“Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.” – Bill Cosby
Could facing your fears really be that easy? In most cases, I say YES loud and clear.
There is nothing that keeps us stuck more than fear. It can be paralyzing both physically and emotionally.
Believe it or not there was a time that I was so afraid to speak in front of a group that I had to hire people to do it for me. I would literally make myself sick. Talk about NOT practicing what you preach.
When my father died, I wrote part of the eulogy – for my sister to read at his funeral. I couldn’t do it, even for him, the man that constantly told me,“If you want to get anywhere in life, you have to stick your neck out”. (After all, he was a turtle.)
When my son was a little boy (ok, he’ll always be my little boy). Seriously, when he was 11, I took on the role of Pack Master for his school district. That meant I had to speak to over 100 parents on a regular basis. Nope! Not me. I coerced one of my friends to partner with me. I did the writing and she did the speaking! It was a great plan until she got sick. With trembling knees I stepped up to the podium and read my speech. Guess what – it was warmly welcomed. I didn’t die, no one laughed at me, well maybe a little, I didn’t trip and fall; I’m still here to write about it.
Hindsight is a great teacher. What I realized was that I had been facing fears my whole life – MY WHOLE LIFE! When you think about it, I bet you have too. We all have a story around fear.
After that night, I made a list of all the ways I had stepped up to fear in the past. Some were big fears, and some were little fears. Here’s what part of my list looked like, and here’s what I did:
- Fear of dogs after being bitten more than once – I have 2 dogs, really big dogs
- Fear of being alone – I spend time alone – a lot
- Fear of change – I embrace it
- Fear of speaking – I host a radio show and give motivational speeches before hundreds of people
- Fear of sobriety – I don’t drink (maybe that should be facing my demons)
There’s a lot more where that came from. You get the picture. Sometimes I take giant steps, and sometimes I take baby steps – I keep stepping into them and come out shining on the other side.
So when I read that quote from Bill Cosby, I shook my head up and down with a resounding YES.
Almost everything we do begins with a choice. Simple as it sounds, you can choose to step past your fear and step into your greatness.
May I suggest you begin by imagining yourself as Gandalf the White Wizard – tell your fear “Thou shall not pass!”