This week we celebrate making changes in our lives by trying to live with “No Fear.” I realize the term is a creation of media advertising; fear is not something that you even want to disappear. It serves a definite purpose in survival, and it’s often less controllable than many hyped up on Red Bull and other stimulants might think. My definition of “No Fear” is to face something that you’ve been afraid of for a long time, and do it anyway.
Here’s a personal story that illustrates what I’m talking about:
I was around seven years old visiting my cousin in San Antonio, Texas. We were out at dusk riding bikes, furiously pedaling home since we had to get there before dark. Granted, we were only a block away, but at the age of seven that seems like MILES. Only one block from home, and I heard the sound of a radio with the bass pounding slightly. I realized there was a car behind me with its lights on, so I moved closer to the curb so it could pass me. My sister and cousin were on the other side of the street, keeping an eye on me. The car simply wouldn’t pass. I could actually feel the heat of the headlights on my legs and realized that the car was ridiculously close to me, even though my bike pedal was almost hitting the curb. My heart began to race as fight or flight instincts revved their engines.
Suddenly I heard my cousin yell “JUMP!”, and I lept off my bike just as the car hit it. Unfortunately, the run home required that I pass the large blue car that now rested with its bumper on the back tire of my bicycle. I ran that direction anyway, because I was a kid and I wanted to go back to the adults that could take care of me. As I passed the car, someone opened the passenger side door, stepped out of the car and grabbed my arm. I screamed and pulled and kicked, freeing myself and running away. The car took off, and my sister and cousin were already on the way home ahead of me. Later, we heard from the police that there had been some kidnappers that were making rounds in Texas.
Ever since that night, whenever I walk or run down a stretch of road where there are no houses to which I can run if threatened, I get nervous. If I hear the bass of a radio coming my way, even in a populated area, my heart races.
So, how in the heck does this story impact our “No Fear” effort this week? Last night, I was jogging down a stretch of road in our beautiful, country neighborhood. Towards the bottom of the two mile road, there’s a beautiful area of horse farms. You have to run, however, to the cul-de-sac at the end of the road to turn around and see the magnificent view of about 20 horses standing on hills. I always stopped short of the cul-de-sac, because there are no houses along the last 1/2 mile or so. Last night, I said “No Fear,” repeatedly, and ran to the end of that cul-de-sac. I turned around and took in a breathtaking view. More than that, I was proud of myself – even for that small effort.
A friend on Twitter started her “No Fear” week on Sunday by killing three snakes in her backyard. You go @Psychomomi!! Not that I’m encouraging you to do dangerous things, but each day just do one thing that has caused fear in the past. Maybe you’re afraid of ATM machines, or asking for a well deserved raise, or getting your hair cut short. Maybe you’re afraid of killing a spider or watching “Jersey Shore” :). Whatever it is, do one small thing each day that allows you to face your fear. You’ll feel better for it! Share your experiences with me on twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn!
Whenever I feel afraid
I hold my head erect
And whistle a happy tune
So no one will suspect
I’m afraid . . .
The result of this deception
Is very strange to tell,
For when I fool the people I fear
I fool myself as well!![youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zG1luAn1VX4[/youtube]