Foraging through social media last week, I came across a quote that goes something like this:
Even though you have only one life to live, don’t be afraid to mess it up.
Let’s just say that mindset is completely different from the one I with which I was raised. I was brought up in a strict, conservative household with lots of rules for don’ts. My parents did what they thought was best, but as I crossed the threshold into adulthood, I also realized that type of environment breeds a lot of fear.
To be successful was to have all your act together as perfectly as possible. Mess-ups and errors (I’m not talking about breaking the law type of mess-ups) cost dearly, because perception was always key. There wasn’t much leeway to be human, so your life was constantly fraught with self-doubt, trepidation to take that bold–yet seemingly foolish–step (remember, perception is key), and discontentment.
The odd thing was, we were encouraged to pepper our dreams with grandeur. But no one ever asked the important question, like the one regarding how the hell were we going to make our dreams a reality if we were scared stiff of making a mistake or a wrong choice?
My fear of making a mistake spanned the gamut of career choice to house purchase to relocation destination to falling in love. I was a timid, shaky girl squirrel. Thankfully, my eyes adjusted to the point where I could finally see things clearly. As uncomfortable and sometimes costly mistakes are, they are not the end of the world. Mistakes help us learn; they help us tweak our decisions, bring clarity to our perspective. They help us grow and mature. Mistakes make us human–and so much more interesting ones at that.
Fear is Force
When I think of force, I associate the word with manipulation. Passive-agressives are sick manipulators. The cold shoulder that freezes you to hell; the nagging that withers your resolve and crushes your remaining dignity. Not pleasant. Not pretty. Ick. No one wants to be forced to do something. Fear of the unknown is pretty slick in that it’s disguised to make you think it’s got your best interest at heart, but rather it just lulls you into passivity. Reasons based on fear works very hard to keep you from making a deliberate decision. It keeps you inert. The result of passivity and inaction leads to the paralysis of your dreams.
Courage, on the other hand, is power.
When you have courage, even just the slightest, you can overcome fear; because courage, which is power, is stronger than fear, which is force.
All right then, how do you find the courage you need to shake yourself out of passivity?
No. 1 Find people who have done what you want to do and learn how they did it.
The situations and challenges, the fears and uncertainties you face are not just directed at you. Other people have faced them, too, and have overcome. Glean what you can from those who are either in the process of getting “there” or from those who have “arrived” at the destination you’re aiming for. Learn from their mistakes and their ah-ha moments. Try putting some of their good habits to work for you. Most importantly though, only you can determine what works for you; don’t be afraid to try things out.
No. 2 Train your mind to imagine the positive
One of my dearest friends frequently reminds me to turn whatever negativity I am facing into positive energy. Don’t waste your energy on the negative, she tells me. Direct it towards the positive instead. This helps you steer your attention away from the distractions and back to the goal.
No. 3 See yourself as someone who is worthy.
Yes, you are worthy of fulfilling your dream. You are worthy of success and a good, happy life. You are worthy to be loved and cherished. You are worthy of great clients and promotion. Believe in yourself and your worth. You are a unique individual. You are worthy, and we need your gifts, talents and intellect; we need you to fulfill your dream. When you see yourself as worthy and believe that you are, courage and self-confidence are strengthened. You will become more powerful than fear itself.
When you stop being passive about your dream, you show signs of courage.
So, what are you afraid of? Go on with your bad self; show us what you got!
Impromptu Dinner Party Cherry Pie
Ingredients for Homemade Pie Dough: 2 cups flour // 2 tbsp sugar // 1 tsp salt // 1 + 3/4 sticks of butter cut into small cubes // ice water
Directions for Homemade Pie Dough: Incorporate flour, sugar and salt. Cut butter into flour mixture with pastry blender until pea-sized chucks form. Add a couple tablespoons of ice water at a time to form dough. Add water until dough comes together–not sticky. Dough should not be gooey. On floured surface, shape dough into a ball; divide dough into two round, flattened discs. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour or two.
Ingredients for Cherry Pie: 1 canned cherries // pie dough
Directions for Cherry Pie: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter pie dish. Roll out one disc of dough and place it into pie dish. Trim the excess. Empty canned cherries into dish and sprinkle with half cup sugar. Roll out second disc of dough to place over the cherries (you can get creative and form a lattice crust or a simple but elegant top crust with a cut-out of small stars or cherries in the middle; whatever you do, make sure your pie filling has holes to breathe). Sprinkle top crust with sugar. Bake for 40 minutes.