Tag Archive | Fear

Are You Still Looking At A Closed Door?

The past two months have been excruciatingly painful for me on a personal level. An event occurred that led me to believe that I could salvage an important relationship and I spent most of my summer trying to do just that. I did everything humanly possible to put the broken pieces back together and to try to create something new out of it. A relationship that I believed could be wonderful.

In my mind everything was perfectly clear. There was no reason why it couldn’t work out. I had a logical argument and strong feelings so everything made perfect sense. At least to me.

But, sometimes, even with the clearest vision, things don’t go as you plan or as you would like. By hanging on, I set myself up to be hurt on a daily basis, to the point where I could no longer tolerate the pain.

I finally came to the realization that in order for me to survive, thrive, and find peace, I must accept the situation, let it go, surrender, and move on. And while this may be a decision I didn’t want to make, and is perhaps the most difficult thing I will ever do, it will be the most self-loving.

The let it go and move on cycle applies to many areas of life. You may have to let go of a relationship or significant person. Or you may have to release a painful experience like losing a job, a financial loss, or the death of a loved one. Beginning the cycle is difficult because we tend to hang on to what we know – what is comfortable – even if it is pain.

According to spiritual leader, Thich Nhat Hanh, “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

But holding on to the familiar, painful past keeps you stuck and creates an environment in which you can become physically and emotionally sick. You feel the pain day in and day out and that’s no way to live.

Usually we do not decide to release people or events until the pain of holding on is so unbearable that we feel we have no other choice. We are forced to accept the situation and mourn an important part of our life. And this acceptance and mourning is vital in order to thrive; we must let go of the past.

Letting go is an act of will, a decision to let go of the person, event and circumstance. It is the choice to move on. To let go you must surrender your control and admit that you are powerless over other people and situations. Once you relinquish control and accept what is, you can begin to embrace the change and get on with your life. You can learn from the experience and allow it to make you stronger and wiser.

Is it always what we want? Hell no!

Is it easy? No!

Is it worth it? More than you will ever know.

Don’t be afraid to seek help. Find a support group, spiritual director, therapist, coach, or trusted friend. And remember to have faith. I chose to relinquish my control and turn it over to God. Once I stopped begging for what I wanted and decided to ask for the strength to follow what He has planned for my life, my entire perspective changed and I found peace. I am now looking forward to the next opportunity.

As Helen Keller so eloquently stated: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one, which has been opened for us.” Don’t spend so much time looking at your closed door that you miss the wonderful doors that are opening up for you.

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It’s Time to Face Your Fears

Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.

Do you often think about doing something different or implementing a new idea only to allow fear to stop you dead in your tracks without giving the opportunity a try? Do you frequently conjure up a list of reasons to be inactive, why you shouldn’t try or can’t accomplish something?

All too often we build roadblocks to personal and professional success because we allow fear to be a governing force in our life.

Recently I had the privilege of interviewing two incredibly inspiring people, Sean Swarner and Jessica Cox, both of whom had every opportunity to let fear dictate their life.

Sean was diagnosed two times with different end-stage cancers and each time was not expected to live for more than a few weeks. He underwent rigorous treatment, which included the removal of one lung. He survived and emerged strong and has made it his life mission to encourage people by challenging himself beyond what most of us can comprehend. Sean decided that if he can survive cancer, he can do anything. At first he climbed Mount Everest and then asked himself, “Why stop there?” He has since climbed the seven summits of the world to provide hope and to prove that anything is possible.

Jessica was born without arms. Jessica entered this world with challenges most will never experience. In spite of them all, she learned to swim, drive a car, fly an airplane, earn two black belts in taekwondo, graduate from college, surf, scuba dive, and live independently using her feet in ways others who take their hands for granted can only imagine.

Both Sean and Jessica could have chosen to live their life in fear, but instead they understood that fear is nothing more than a mindset, a perception, False Evidence Appearing Real, and as such, we have the power to eliminate it.

The next time you’re faced with an overwhelming challenge, an opportunity to try something new, or the chance to step out of your comfort zone, take some time to evaluate the driving force behind your fear. Is it a “real” consideration or something that you have created in your mind? Make a list of your concerns and attack them one by one. Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that can happen?” (btw…it usually doesn’t). Muster up the courage and take a chance. It isn’t the end result that matters…it’s the journey. You may just surprise yourself!