The Strong and Courageous Woman Within
Every one of us is scared of something, whether we admit it or not. Many people spend their whole lives hiding from the things they are afraid of and miss out on the joy that life brings because of those fears. This year my life has gone through many changes and I have had moments when I was paralyzed with fear. I have had a major injury that caused loss of employment, which in turn created significant financial stress and just as I thought things couldn’t get any worse I had a death in my immediate family. These situations brought back memories and fears relating to scarcity and loss issues that I faced in my childhood. It was overwhelming and all I wanted to do was to climb into a warm bed, with a good book and hide from the world. My life just seemed too scary to face. I gave in to my fears and did hide away from the world for 6 weeks. I was far from strong and courageous.
At the end of those 6 weeks I decided that I needed guidance and inspiration, so I typed, “Feeling fearful” into YouTube and discovered author and speaker, Susan Jeffers, who has a marvelous book and audio CD called “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”. I listened to her audio book. Her main message throughout the book is that everybody feels fear when approaching something totally new in life or a situation triggers old fear patterns—yet so many people are out there overcoming their fear and living life doing whatever it is that “scares” them despite the fear—because of these remarkable people we must conclude that fear is not the problem. The real problem is our negative thoughts, our imagination & preconceived ideas or past patterns that no longer serve you. She goes on to say that the real issue is not the fear, but how we play out the fear in our lives.
The Clear Message
A very clear message I received from listening to the audio book was that fear is absolutely normal. Even the most confident people experience fear from time to time. The key is to not let fear hold you back and prevent you from taking action and going after what you want in life.
I realised then that I had let my fears take over my life.
The strong and courageous woman who I know exists within me was pushed aside by the negative, self doubting, fearful part of my personality. I knew right then that I had to take a good hard look at what my fears were. I imagined what would be the worst-case scenario. I didn’t like what I saw; I didn’t want to become a homeless bedridden mentally deranged woman. I felt saddened and repulsed by this possible version of my life.
Seeing the “worst case scenario” gave me a mental jolt. It helped me remember that I DO have wonderful aspirations and goals for my life. I then allowed myself to imagine how my life would be if I was a healthy and happy person able to create an income doing what I was passionate about. This process shook me to the core because I FELT a deep connection to this positive image of how my life could be.
This vision helped me understand that I needed to take more control over my mind and my suffering. I decided that I was no longer going to let fear dictate how to act or what to do. Instead, I began to quietly observe and study it. Each day, as I discovered something new about the strange and shaky nature of my fearful reactions, they begin to lose their power over me and I started to climb above and outside of their influence.
My next step was when a fearful or negative thought popped up I would take a deep breath, and think of a few possible solutions. For example I was scared that I would lose my home, as I didn’t have an income to pay the mortgage, I looked at my banks webpage and found they had a financial hardship help line. I took another deep breath and called them. To my surprise the bank was very understanding and offered to stop my mortgage repayments for 3 months so I could focus on getting my life back on track. Instantly the fear of losing my home was eliminated.
Getting through fear is a skill that anyone can learn. For me making the bold decision to not let fear hold me back anymore was one of the best decisions I have made. It’s not something that happens overnight, but taking intentional action to look for the positive in life and running towards your fears daily will give you a promising result in the long run.
You too can become strong and courageous.