unrealistic fear

Curb Your Dog – Curb Your Fear

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You know what makes me angry, people who don’t curb their dogs. Believe you me, I don’t have anything against dogs or their owners. Dogs are wonderful companions.  Many a pooch has passed through my life at one time or another.  In fact, at one point we had 4 of them at home, all running around and causing havoc. No, what gets me mad is dog poop.

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Yes, you got it, dog poop. And not just dog poop, but dog poop that is in the middle of the sidewalk. You know the kind, dog poop that you have to dance around or jump over in order to get to the curb without stepping into it.  I get even angrier if I’m not looking down and step right into a pile of dog poop.  Oh yes that has happened to me. Why don’t people just curb their dogs as the sign says, and — because it is the law.

Unrealistic fear, like dog poop, gets me real angry.  That’s why I wrote the book Kick Fear to the Curb: 5 Action Steps for a Courageous You.  Fear used to get in my way of doing the things I wanted to do and you know what, that made me angry, so angry that I decided to do something about it.

In her book, Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion, Carol Tavris explains that fear and anger aren’t that different. She says that “any event that is unfamiliar, intrusive and compelling – and that potentially requires you to respond – will stimulate the production of adrenaline, and, to a varying extent, noradrenalin as well.” What differs, she informs us, is each individual’s reaction and behavior.

I don’t know about you, but stepping in a pile of dog poop is very intrusive and so is living a life filled with unrealistic fear.  Poop and unrealistic fear need to be curbed, out of your way of moving forward.

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Why did I choose the curb as the place where unrealistic fear should eventually end up? The curb is an edge built along the street to form a gutter. It’s a raised edge that is meant to confine or strengthen the sidewalk. The gutter is recessed underneath the curb.

Anything that gets to the curb will eventually end up in the gutter.

There are so many of us that allow fear to be the center of attention in our life experiences. Every time you’re ready to do something, be it great or small, here comes unrealistic fear. First, it triggers your memory to search for a similar, long ago experience.  Then, it forces you to dwell on the bad feelings that took place with that situation.  Next, it uses those same emotions to put doubt and fear in your mind.  Before you know it you are hesitant, reluctant to take that chance of feeling that way again. But, this should not be how you react.

Just like bypassing that dog poop, with unrealistic fear you have to take action.  Do everything possible not to allow it to throw you off your path.  Move around it, jump over it, dance if you must, just don’t let it stop you from moving forward.  For me, I put unrealistic fear where it belongs — below, not above; underneath, not on top.

You should be the one looking down and gloating at fear, not the other way around.

So, if you are ready for a change and unrealistic fear is blocking your way, kick fear now and keep on stepping right into the life you always dreamed of living.

 

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Words are Fearless

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I just love words.  The way they look when you string lots of them together.  It makes me feel good when they fill up a page and form lines of poetry or prose. Words sound so exciting.  I enjoy hearing them being read and seeing them acted out. I don’t even mind whether they are fiction or non-fiction. 

I’ve always had a way with words.  As a little girl I would stay up during the night writing in my diary.  There were short stories and poems, a young girl’s thoughts and dreams, and lots of goals and ambitions. Later, I moved from the dairy on to a journal.  I would write anything and everything.  It really did not matter.  You see, I just enjoy words.

I keep writing words, lots of them in fact.  Words to get into college, obtain scholarships, get good grades, get not so good grades, recommend myself, recommend others, start a business, get a job, get a higher degree, and even words to get out of college. 

So what does a person who loves words, has a way with words, writes lots of words, do?  All the words I wrote and the knowledge I accumulated were of no value unless they were shared.  I knew I had to take my words to the next level, but fear and doubt would quickly appear and make me think twice.

The funny thing is that words often take on a life of their own.  I could not stop them.  They wanted to be published.  They knew that they could be of help if only they were placed in someone’s hand.  So I continued to write words on a topic that I knew a lot about, Unrealistic Fear.  The words soon grew into a book.  The book of words did get published and is called Kick Fear to the Curb: 5 Action Steps for a Courageous You. 

