There are a handful of truly brilliant bloggers I read regularly. Today, Joel Runyon’s Two Part Guide To Doing Something Awesome popped up in my mailbox. I was not the least bit surprised to see that Part #1 was to do stuff that scares you, and that he referenced another of my faves, Steve Kamb (who actually says SH** instead of stuff). I have been doing a lot of things that scare me lately, things I didn’t think I had in me, that I never thought I could do. Nothing crazy like juggling chainsaws mind you, but running with scissors for sure — and it feels f***ing awesome (read the link, expletive required here).
In addition to this blog, I also just started writing two books. Since a single blog post takes anywhere from 20 minutes (Luck of The Irish) to 11 days (Ready To Fly), it could be a while until we need to call the printer on either of the novels. But in the midst of it all, what once intimidated me now sets me free. Writing is cheaper than therapy, and I enjoy it a great deal more.
It shouldn’t be any surprise that one of the books is all about fear. Specifically about overcoming it, confronting it, and recognizing the shackling effect it has on most of us. But it doesn’t have to. Lyrics from an Eagles’ song say it all, “…so often times it happens that we live our lives in chains, and we never even know we have the key…”
Sadly, the fear of what people will think, that we will be alone, that something AWFUL will happen is so debilitating, we freeze and stop moving forward. I will never forget the reaction of an professional consultant as I was divulging some tender yet relevant details. It seemed safe enough, a phone conversation — if she laughed, judged, or otherwise ridiculed my situation, I’d never have to see her again, so I boldly shared. Her reaction shocked me, she applauded my bravery for being so open, for sharing the information and trusting her with it. I was stunned as she related similar situations, I was not alone, she too had similar experiences, and wouldn’t it be great of we could all just shake the facade of “everything is fine” and really help each other through the challenges we face. I continue to meet people who are open, share their stories, and learn that being vulnerable, being truly authentic about what life is serving up is incredibly liberating, not to mention necessary.
So back to fear, and fearing less. Keep in mind, I’m not talking about the hair standing up on the on the back of your neck kind of fear when you pass a dark alley — listen to that fear, follow your instinct and common sense in matters of personal safety. But the other kind of fear is different. Launch yourself past the voices that say you can’t do it, you’re not enough, etc. Look that fear in the face and call it the bully that it is. With that, I’m off to the pages of the book for a while. It’s a bit daunting at times, but I’m not afraid to write about it.