My theme for this year is to be fearless. While this may bring up pictures some crazy warrior woman, it is a pretty simple concept. I want to challenge myself to put fear aside and do the things that make me happy.
You see, I grew up in a family where safety, stability and calm waters were core values. There is nothing wrong with that, except as kids we were not taught to push on through. We were taught to be cautious.
To shed a little light on the history, I should explain. My grandmother was one of the most kind and loving people I have ever met. She loved us with all her being and wanted so badly for us to be happy and safe. However, she was the text book definition of a chronic worrier. Due to her reservations, my mother and aunt were brought up to fear everything. They weren’t taught to take risks or work through their fears. To this day, my mom has regrets about things she didn’t try because she was afraid. That’s just how they were raised.
Aware of my lineage about ten years ago I dared myself to take more risks. I have taken some pretty large ones since and I can tell you each time, it is well worth it. Each experience has taught me so much.
What I have learned is that on the other side of fear is a wonderful place — a place of happiness and freedom. But first we have to kick fear aside and work through it. The less we think about it, the better because fear begets more fear.
Several years ago, I took an ongoing acting class that culminated in a solo monologue performance in front of a live audience. This probably doesn’t seem like a big deal for most people except for the fact that I am an on-camera actor by choice because I completely fear stage performances. I dreaded going to class every week but I forced myself to get up there and rehearse my monologue. As the performance day drew near, I was terrified. I didn’t even allow my family to come because I needed to do it alone.
I was determined to face my fear even if it killed me. That night my old nemesis, fear kicked in. I started to panic. I thought, “I forgot my lines. I can’t do this. What am I going to do?” I then took a breath, got up on stage and flawlessly delivered my monologue. I even got some laughs. It was truly amazing.
Was it the best performance ever to grace a stage? Not quite but it was probably one of the most pinnacle moments in my life. I pushed through intense fear and on the other side was a feeling of pride and accomplishment that I had never felt before. It was for me, by me.
What most people don’t realize is that fear is just a feeling. If you remove that feeling, a whole new life may await you.
“Life is found in the dance between your deepest desire and your greatest fear.” — Anthony Robbins
Fear — Acknowledge it, push through it, enjoy the other side.
Originally published at www.happinessdepends.com.
Originally published at medium.com