Monday, January 20, 2014

FEAR




I was at an Empowered Life seminar last October where one of the speakers, Nick Pugliesse, spoke about confronting our fears.  Like most people, I laughed to myself thinking that I do not have fears holding me back.  Shortly after I had that thought, the speaker unveiled a bed of glass then, bare footed, walked confidently across the glass.  I looked around, hoping that no one saw me standing there with my jaw wide open and my eyes slightly bugged out.  Once Nick finished the walk, he challenged the audience to walk across the glass.  People began to line up to take the walk.  I really wanted to join in, but found that I was unable to move, not riveted by the excitement, but more out of fear.

I had a discussion about fear with my daughter, Rebecca, and we were talking about whether things disgust us or cause fear, so we avoid them.  After talking about this, we came to the conclusion that fear is something that can get in the way of us accomplishing what we set out to do.  I have a fear of bungee jumping…why? I do not know, but that has no impact on my life and the direction I want to move in.  What about doing charitable work and being afraid to ask for donations?  Fear of rejection is a powerful feeling and can stop one from fulfilling their mission.  How about sharing an opportunity with someone and being afraid to ask?  Fear of a yes answer and a feeling of not being able to follow through or provide the proper support can be just as stifling as rejection.  The message of the glass walk was that these are all barriers to success that we create in our own mind and to get over these fears, we need to confront them.

This past Saturday, I attended the latest Empowered Life seminar and was happy to once again see Nick and his bed of glass.  I decided that I would face my fear and take the challenge this time.  After Nick’s initial walk, I had my shoes off, as did my wife.  Almost out of my peripheral vision, I could see the doubt starting to move in on me.  The first person walked across the glass…Did I have the courage?  “Do you want to go first, or should I,” Debbie asked.  This was the moment of truth.  “I’ll go.” I stood at the edge of the glass bed, which seemed to stretch on for a long distance; I took a deep breath and took my first step.  3 steps later, it was all over.  I conquered my fear and was happy to see my wife follow me across the glass.