You know what makes me angry, people who don’t curb their dogs. Believe you me, I don’t have anything against dogs or their owners. Dogs are wonderful companions. Many a pooch has passed through my life at one time or another. In fact, at one point we had 4 of them at home, all running around and causing havoc. No, what gets me mad is dog poop.
Yes, you got it, dog poop. And not just dog poop, but dog poop that is in the middle of the sidewalk. You know the kind, dog poop that you have to dance around or jump over in order to get to the curb without stepping into it. I get even angrier if I’m not looking down and step right into a pile of dog poop. Oh yes that has happened to me. Why don’t people just curb their dogs as the sign says, and — because it is the law.
Unrealistic fear, like dog poop, gets me real angry. That’s why I wrote the book Kick Fear to the Curb: 5 Action Steps for a Courageous You. Fear used to get in my way of doing the things I wanted to do and you know what, that made me angry, so angry that I decided to do something about it.
In her book, Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion, Carol Tavris explains that fear and anger aren’t that different. She says that “any event that is unfamiliar, intrusive and compelling – and that potentially requires you to respond – will stimulate the production of adrenaline, and, to a varying extent, noradrenalin as well.” What differs, she informs us, is each individual’s reaction and behavior.
I don’t know about you, but stepping in a pile of dog poop is very intrusive and so is living a life filled with unrealistic fear. Poop and unrealistic fear need to be curbed, out of your way of moving forward.
Why did I choose the curb as the place where unrealistic fear should eventually end up? The curb is an edge built along the street to form a gutter. It’s a raised edge that is meant to confine or strengthen the sidewalk. The gutter is recessed underneath the curb.
Anything that gets to the curb will eventually end up in the gutter.
There are so many of us that allow fear to be the center of attention in our life experiences. Every time you’re ready to do something, be it great or small, here comes unrealistic fear. First, it triggers your memory to search for a similar, long ago experience. Then, it forces you to dwell on the bad feelings that took place with that situation. Next, it uses those same emotions to put doubt and fear in your mind. Before you know it you are hesitant, reluctant to take that chance of feeling that way again. But, this should not be how you react.
Just like bypassing that dog poop, with unrealistic fear you have to take action. Do everything possible not to allow it to throw you off your path. Move around it, jump over it, dance if you must, just don’t let it stop you from moving forward. For me, I put unrealistic fear where it belongs — below, not above; underneath, not on top.
You should be the one looking down and gloating at fear, not the other way around.
So, if you are ready for a change and unrealistic fear is blocking your way, kick fear now and keep on stepping right into the life you always dreamed of living.
“We can aid each other in the independent visions God has given us, but we each as individuals have our own mountain to climb, our own journeys, and our own accountability to God.”
Tonia Renee Lee, Live Inspired, Not Bound!
Well it’s that time of year again. The end of the old year and the start of a new one. Resolutions, goals, changes, risks, moves, plans, and the list goes on. In other words, this is the time of the year that we look back at what we have done, how far we have come, and use what we see to look ahead and move forward. Yes, this is a good time. There is a lot of excitement, much celebration and a great deal of chatter. 2013 has gone and 2014 is here.
How are your bucket lists going? Thanks to Dana Sitar you should all be on your way to creating some great ones, especially those of you who are busy blogging, writing a book, or tweeting your hearts out. Many of you have come real far in your journey of kicking unrealistic fear from your lives and I am really excited about that. By writing down your goals, dreams, aspirations, or bucket lists, you have something to focus on when unrealistic fear tries to stop you from doing all those things you know that you can do.
I extremely excited for my friend the Fly Away American. If you haven’t stopped by her blog please do. Now that’s a lady who has kicked fear, moved to more than one new country, and is having fun sharing her journey with us. Go Jessica! I can’t wait to hear about your journeys in 2014.
Mustard Seed Budget continues to keep me grounded as does my friend over at the Better Man Projects. Courage begins from within and whether it is starting a new ministry, business, or project, doing it with little or nothing is not always easy. The key is to continue on and believe in yourself. With patience, determination, and some staying power you will succeed.
As for those stumbling blocks that come to distract us from our journey, they have to be dealt with. The past few months have been rough for me. I was stressed to the max, overloaded, and bursting at the seams. I am the first to admit I was tempted to throw in the towel, but that thought did not stick around for long. I stopped, rested, and reassessed. The stumbling block is now a small hurdle that I will get over.
So, I am in for the penny and in for the pound. A new year is ahead and I am ready to take whatever 2014 brings. What about you? Are you ready for 2014? I hope you will stick around as together, we KICK FEAR TO THE CURB, NOW!