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What about you?  Where are your words?  Are they asking you to let them go so that they too can be placed in someone’s hand?  

Kick Fear Now and set those words free.

Fear in Sheep’s Clothing

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When you are on a mission to eliminate fear from controlling your life, you will soon realize that unrealistic fear has no problem putting on sheep’s clothing if doing so will help it accomplish its goal.

Many times it will use the person closest to you to paralyze you. It could be your spouse, knocking down your idea about going back to college to earn a degree. It could be a sibling, reminding you of all the things you tried and failed at when you were young. It could even be your so-called best friend, who tells you how much they love you until you decide to do something different and extraordinary. Unfortunately, it’s often those people who think they know you, and what’s best for you, that push the fear button the hardest.

Jonathan Johnson, author of A Fighting Chance, is our guest blogger today and he has some words of encouragement for us on this issue. 

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God doesn’t make trash…..He hears your cry!!!!

This blog post is for those people who lost hope…..

This blog post is for those people that were told they wouldn’t amount to anything….

This blog post is for the CHAMPION in all of us….

Living life isn’t always the easiest task. Sometimes life can beat us down to the point that we don’t want to get back up. A lot of times we pray, and we feel that God doesn’t answer our prayers in a timely manner. The one thing that we have to understand is that our time isn’t God’s time, He moves when he’s good and ready. In this life, we ALL have some type of dream or goal that we want to achieve. Through the process of reaching our dreams, we encounter people who will do anything to stop us from getting to that point. And a lot of times, the people that we embark on are those closest to us…crazy huh? But it happens. A lot of times it’s those that are closest to us that don’t have a clue of what God is trying to do in our lives.

The good news is the storms that we endure are simply a test. Sure a lot of times we don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. That light is indeed there, we just have to keep pushing towards it. You must understand that God is GREATER than any PREDICAMENT that we are faced with. There are times when people tell us that our dreams are stupid, childish, or even phony. That’s fine, let those other people talk…after all, God has the final say so, and the beauty of it is that God gives us control of our own destinies…it’s just on us to walk into what’s ours. So, instead of complaining…start claiming.

At the end of the day, we are all champions; we just have different roads to our titles. Never forget that God is a bridge builder, so when you’re walking in your darkest hour, trust that God won’t leave you hanging. Granted we might sin daily, which is why Jesus went to the cross for us. So, when others come against you and your dreams don’t fret…just keep pushing. Those people are just misguided…

“When the world brings you down to your knees…you’re in the PREFECT position to pray”

Sleepless Nights – There is always a solution

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“I have spent my whole life scared. Frightened of things that could happen, might happen, might not happen. Fifty years I spent like that. Finding myself awake at 3 in the morning. But you know what? Ever since my diagnosis, I sleep just fine. And I came to realize it’s that fear that’s the worst of it. That’s the real enemy. So get up. Get out in the real world. And you kick that bastard as hard as you can right in the teeth.” – Walter White, Breaking Bad

Photograph: Wikimedia.org

Kick Fear to the Curb – The Book

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September and the first part of October has found me at that anticlimactic stage where I have finished a project, but the overwhelming feeling of joy and satisfaction at having completed something significant, to me at least, just hasn’t arrived. The years of research and writing, proofing and editing, honing and fine-tuning has ended.  I don’t know how many hands it has gone through, nor the amount of eyes that have reviewed and scrutinized, constructively criticized and painstakingly commented.  It just feels like a lot.  I’ve cut and omitted, put down and picked up, wrote and re-wrote, taken out and put back in.  Finally, with much coaxing and persuading, I realized it was time to let my baby go.

