“The only thing we have to fear…
…is fear itself! Nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt first made this statement in his March 4, 1933 inaugural address.
Most of us are familiar with this famous quote and any of the numerous variations of it. Even though this was a political speech, there is a great deal of personal significance in what he said. And I can totally relate to it.
For much of my life, I lived in this horrible state of paralyzing fear, truly without reason or justification. I allowed the opinions of others and the things people said to me or about me to keep me from doing things that I really wanted to do and from pursuing the desires of my heart. Little things, big dreams, you name it. I withdrew from the faith I once had in myself and bought into the jealousies and personal feelings bestowed upon me that were literally intended to keep me frozen and miserable. As unfortunate as it is, there are people who put way more effort into bringing others down to their level and lower rather than doing the work necessary for their own recovery.
So how do we move through fear? While I have a few steps that I believe are most effective in conquering fear, it all comes down to this…do it anyway!
For some reason, kayaking has always intimidated me. That’s a little thing to a lot of people, but to me it was very daunting, even though I really wanted to try it. You see, I’m not a good swimmer. I never learned to tread water, and after just a few seconds of floating, my feet sink! So, while visiting my lovely daughter in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina last year, I threw caution to the wind and did it. And guess what? It didn’t kill me or even hurt me. In fact, I loved it and actually found it to be somewhat calming and quite freeing.
Here’s the thing…you’ve got two choices. Either you can stay exactly where you are, miserable and unhappy, paralyzed in the state of fear. That’s the easy, comfortable approach, even though it sucks. Or you can get really uncomfortable with being comfortable, and go out there and do it anyway. Even though you might still be afraid, when it’s all over, you’ll be amazed at how good you will feel.
Just look at how fast this year has passed by, and in case you haven’t noticed, each year goes by faster and faster. If you’re not moving forward, like it or not, you’re falling behind, and life will just keep leaving you there. There really is no standing still. Stop retreating and start advancing. It’s time to live in spite of fear!
How are you approaching fear? Have you any idea what you’re even afraid of? I’d love to hear your comments, and remember… I am here to help! If you’d like to know more about the steps I use in overcoming fear, shoot me an email.
Living in spite of fear (and encouraging you to do the same!)
Till next time