Friday, January 4, 2008

Living Fearlessly?

Because you are in control of your life. Don't ever forget that. You are what you are because of the conscious and subconscious choices you have made.

- Barbara Hall


The other day I was driving an unfamiliar stick-shift vehicle when I had a choice of routes to my destination. One was slightly longer and easier. The other was shorter and more convenient.

But, the shorter route was also steep. And the thought went through my mind that I might stall the vehicle in the intersection.

I had done so while driving my own vehicle once (okay twice) and felt the humiliation of having others honk their horns at me to get out of their way.

As I had these thoughts of choosing a route, I was struck by how ridiculous this “fear” was. All of these thoughts, and the decision, took only 2-minutes at most.

All of this led me to wonder, how would you live if you had no fear of failing?

If you want to assess this question in your life you might consider the following:
Have you been successful more often than not in the past in similar situations?
What are the consequences of failing (stalling)? For me they were not that big (and I could deal with that potential for a small humiliation).
Do you need to face the fear? In this case I did; this was a small challenge regardless of the outcome.

This situation was small but it illustrated a much larger issue to me about how I think and assess my choices. If a tiny fear in a tiny situation was influencing my choices then how else might fear influence me?

We all have to continue to recognize our thought patterns and make conscious decisions that are right for us rather than be limited by fear.

What fear is limiting you right now? Considering what you want to consider for your life? Saying what you what to say? Thinking what you what to think? Living the way you want to live?

You might also ask yourself if you are doing something to prevent yourself from dealing with fear. This might sound unlikely but in reality it is very common.

Are you overeating, spending, drinking, drugging, focused on trivia, or just generally distracting yourself and avoiding the question?

Don’t let fear of any size be the determining factor in your life decisions. Author Susan Jeffers wrote a book called “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”. That’s a good perspective for all of us to have.

There are rarely situations in daily life where we can truly “fail”. Even if we do, we get back up, learn from mistakes and go on to do it better next time.

Live Well. Now.