As the Election looms large and loud today, I find myself being pushed around by an increasing sense of anxiety. And the pandemic certainly doesn’t make it easier. Lots of ‘what if’ questions.
So what good does all this worry – this fear – do for me. Absolutely nothing! Except to make me miserable. And while the unknown of what may be is real, letting fear and worry own me just isn’t going to work.
Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the silent voice at the end of the day that says, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’ (Mary Ann Radmacher)
Know the very act of growing and changing is rarely comfortable. Change, in fact, can be terrifying. It pushes the limits. But courage forces us to push through our fears – our worry. I don’t know who said this, but I’ve always loved the quote. I find the essence lying between courage and mischief. “Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.”
A little bit of mischief goes a long way.
So how do we wrestle fear to the ground?
1. First and foremost – breathe. I mean really breathe. Take in the breath on the count of five. Hold it for five counts. Let it out on the count of eight. Do it at least three times so you slow your heart down and clear you mind.
2. Now – as best you can – acknowledge the fear. Be gentle with yourself. Tease it out. And when you’re ready, name the fear. If you can name it, you can take away its power over you. It doesn’t get to own you anymore.
3. Ask yourself, “Do I have any control over the outcome?” Answer: Probably not. So what are you worrying about? As Winston Churchill once said, “Stand up and speak or sit down and listen. Both take courage.” Sometimes just sitting down and listening is the best solution.
4. And finally, know you don’t have to muster up all the courage at once. Give yourself space. One step at a time. It takes practice. And if you can rustle up a smile or a laugh, you will lighten the load.
Fear limits life. It does not expand it. Don’t you deserve more?