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Writing my first book, Kick Fear to the Curb: 5 Action Steps for a Courageous You, was no easy task.  Nevertheless, it was a goal I set and I was not going to stop until I had accomplished it.  It was a labor of love from me to my audience.  It was a topic that needed to be addressed because too many of us have allowed unrealistic fear to stop us from living life — a full, rich, successful life.

In a world that is filled with so much fear, doubt, and uncertainty about the future, it is easy to become discouraged.  Yet, we need courage to live this life.  Furthermore, that courage has to be built up and constantly maintained.  This is why I wrote the book, to encourage you to take action, even if only small steps.  Fear should not be hovering over your life, holding you back from stepping into your desired future.  It’s time to put unrealistic fear right where it belongs, under your feet.

During the time of writing the book that will get you to Kick Fear Now, I learned a new language, traveled to exotic places, met new people, developed friendships, climbed several mountains, earned a Masters degree in Emergency Management and more than anything else, learned how to harness the power I have within me to keep unrealistic fear where it rightly belongs.  In other words, I found courage to be me.

Now, my mission is to get this book into your hands so that you can find the courage to be you, the vibrant, fearless, courageous you. If I can encourage you to stop being discouraged and allow your courage to propel you into the unknown then my mission will be accomplished.

I want you to Kick Fear and I will help you to do it – NOW.

Lessons Learned From Machu Picchu – Part 2

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What started out as a bucket list item turned out to be another learning experience on this journey of self-discovery.  I thought I was going to hike up a mountain for 4 days and arrive at my goal tired with muscles hurting, but exhilarated at knowing that I had “done it!”  This was my plan. Alas, as many of you know, even the best laid plan has a way of changing course on you.

Our wonderful porters

Lesson Learned:  Preparation is the best tool when trying to accomplish any goal, but despite the amount of preparation and training you do sometimes your plan, or plans, will change.

It will be difficult, but there comes a time when you realize Plan A is not working, so it is better to move on to Plan B.    On my hike up the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru, altitude sickness got the better of me and my carefully made plans were slowly falling away.  Here, in a nutshell, is what happened.

The first day and a half of climbing was fine.  We moved at a steady pace up the first section past Piskakucho and when we reached camp at Wayllabamba some 2980 meters above sea level the altitude was almost bearable.  I say almost, because when I arrived at the camp I immediately proceeded to vomit up everything I had eaten that day.  When nothing else would come up I stood up straight only to find my head spinning like a whirlpool.  I did not realize it yet, but I was experiencing my first bout of altitude sickness.  I felt that after I had some hot tea and a good night’s sleep all that would be over.  

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Lesson Learned: Always be Prepared for Any Outcome

I woke up the next morning feeling less than 40%, but decided that I would be alright.  A cup of tea, some quinoa porridge, and I could press on.  My stomach was still queasy.  My eyes were bloodshot, but I was okay.  I was ready to take whatever day two had to give me.  Big mistake!

Things did go well, for a while that is.  I did move at a slower pace than most. The hike got steeper and my breathing became more labored, still on I went.  My lungs felt as if it was trying to break free of my chest.  My heart was racing fast and furious.  The thud, thudding grew louder in my ears with each agonizing step that I took.  All I kept asking myself was, “What is going on?”  “Why do I feel this way?”

Our wonderful guide, Vlad
Our wonderful guide, Vlad

Lesson Learned: Regardless of how many people are in the group or on the team, you are still responsible for your own actions.

Our guide, Vlad, hung back with me.  Patiently, he coaxed and cajoled, trying to make me feel good.  Nevertheless, I could see in his face that he knew I was struggling.  His years of taking groups up and down the Inca Trail allowed him to assess the situation very quickly.  The altitude was taking its toll on me and I would not be able to tackle the next leg of the journey.  It was far too steep and the air would get much thinner.

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Lesson Learned:  There is more than one way to accomplish any endeavor you aspire to attain. Your real challenge is to be flexible and open to what might happen along the way.

