Last week I talked about the fact that your story matters. The story of how you became who you are today and the continuing narrative of who you are becoming! As we each take that next step forward in our lives, hopefully living each day by giving our best, loving our people and creating great to release into the world, we may be faced with obstacles. Those obstacles look and feel different for each and every one of us. We all fear different things. For some of us we may be hesitant to share our greatness for fear of rejection or criticism. That fear is real, friends. I can tell you!
I have been blogging for over four years now and have very little interaction or know very little about who (if anyone) reads my blog. This could cause me to criticize myself and question my messages or creativity or even worse, the value of my story. But I know why I write, and because I write not only to encourage others but for myself as well, I will never stop writing! Even if only one person is encouraged by what I have to say then it was totally worth it!
Please don’t rate yourself or determine your value based on the number of likes your picture, post or artwork gets. Please don’t doubt yourself based on “the crowd”. Remember, your story is completely unique, that great you offer to the world is one-of-a-kind priceless! Even if “the crowd” is receptive often times we are our own worst critic and that internal criticism stops us. Fear of rejection. Fear of criticism. But if we would step out for the first time or the hundredth time and share our story or creativity with others we would find that there is less to be afraid of than we had anticipated!
Sometimes we do base things on previous experience, which can a very powerful deterrent to forward progress, right? But if we stay stuck in that fear we will never know what we are capable of!
Can you think of a time in your life when the reality of something was a lot less painful or stressful than you had anticipated or built it up to be? Holy cow, I can! Where do I start? There were so many times in my most previous cancer experience that I remembered how horrible things had been the first time I had cancer that the anticipation was way worse than the actual event.
And even now every time I have a test or find something suspicious I immediately think about cancer. This wasn’t intended to be a mindset episode/entry, but another discussion about reconciliation.
Remember most recently in my post: Another Type Of Tension, I talked about holding suffering and joy together at once; that enjoyment can be experienced even in the midst of pain, they are not mutually exclusive. In the same way fear and courage are by no means mutually exclusive. Susan Jeffers has a book that has perhaps one of the best titles ever: Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway.
Courage isn’t the absence of fear, but rather, the moving forward in spite of it. And isn’t that faith, anyway: taking the step even when you can’t see where your foot may land?
We can feel fear in so many areas in life. Our choice is whether or not to be governed by that fear or if instead, despite the fear, to do what we want to/need to do anyway!
So what are you afraid of today? What holds you back in life? And what steps do you need to take in the presence of that fear to empower yourself?