Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘overcoming fear’

‘Everybody’s Got Something’

Robin Roberts the cohost of Good Morning America writes in her book, ‘Everybody’s Got Something,’ that her mother always told her that everyone has challenges and issues to handle in their lives and the important thing is to ‘make your mess your message.’ In other words rather than allowing ourselves to feel defeated and surrounded by fear to learn from them and share those experiences with others so they can benefit from our example of strength. Significant advice from a person who twice dealt with the life altering diagnosis of cancer. Yet she did it and chose to take her mother’s words to heart.

Looking at your own life, what have you dealt with that you have learned from and can make your mess your message? Is it death, divorce, depression, economic strife, illness? Remember everybody’s got something. When we see people who are upset rather than getting angry wouldn’t it be wonderful if we chose instead to remember that they are dealing with their own mess.

The amazing thing about life is that each of us has chosen our path, both the good times and bad, for the lessons. When we begin to view them as a challenge that we will overcome we help others draw strength and inspiration from our example. We create a mission and purpose for ourselves that is so much more powerful than simply getting through the moment.

Roberts offered another point in her book, ‘when fear knocks let faith answer the door.
Regardless of your personal belief system, I believe she is talking about a belief that ‘all is as it should be’ and that ‘this too shall pass’. It may not be easy, in fact, it could be downright life changing but by remembering to inhale slowly and realize that you will get through this regardless of how tough it is you give a gift to give yourself amidst the chaos. The gift is the physical and mental energy you need to overcome.

There are two powerful and opposite emotions in our life – love and fear. Love allows, celebrates and expands our capacity and fear restricts and limits us. We all know the statement that 99% of what we worry about never comes to pass. Yet, so often we spend our limited amount of time on this earth in the ‘what if’ mentality that keeps us bound up with worry about our tomorrows.

Let’s try, just for today, to listen to our thinking. When we hear an element of fear enter consciously stop and redirect it. Choose to believe in yourself and the power to overcome whatever obstacle is presently in your path. Start small – just a day or even part of a day and experience the gift of believing in yourself. The Universe is just waiting for you to choose belief – power and positivity – and will respond in kind.

Our Challenges
When all we see is darkness and gloom.
We feel totally helpless and running from doom.
We eventually confront our inner brick wall.
Our choice is to break it or give up and fall.
We may search for our strengths,
Waiting patiently deep inside.
From life’s obstacles there’s no reason to hide.
All our challenges we must embrace and defeat.
As we open our eyes our true purpose we’ll greet.
Let’s take a step outside our routine comfort zone.
This will carve a path where our goals we shall own.
Our personal challenges, quite difficult may seem.
But if we believe in ourselves,
Life will be sweet – as a dream.

Have a great day!

Fear or Serenity?

This is part two of looking at the Serenity Prayer to discover the lesson in it for each one of us. If you missed the Wednesday blog which was part one please go to the archives on the right hand side of my website so you can get the frame of the discussion. The Serenity Prayer, ‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference’ can change your life.

I had asked you to consider which approach is HARDER for you -accepting the things you cannot change or actually changing the things you can change in your life. Assuming you have decided which approach you have a tendency to avoid I would ask you now to ask yourself ‘Why’ five times. Seriously, with each answer ask yourself why this is true for you. Usually the fifth and final time you drill down in you thinking as to the ‘why’ the real ‘Aha’ happens.

If change is the hardest approach for you consider the following. Changing the things we can change involves both confidence and trust in ourselves. The thousands of messages we received and events we experienced as we were growing up made indelible marks on our lives. What are a few of the messages that you received that have ended up controlling your life? For instance, if you were raised in an atmosphere of fear with messages such as ‘Don’t do this or something bad could happen,’ the initial warning might have been for your physical safety. But when you constantly hear this message of fear over and over you begin to generalize it to your entire life. You may feel out of control when something new pops up that you didn’t expect. You might then find yourself getting angry, lashing out when something – anything upsets your apple cart. You might prefer to keep life as it is so you can ‘depend on it.’ Well – news flash – that’s not going to happen. The truth is that the more you try to control your life the more insecure you become since The Universe just has a way of throwing us curve balls.

Learning how to control our fears is more than a survival mechanism it is a cornerstone to developing serenity. Just think about all that you have worried about over the last two weeks and the time you devoted to imagining the worst thing that MIGHT happen. There is a saying that 99% of what we worry about never happens. I believe that to be true. If you let fear control your life the Universe will just continue to present you with lesson after lesson (each one getting more difficult along the way) until you begin to TRUST in yourself. Think about the things in your life that have been really, really tough – did you survive? Yes! Was is hard – absolutely! Did you learn from it? I’m willing to bet you did.

Fear is the most insidious of emotions. It robs you of the moments of joy in life and puts you in a constant state of nervous tension regarding what could go wrong next. It also causes you to refuse to change the things you could change in your life because it paralyzes you into inaction.

We all learned a certain degree of fear from our parents. My mother was consumed by fear. You name it and she was afraid. Growing up I had the choice to accept those unwarranted fears or think to myself, ‘What is the worst thing that could happen’ given a particular situation and followed this thought up with ‘Could I survive if it did happen?’ Practicing this mindset I slowly developed a confidence that allowed me to face – head on – the challenges in life knowing I would survive, I would make it and ultimately be stronger in the process. She was not wrong in pointing out things to be mindful of, but it was the degree to which she applied fear to her life that had the potential to negatively effect my ability to change the things I could change.

The good news is that we know more about the effects of fear now. We can change our mindset about change and decide to grab the next opportunity as it presents itself knowing we will survive. As we expand our comfort zone, our lives become richer, fuller and more enjoyable. We learn to seize the moment, control our fears of the new or unexpected and move forward in life. Inch by inch it’s a cinch!

The next blog will be looking at the issue of acceptance – accepting with grace and humility those things we truly cannot change in life and moving forward with peace.

Until then, have a great few days!