It was an agonizing time but I had to make a choice.  I could continue on, moving slower and in more pain, or I could turn around, somewhat defeated, and go back down.  The hike down would also be slow and painful, but the pain would be to my ego, not my heart and lungs.

I sat down on a big stone and suddenly the tears began to pour.  Tears for the pain I felt in my chest and the fact that I was finding it so hard to breathe.  Tears of grief because I knew I had to make a decision there and then whether to labor on or turn back.  Tears of relief because I knew that once the choice was made it would be the right choice.

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Lesson Learned:  You do not have any idea how small and insignificant you are in this great big world until you stand facing a mountain or are surrounded by a range of mountains.

As I walked down the mountain with just the guide and porter accompanying me, I had a deeper revelation of what my purpose in life is.  The journey was not about succeeding.  Instead it was a journey of inspiration, motivation and exchange.  I was able to spend time with people I had never met before who touched my life in such a special way.  I was allowed to hear some of the dreams, desires and aspirations of several of them, as well as get to know them on a more personal level.  All because half way up the mountain my plans changed.

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Lesson Learned:  Fear stems through everything that we do.

If we allow unrealistic fear to remain long after the perceived danger has passed, then we are allowing something that was only a short-term challenge stop us from moving forward in our lives.

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Lesson Learned: It’s not about me, it’s about you.

My purpose is to give practical help to people who want to overcome the unrealistic fear or fears that stop them from accomplishing the goals and dreams that will lead to a successful future.  If you are one of those people who want to Kick Fear Now, then you’ve arrived at the right place.

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Lessons Learned from Machu Picchu – Part 1

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I know that most of you would not even think about doing such a thing as climbing a mountain.  Nevertheless, you can step out of your comfort zone by doing one thing that you have never done before.  Even better, do one thing that you have always wanted to do but unrealistic fear has prevented you from doing it.

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This is what I did in the early part of July.  Wanting to step out of my comfort zone, I undertook the exciting venture of hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru.  According to the itinerary supplied by G Adventures, the tour group I went with, the 4-day hike is “physically challenging but worthwhile.”  It was also “within the ability of most reasonably fit.”

Well, I like to class myself as physically fit, plus I enjoy hiking up and down hills and mountains.  So off I ventured, knowing that I was quite fit and able to endure to the very end.  Boy was I wrong.

Climbing or, in my case, hiking a mountain is a challenge.  Your expectations at the beginning of the journey are often immense.  The adrenaline is flowing and you feel you can conquer anything.  It is as you continue to ascent up, and the way gets steeper, that you realize how small and insignificant you are in comparison to the big, beautiful mountain you think you can conquer.

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You learn a lot when you climb a mountain.  You learn even more if you are unable to finish and have to come down defeated.  That’s right I did not finish the 4-day hike.  In fact, due to a number of things, including altitude sickness, I came back down on the second day.  Needless to say I was not too thrilled, but I had accomplished an extraordinary goal and it not only lifted my confidence and boosted my self-esteem, but it let me know that change is possible if you give it a chance.

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So, I am back and I’m here to let you know that you can eliminate unrealistic fear from your life.  You can Kick Fear Now by taking one action step after another.  That’s what I have been trying to do myself and it is what I am encouraging each one of you to do for yourself, even if you only accomplish one small action at a time.  Yes, there will be setbacks along the way but it does not mean you give up.  Instead, you just find another way to complete your goal.

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One of the things I learned from my climb up the Inca Trail is that you can’t go up a mountain and not come down without a revelation.  For many people it is a spiritual revelation, for others, a physical or mental revelation. The fact is the journey is yours.  When you begin, only you know what you want to accomplish.  Your experience is yours alone.  Your revelation will open your eyes to the person you really are capable of being.

Removing unrealistic fear from your life is much like hiking a mountain.  Conquering it begins with taking the first step. So find your mountain today, whatever your unrealistic fear is, and walk out of your comfort zone.  You may be in for a big surprise.