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“I have spent my whole life scared. Frightened of things that could happen, might happen, might not happen. Fifty years I spent like that. Finding myself awake at 3 in the morning. But you know what? Ever since my diagnosis, I sleep just fine. And I came to realize it’s that fear that’s the worst of it. That’s the real enemy. So get up. Get out in the real world. And you kick that bastard as hard as you can right in the teeth.” – Walter White, Breaking Bad
September and the first part of October has found me at that anticlimactic stage where I have finished a project, but the overwhelming feeling of joy and satisfaction at having completed something significant, to me at least, just hasn’t arrived. The years of research and writing, proofing and editing, honing and fine-tuning has ended. I don’t know how many hands it has gone through, nor the amount of eyes that have reviewed and scrutinized, constructively criticized and painstakingly commented. It just feels like a lot. I’ve cut and omitted, put down and picked up, wrote and re-wrote, taken out and put back in. Finally, with much coaxing and persuading, I realized it was time to let my baby go.
Writing my first book, Kick Fear to the Curb: 5 Action Steps for a Courageous You, was no easy task. Nevertheless, it was a goal I set and I was not going to stop until I had accomplished it. It was a labor of love from me to my audience. It was a topic that needed to be addressed because too many of us have allowed unrealistic fear to stop us from living life — a full, rich, successful life.
In a world that is filled with so much fear, doubt, and uncertainty about the future, it is easy to become discouraged. Yet, we need courage to live this life. Furthermore, that courage has to be built up and constantly maintained. This is why I wrote the book, to encourage you to take action, even if only small steps. Fear should not be hovering over your life, holding you back from stepping into your desired future. It’s time to put unrealistic fear right where it belongs, under your feet.
During the time of writing the book that will get you to Kick Fear Now, I learned a new language, traveled to exotic places, met new people, developed friendships, climbed several mountains, earned a Masters degree in Emergency Management and more than anything else, learned how to harness the power I have within me to keep unrealistic fear where it rightly belongs. In other words, I found courage to be me.
Now, my mission is to get this book into your hands so that you can find the courage to be you, the vibrant, fearless, courageous you. If I can encourage you to stop being discouraged and allow your courage to propel you into the unknown then my mission will be accomplished.
I want you to Kick Fear and I will help you to do it – NOW.
What started out as a bucket list item turned out to be another learning experience on this journey of self-discovery. I thought I was going to hike up a mountain for 4 days and arrive at my goal tired with muscles hurting, but exhilarated at knowing that I had “done it!” This was my plan. Alas, as many of you know, even the best laid plan has a way of changing course on you.
Lesson Learned: Preparation is the best tool when trying to accomplish any goal, but despite the amount of preparation and training you do sometimes your plan, or plans, will change.
It will be difficult, but there comes a time when you realize Plan A is not working, so it is better to move on to Plan B. On my hike up the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru, altitude sickness got the better of me and my carefully made plans were slowly falling away. Here, in a nutshell, is what happened.
The first day and a half of climbing was fine. We moved at a steady pace up the first section past Piskakucho and when we reached camp at Wayllabamba some 2980 meters above sea level the altitude was almost bearable. I say almost, because when I arrived at the camp I immediately proceeded to vomit up everything I had eaten that day. When nothing else would come up I stood up straight only to find my head spinning like a whirlpool. I did not realize it yet, but I was experiencing my first bout of altitude sickness. I felt that after I had some hot tea and a good night’s sleep all that would be over.
Lesson Learned: Always be Prepared for Any Outcome
I woke up the next morning feeling less than 40%, but decided that I would be alright. A cup of tea, some quinoa porridge, and I could press on. My stomach was still queasy. My eyes were bloodshot, but I was okay. I was ready to take whatever day two had to give me. Big mistake!
Things did go well, for a while that is. I did move at a slower pace than most. The hike got steeper and my breathing became more labored, still on I went. My lungs felt as if it was trying to break free of my chest. My heart was racing fast and furious. The thud, thudding grew louder in my ears with each agonizing step that I took. All I kept asking myself was, “What is going on?” “Why do I feel this way?”
Lesson Learned: Regardless of how many people are in the group or on the team, you are still responsible for your own actions.
Our guide, Vlad, hung back with me. Patiently, he coaxed and cajoled, trying to make me feel good. Nevertheless, I could see in his face that he knew I was struggling. His years of taking groups up and down the Inca Trail allowed him to assess the situation very quickly. The altitude was taking its toll on me and I would not be able to tackle the next leg of the journey. It was far too steep and the air would get much thinner.
