Friday, January 7, 2011

Fear Factor

The hubby and I newly wed. Like his "scared" face?

I recently read an article in the January 2011 edition of Whole Living called Living Fearlessly. The article begins with a woman that was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. She tells about her journey of learning to live with this rare disease. She writes,

"Early in my diagnosis, I spent a lot of time anticipating--thinking about the effects of chemotherapy or what might happen if a particular treatment didn't work. My doctor gently told me, 'Year by year all is unclear, but day by day we find our way.' I hear those words at least once a day and find my way back to the present. Fear is about what might happen, not what is happening right now. It takes us to a place of panic, not power. The only thing you have to master is the thing right in front of you, this very second."

I love this quote. It really made me think. While I don't have a rare form of cancer on my plate right now, I do think that fear often paralyzes me from doing things I want to do. For example, I have been wanting to get a position as a yoga instructor for some time. There are a lot of places around here that I could apply, but I have been too afraid that I would be rejected. I'm worried that I'm too heavy, or that I don't have enough experience, or this or that. The list goes on.

In fact there are a lot of things that I have always wanted to do but have been to chicken to make that first step. So this article really spoke to me. I want to write for the next few days about the various steps that this article covered to overcome fear.

And as the article says, we should make 2011 the year to stop living in fear of the unknown. It paralyzes us. Think of it this way, "to live in fear is essentially not to live."

So, here we have Step One: Ask yourself: What am I really afraid of?
"To move past your fear, you first must identify it. . . When anxiety surfaces, try to describe the source of your distress. It could be something concrete, such as looming layoffs or relationship trouble. Or maybe it's less tangible--say, failure, rejection, or the future and what is holds. Either way, the conscious act of naming your fear is the first step to making it manageable."

Very true. I'm going to spend some time naming my fears. Once you name them they usually become manageable or even comical. I think it is time to push those silly things aside and really start enjoying this life.

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