Stepping Up to Fear

“Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.” – Bill Cosby

Could facing your fears really be that easy?  In most cases, I say YES loud and clear.

There is nothing that keeps us stuck more than fear.  It can be paralyzing both physically and emotionally.

Believe it or not there was a time that I was so afraid to speak in front of a group that I had to hire people to do it for me.  I would literally make myself sick.  Talk about NOT practicing what you preach.

When my father died, I wrote part of the eulogy – for my sister to read at his funeral.  I couldn’t do it, even for him, the man that constantly told me,“If you want to get anywhere in life, you have to stick your neck out”.  (After all, he was a turtle.)

When my son was a little boy (ok, he’ll always be my little boy).  Seriously, when he was 11, I took on the role of Pack Master for his school district.  That meant I had to speak to over 100 parents on a regular basis.  Nope!  Not me.  I coerced one of my friends to partner with me.  I did the writing and she did the speaking!  It was a great plan until she got sick.  With trembling knees I stepped up to the podium and read my speech.  Guess what – it was warmly welcomed.  I didn’t die, no one laughed at me, well maybe a little, I didn’t trip and fall; I’m still here to write about it.

Hindsight is a great teacher. What I realized was that I had been facing fears my whole life – MY WHOLE LIFE!  When you think about it, I bet you have too.  We all have a story around fear.

After that night, I made a list of all the ways I had stepped up to fear in the past.   Some were big fears, and some were little fears.   Here’s what part of my list looked like, and here’s what I did:

  • Fear of dogs after being bitten more than once – I have 2 dogs, really big dogs
  • Fear of being alone – I spend time alone – a lot
  • Fear of change – I embrace it
  • Fear of speaking – I host a radio show and give motivational speeches before hundreds of people
  • Fear of sobriety – I don’t drink (maybe that should be facing my demons)

There’s a lot more where that came from.  You get the picture.  Sometimes I take giant steps, and sometimes I take baby steps – I keep stepping into them and come out shining on the other side.

So when I read that quote from Bill Cosby, I shook my head up and down with a resounding YES.

Almost everything we do begins with a choice.  Simple as it sounds, you can choose to step past your fear and step into your greatness.

May I suggest you begin by imagining yourself as Gandalf the White Wizard – tell your fear “Thou shall not pass!”


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