Fear… A Great Teacher!
” Magic is believing in yourself, if you do that, YOU can make anything happen” ~ Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe
This is my new bike…it is a beauty! However, once I got it home, I realized I was scared to death to ride it! I did not try out at the store because I was too nervous, but I thought once I got it home it would be fine, but No… I was even more fearful. Plus I was embarrassed to think if I really was too fearful to ride it I would have to take it back, admit failure or worse yet, I would keep it and have wasted money for something I won’t use. That was just the beginning of my racing thoughts…am I too old to be riding around on a bike? What if I fall off and hurt myself? This was a really stupid thing to do? We have all been to the place where our thoughts are racing out of control and our fear gets bigger than life itself.
I needed some coaching and if I could not help myself through this fear, I would need to ask someone to help me, because leaving fear unchecked damages our self esteem; it is that important to look at it! Spending some quiet time sitting face to face with my fear, usually works for me. I listed all the fears in my journal and looked at each one, only to realize that most of them were irrational… No, I won’t hit a parked car, and No, this was not a stupid idea, in fact it is a good way to exercise!
When fear shows up we want to dismiss it and by pass it, but in order to move through it, we need to face it. Out of that journaling exercise came this tidbit of wisdom: My fear has nothing to do with my ability! That right, there is the essence of FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real. I had built this up to be something I could not do because of all the irrational fears I was hanging on too. This happens to all of us, and often keeps us stuck in a place we don’t want to be.
Don’t get me wrong, fear plays an important part in our life as it is a warning sign to be aware. However, when that fear is paralyzing we need to have a face to face with it. In my situation, I was unrealistic. It had been 8 years since I was on a bike but I thought I could just jump on it and go. The truth is, I just needed to take it slow. The bike is very safe, one does not forget how to ride a bike and yes, I could in fact overcome this fear. And God forbid if I fell, I promised myself I would be compassionate and not beat myself up or take the bike back.
With that, and encouragement from my family, out to the cauldesac I went with my bike….and guess what, I had no problem at all!!!! I had built this up in my head to be such a big deal that I was seriously considering taking it back even though it had only been a day and half since I bought it!
The truth is, I’m not ready to bike 10 miles, but overcoming the fear will pave the way for many other opportunities. That is the gift in facing our fear, we are able to separate what is real and what is not and addressing the real fear allows us to make any changes that are needed and then we can let go of the rest. In the end it becomes a wonderful gift you give yourself that allows you to move into new things. You owe to yourself to move past your fear and like the quote above, the magic happens when you believe in yourself!