Everything – every single thing that empassions you and shifts your gears into DRIVE – is just on the other side of fear. That’s not merely a cliché. It’s the truth.
The ticket, then, is to choose how to deal with fear. You could
- Paint ‘F E A R’ on your dartboard and use it for target practice
- Write it on a piece of clear tape with a Sharpie and make your own heads-up display for your car windshield. Sneer at it every time you see it. Do not stick your tongue out and make rude noises. It messes up your windshield.
- Buy a cheap clear shower curtain and spray-paint ‘f e a r’ on it like alley graffiti. Hang it on your shower rod. Then, Every time you sweep it aside to get squeaky-clean, envision yourself doing the same thing with your besetting fears.
- Do it like a 7-year-old does with the playground monkey bars.
I know. You’re wondering.
Well, think about your first encounter with a set of big, painted-steel monkey bars. You weren’t very big, and those suckers were huge. Right? What did YOU do the first time you sort of edged up next to those behemoths?
Same thing I did. First, I watched a couple of older kids. After all, I’d never, ever seen a tree that grew in the same straight lines and organized shapes as the monkey bars. I knew metal is harder and less forgiving than tree limbs, though not by much.
The first time or two you see something, it’s okay to be cautious. You can be forgiven the little spark of initial fear.
You’re with me. Soon, I was doing the same as anyone else. I didn’t gingerly sneak up on them. Naw, man–I ran straight at ’em, leaving the ground 5 or 6 feet before slamming into them and launching straight at the monkey bars, grabbing the nearest one, swinging aboard, and making that pathetic set of monkey bars MINE.
I’m suggesting you treat your fears the same way. Go straight at ’em. Recognize that, just like a set of monkey bars to a kid, they only look imposing. Once you see your fears as a set of tools to challenge and strengthen you, it won’t matter how big or numerous they are. You’ll be in the habit of seeing through them, climbing atop them and going after your dreams, sweeping them aside just like that shower curtain.
Wait. You used your wife’s good one? You spray-painted–
Oh. I’ll be back with you soon with #24. I hope. . .
© D. Dean Boone, January 2016