Over the past few days the subject of courage has nudged it's way into my consciousness. My own courage, or lack thereof, is my weakest attribute, followed closely by procrastination. It's a lack of courage that keeps me from starting a lot of things that I think about doing. It's the fear of failure. It's the fear of setting expectations in other people that I may not be able to maintain. It's the fear that I'll make someone else angry and then won't have the mental adroitness to defend myself. It's the fear of finding out the fantasy activity isn't so hot after all and now I don't have my mental escape destination any more. Fear - followed by procrastination - "I'll think about it tomorrow - at Tara"
Mind now, I'm not afraid of all sorts of things. I never fear getting up in public to speak - which is supposed to be the #1 fear of the general population. Nor am I afraid to a new hobby - especially if it's an art genre. (and thank you for those compliments in my last post. Worry not - I don't sell my self short. It's just that I had to learn it all - none of that drawing came naturally to me)
But I am afraid of stuff. I'm most afraid of being caught up in a wrangle. And of cruel words. And last week I knew I had to beard a lion in her den (do female lions even have beards?) The moment I thought about it I quaked and had to drag my brain back. I even promised myself a reward as soon as I did this daunting task. I told myself that once I'd made the phone calls, gotten the confrontation over with and done my best, I could buy that lovely neutral red jacket I'd found at Macy's on my Monday shopping foray. It was even on sale! All day Friday I kept pricking myself with reminders to "make that call". By closing time, I'd chickened out.
I spent an uncomfortable weekend knowing that Monday I would have to do the unpleasant task I put off on Friday. And on Monday we had wet slushy snow that threatened my ability to even go to work and do this daunting task. But the snow quit, I got to work and I put on my big girl panties and tackled this confrontation.
Only to be deflated and elated by finding out that everything I asked for was going to be given to me. Unlike last year, when the whole process played out in a humiliatingly public arena, this year I need only be present. I may slide into home plate unnoticed! It was all I could do to keep from reeling. In fact, once I was out of the building and down the block on my way back to my own office, I did a skip and a shout and then a happy dance!
Facing fears is an important part of winning this weight battle. Facing fears often reveals misconceptions about reality that block our own natural courage. Facing fears also lets us know exactly where we stand. If things had turned out differently for me yesterday, at least I would have time to regroup. recruit my support and step back into the arena. I may even have suffered a complete defeat - but I would not have died. I would only have had to make a new plan for how to live within a defeat. And sometimes, like yesterday, facing fears shows me that things are different this time. Things will go my way with ease and grace. and truth to tell - I'm still glad I wasn't in that public arena when I did my little happy dance. That sort of thing is a private act and deserves to be witnessed only by blue skies (or snowy ones) and the neighborhood cats.
Facing fears is part of a healthy life every bit as important as eating nutritious food and exercising your muscles. And it must be a topic of interest to many because not only did Pixilicious post about it today but Oprah made it the lead topic for her April issue of O magazine. Yesterday I ate within my calories/points, I got in lots of exercise and I faced my fears.
and you betcha - I ordered that jacket. I already know it's a perfect fit and it fills a serious gap in my wardrobe.
Be bold my friends and face your fears. You'll feel so much better.