Fear; what is it good for?

Failure…or more accurate; epic failure.

That’s the point that moved me back to focusing on the areas of my life that needed me most. Have you experienced failure?

I know that we all have in some form or another. Small failures are normal in life. But small failures mean that we are only taking small steps and staying safe because of the numbing fear of more failure.

Can you relate? Have you ever wanted something and were too afraid to do what it takes to achieve what you wanted? Take for example, a baby. When you were young and learning to walk for the first time, did you fall? Now, I don’t know your backstory well enough but I’m going to bet you a million dollars that you did.

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Because we all did! But what if we had decided at that moment that it was futile to keep trying? What if we made the decision that we were going to keep crawling through our lives because it was safer? 

Sounds kind of silly, doesn’t it? Yet, that is what most of us are doing every single day. We give up. We stop trying. Have you tried losing weight and getting fit before and failed? Have you started a business venture or challenge that excited you, only to fail in some way; big or small? Have you tried dating before and failed at connecting with everyone you went out with? Are you at a point right now that is keeping you in a place of complacency because of the numbing fear of failing, yet again?

I hate to say it but in order to achieve anything worth having, you must fail. Here are two major failures in my life and how I was able to overcome them with the support of friends and family:

I grew up extremely shy and kept to myself most of the time. I enjoyed solitude and quiet spaces because it was safe. I don’t know where the fear of speaking up began but I know it was an issue that hindered me through my school years. In high school, I became friends with a girl who pretty much spoke for me. She gave me confidence because she was so confident. I appreciate her to this day for showing me exactly how unscary it is to just speak up and be heard.

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Can you imagine now that I am not afraid to speak in public? I started with teaching aerobic classes when I was just 18 years old. I was scared out of my mind, but my passion for helping others to workout and feel good overcame my fears and I just kept practicing and doing. Did I fail? Of course I did! I would have blunders and mistakes every time I taught for a long time. But this didn’t stop me from continuing because I simply loved it! I now am not afraid to talk openly in public. I am not afraid to stand up and make a public speech. I may get nervous at the start but that doesn’t stop me anymore from still doing; as in the past.

Have you ever felt that kind of passion before? Have you ever been afraid of something but were so passionate about the outcome that it became the focus; instead of the fear? That is the place we all need to live in. This helps us build our confidence for the areas in our lives that hinder us still.

I was also always fearful of not having enough money. I don’t know where this fear began but I remember when my husband and I purchased our first home, I worried that we would make a bad choice at some point or another. We had excellent credit scores, paid all of our bills on time, both worked and provided for our young children and everything just seemed right. Yet, I still feared losing it all.

Be careful what you think about most because it can consume you. Not that I walked around worrying about it constantly; it was more of a nagging worry.

I won’t bore you with the whole story but at the time of the recession; we decided to take a move overseas and needless to say, this was the start of the worries coming to fruition. My hubby’s business hit a bumpy road and slowed down considerably. I was working part-time in the fitness field as a personal trainer and still a group exercise instructor (and if you know anything about this field, it’s not something to write home about in income status). Our move overseas was short lived but the outcome hit us rather hard. We moved again back to where we began and didn’t take precautions to scrimp and save enough to get back on our feet as we would have preferred.

One more overseas trip and a lot more debt accrued and we came back again, only to deal with the hardship of major debt, rebuilding our businesses, and settling into something we had no idea how we would manage.

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I can honestly say that faith was my best friend at that point. Faith and our family that had gone through the moves and stresses and ups and downs. We bunkered down together, all 5 of us and decided that we were going to persevere. It hasn’t been easy but let me tell you, we are finally getting to the point of not being consumed by the unknown and have the closest and strongest bonds together that we have ever had. This would not have been possible, had we not failed. So failure, in my humble opinion, makes us better for the process.

Fear paralyzes us into doing nothing. We now go through every day, grateful for our blessings and knowing we are not as “in control” as we think we are 😉 Letting go and just believing we are doing our best with every day has been the medicine to overcome the challenges that life brings our way. I’m not saying I know what the next stage will bring but I do know that I am not afraid of it. I know that I will face the next challenge with support, love and grace. What is holding you back because of your fears?

 

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