I used to be afraid of taking on the phone. by that I mean, calling the movie theater and listening to the recording of movie times, or ordering a pizza. Public speaking was a terrifying idea. How did I end up in a career at a college that had me talking on the phone and CALLING strangers for 8 hours a day for 8 years!?!?
I didn't get my drivers license until I was 27. I managed the public bus system in Minnesota and then in Florida for years before I got my license. I moved states, got a better job and it took me THREE hours to get to the beach and home. I still did it because I was afraid.
I faced harassment and terrifying situations, I led student orientations with over 50 people present and presented ideas in front of heads of large companies. I moved to states where no body knew my name, who I was, or anything about me.
I understand fear, I understand the desire to stay in bed all day under the covers where it is cozy and warm. I understand nightmares that wake you up screaming, or crying for months. I understand avoiding places or people. Wondering if anyone ever saw the true you. I understand not knowing if you are following your dreams or living on a wish and a prayer.
WHY do I tell you this??? How could I help anyone if I had never had the depth of understanding that I do? I read a book and it told me "fear is excitement without breath" (G. Hendricks). What if fear, not in the sense that you were being attacked, or hurt, or chased, but fear of something- really meant you were onto-something. That what you feared now could be what you looked back on in awe later; Awe of your strength, your gifts, your life. Most things I have feared and overcome I have learned so much from. Fear has shown me how to own my authentic voice, shown me that I can face my own darn dragons and no prince needed for that. I don't need anyone else to save me, I will brandish my own sword, thank you. Fear taught me in order to be FREE I have to look it in the face and roar/howl and rage on.
I still have fears, tons of them, almost daily. I still have my weak moments when I want to stay in bed and cuddle with my animals all day. 'Cause darn it, they're cute and it's cold! Then I remember, even small steps are still steps in the direction I want to go.
SO I ask, what do you fear?