Have you ever tried doing something new, such as starting a new job, going to a new school, learning how to drive, or meeting someone for the first time? At first you’re nervous and apprehensive. You don’t know what to expect. You’re afraid that no one will like you or, even worse that you’ll mess up big time by saying or doing the wrong thing. But guess what? All this is normal. This is initial fear. For a second or two, your brain gets to work to begin the complex process of assessment and reaction. It’s here that you take a deep breath, calm yourself and think. “Yes, this is definitely something new, but you know what, I’m up to the challenge.” Now you’re ready to take the first step.
As you become more familiar with the new situation, person or thing, all fears are quelled. Gradually you become more comfortable. But, what if you can’t rationalize because a bad experience from the past immediately comes to mind? The last time you faced a similar situation, the outcome was not pleasant. You told yourself, “Never again. That was too painful.” The assessment in this instance isn’t good. Your reaction is to stop and run in the other direction. Well, you have now stepped from the state of initial fear to unrealistic fear.
Healthy fear is supposed to be your friend. In other words, it’s necessary for your survival, safety, and protection. Fear is supposed to sound the alarm when you approach oncoming danger, and in many cases this is what it does. The body will continue in a state of alert until your brain is convinced that the danger has passed. In turn, you can exercise sensible caution and make sound decisions for the sake of your safety.
What we see and what we hear play a huge role in how we respond to a particular situation. Fear can’t differentiate between reality and perception. It relies on you to tell them apart. Your reaction and response to any given situation triggers your emotions. As far as fear is concerned change is dangerous, risk is dangerous, even being in unfamiliar surroundings is dangerous. When something looks, feels, and sounds dangerous, fear prepares for the worse.
Fear prohibits great dreams from becoming extraordinary realities. It makes small steps look like giant hurdles. It stops people, like you and I, from accomplishing our goals and realizing our dreams. If 2012 is the year that “things are going to change” then you have to Kick Fear Now. Once and for all, it is time to kick fear to the curb. Put it in its place — a place of support, not control. You may not feel very courageous right now, but you are ready to take control over your life. It’s not easy, but it can happen. Despite the stumbling blocks and bumps that will try to hinder you, success can – and will – be yours. The key is to take action and the time to start doing that is now.
This morning I woke up with this song ringing in my ears. Most of you may remember the lyrics from the Sound of Music.
Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream
Follow every rainbow
Till you find your dream.
I had not heard this song from since my childhood years back in England. So, why now, why on this 2nd day of January 2012, after a rough night of sleep and not in any mood for getting out of the bed? Perhaps I needed a gentle reminder and perhaps it is what I should share this morning. Don’t give up on your desires, goals, aspirations and most importantly your dreams. Keep going, despite setbacks and failures, stumbling blocks and trip ups. The key is to stay focused and keep on moving.
Life is not one big challenge; it is actually lots of little challenges rolled into one. How you handle the challenge determines the outcome. How you handle the outcome determines how you tackle the next challenge when it comes your way. Each challenge is merely a preparation for the next one. You become stronger or weaker based on what you label that outcome. Win or loss. Good or bad. Success or failure. The choice is always yours.
This year 2012 I dare you to face your challenges from a different perspective. Look at them with excitement and interest. Let your challenges show you what you can handle. Let them tell you how far you have come and how much further you have to go. To make it even more fun, why not set yourself a big challenge and see what the outcome will be. You may be in for a big surprise.
You may think you are ordinary, everyday people but you are not. You are someone’s champion and someone’s hero. You are champions and heroes who quietly leave your mark on the lives of the people that you come into contact with on a daily basis. Your names may not be known to the masses, your faces may not be in the news, but you are someone special. So keep on climbing, fording, and following until you find your dream.