from fully experiencing life, we then start to use the following words regularly, which I call the “trilogy of regret”: would of, could of, and should of. You’ll look back at your life and ask yourself something like, “What WOULD OF happened had I taken that job promotion?” Or, “What COULD OF happened if I had spoken up and expressed my ideas?” The worst is “should of”. You then realize that you SHOULD OF made a different choice because you now know after the fact that the outcome would have been in your favor. Making a choice outside of your comfort zone is taking a chance. And taking a chance in life is a fearless move.

As my daily mantra goes, you only get one shot at your life, so why not take a chance? What do you have to lose? To take a chance is to be bold and daring. And that is such an empowering feeling that will make you forget that roadblock called fear. I didn’t always see things this way. I used to be the person who started something but then didn’t finish. I was afraid of the outcome because I could not control it. I grew comfortable in where I was in my journey because me being comfortable made me feel like I was in control. The funny thing about life is that even when you grow comfortable in your life, you are never fully in control. The Universe/God is not having that. Situations will be thrown at you that will shake up your life, just as it happened to me four years ago.

Your life is shaken up so you can see that you have stayed still for too long. And that you are destined for bigger and better things. For me, in looking back, I see that I was in that job longer than I should have been. My journey had halted. I also was with someone that I didn’t belong with but stayed with him because it was comfortable. Sometimes if you can’t walk away and let go on your own, the Universe/God forces you out of that situation. And you are given another opportunity to resume your journey. Some doors close for a reason. Let them.

I learned that it’s not about what goes wrong in your life because there will always be disappointments, setbacks and letdowns. It’s about how you deal with them. When you face your fears and push through the dark times…when you opt to not be comfortable and stand still…you can do anything you set your mind to. Facing your fears means living your dreams. It means enjoying the ride. Your journey will be full of ups and downs but when you confront your fears, you can deal with the ride, appreciate it and learn from it. 

I am still a work in progress but I face my fears one day at a time. It’s not easy but I believe in myself and my limitless capabilities in this life. I am now pursuing my love for writing, teaching and just doing what makes me happy. This is how my blog Fearlessly Just Me was born. This is how Fearless Fridays on this site was born. Every week, I get to write about my journey, what I have learned and hopefully, inspire at least one person. I am proof that if I can do it, you can, too. 

I’m not going to keep myself in a box. I am going to be me and that is a wonderful thing. The world is out there for me to explore and even though at times, it scares the crap out of me, I then remind myself that I can do anything I set my mind to because I believe in myself.

Don’t let fear limit you and what you can do in your life. Stay believing in you and tackle each fear, one day at a time.

Need more inspiration on being fearless? Please check out my feature story on the Catherines I Am website: Becoming Fearless One Day at a Time.

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