Facing Fear

Several weeks ago a friend & trusted colleague asked me “What are you so afraid of?”  I quickly dismissed the question & silently thought “I don’t live my life in fear.  I worked through all that crap a long, long time ago.” But for weeks the question continued to poke at me & create a restless stir.  I didn’t like it because I knew that meant I had to take a look at it.

So, I did what I know to do… I started to pay attention. I took a look at where I may be experiencing fear. It was hard to see at first & my original thought of not having any real fear was somewhat confirmed.  But over the course of the next few weeks, Life showed up the way Life tends to do & proved to be it’s usual powerful self. Life revealed to me an entire underlying of fear that I didn’t even know existed.

You see, it was only when I started to look at things a little differently that I realized I had designed my entire life around avoiding the feelings or fear & uncertainty. I had developed a routine, patterns of thoughts, a business & even relationships well within my comfort zone – things I knew I was good at, people, places & things I was comfortable with.  My entire existence focused on the status quo of feeling comfortable & safe.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the feelings of safety & comfort. But what I didn’t realize is how often I played Life safe. I often said no to things that were out of my comfort zone, using the excuse of busyness or disinterest.  The truth is, I was scared!! If I was unfamiliar or uncertain about anything, I simply dismissed it & allowed myself to hide behind a world of excuses. And I never even knew it!!

So here I was on the cusp of vacation.  I finally had an opportunity to travel to Arizona to see both The Grand Canyon & Sedona, two areas that had been on my bucket list for years and here I was equipped with new founded awareness and the trip of a lifetime. I was quickly afforded an opportunity to really ask myself “What am I so afraid of?”

The answers flooded – driving in cities I’m unfamiliar with, looking dumb, navigating places and situations I’m not used to, HEIGHTS… the list went on & on. Fear had really ruled my life & I had coped with it my limiting my comfort zone to the familiar and mundane.

I am happy to say that those patterns of playing it safe and staying in the familiar were left behind as I ventured literally to new heights. Awareness, readiness, & quite a bit of courage afforded me the opportunity to fully embrace this experience. Where I may have previously said no, I faced head-on.  It was a learning experience & a growth opportunity that resulted in the trip of a lifetime.