Lesson Learned: There is more than one way to accomplish any endeavor you aspire to attain. Your real challenge is to be flexible and open to what might happen along the way.
It was an agonizing time but I had to make a choice. I could continue on, moving slower and in more pain, or I could turn around, somewhat defeated, and go back down. The hike down would also be slow and painful, but the pain would be to my ego, not my heart and lungs.
I sat down on a big stone and suddenly the tears began to pour. Tears for the pain I felt in my chest and the fact that I was finding it so hard to breathe. Tears of grief because I knew I had to make a decision there and then whether to labor on or turn back. Tears of relief because I knew that once the choice was made it would be the right choice.
Lesson Learned: You do not have any idea how small and insignificant you are in this great big world until you stand facing a mountain or are surrounded by a range of mountains.
As I walked down the mountain with just the guide and porter accompanying me, I had a deeper revelation of what my purpose in life is. The journey was not about succeeding. Instead it was a journey of inspiration, motivation and exchange. I was able to spend time with people I had never met before who touched my life in such a special way. I was allowed to hear some of the dreams, desires and aspirations of several of them, as well as get to know them on a more personal level. All because half way up the mountain my plans changed.
Lesson Learned: Fear stems through everything that we do.
If we allow unrealistic fear to remain long after the perceived danger has passed, then we are allowing something that was only a short-term challenge stop us from moving forward in our lives.
Lesson Learned: It’s not about me, it’s about you.
My purpose is to give practical help to people who want to overcome the unrealistic fear or fears that stop them from accomplishing the goals and dreams that will lead to a successful future. If you are one of those people who want to Kick Fear Now, then you’ve arrived at the right place.
I know that most of you would not even think about doing such a thing as climbing a mountain. Nevertheless, you can step out of your comfort zone by doing one thing that you have never done before. Even better, do one thing that you have always wanted to do but unrealistic fear has prevented you from doing it.
This is what I did in the early part of July. Wanting to step out of my comfort zone, I undertook the exciting venture of hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru. According to the itinerary supplied by G Adventures, the tour group I went with, the 4-day hike is “physically challenging but worthwhile.” It was also “within the ability of most reasonably fit.”
Well, I like to class myself as physically fit, plus I enjoy hiking up and down hills and mountains. So off I ventured, knowing that I was quite fit and able to endure to the very end. Boy was I wrong.
Climbing or, in my case, hiking a mountain is a challenge. Your expectations at the beginning of the journey are often immense. The adrenaline is flowing and you feel you can conquer anything. It is as you continue to ascent up, and the way gets steeper, that you realize how small and insignificant you are in comparison to the big, beautiful mountain you think you can conquer.
You learn a lot when you climb a mountain. You learn even more if you are unable to finish and have to come down defeated. That’s right I did not finish the 4-day hike. In fact, due to a number of things, including altitude sickness, I came back down on the second day. Needless to say I was not too thrilled, but I had accomplished an extraordinary goal and it not only lifted my confidence and boosted my self-esteem, but it let me know that change is possible if you give it a chance.
So, I am back and I’m here to let you know that you can eliminate unrealistic fear from your life. You can Kick Fear Now by taking one action step after another. That’s what I have been trying to do myself and it is what I am encouraging each one of you to do for yourself, even if you only accomplish one small action at a time. Yes, there will be setbacks along the way but it does not mean you give up. Instead, you just find another way to complete your goal.
One of the things I learned from my climb up the Inca Trail is that you can’t go up a mountain and not come down without a revelation. For many people it is a spiritual revelation, for others, a physical or mental revelation. The fact is the journey is yours. When you begin, only you know what you want to accomplish. Your experience is yours alone. Your revelation will open your eyes to the person you really are capable of being.
Removing unrealistic fear from your life is much like hiking a mountain. Conquering it begins with taking the first step. So find your mountain today, whatever your unrealistic fear is, and walk out of your comfort zone. You may be in for a big surprise.
Have you ever watched fear in action? You probably have many times. In fact, unknowingly you stood and watched as fear worked to immobilize and stop someone you know, love or care about from being productive and successful.
This week my 88-year old mother arrived at my home. Unfortunately, she has not been feeling her 100% usual self. Her body is not cooperating with her and the symptoms she is experiencing has changed her in so many ways. This once vibrant, fast-moving, always on the go business woman is now scared, full of anxiety, and because of the unknown, is accepting defeat with every intention of giving up.
Fear of the unknown will do that. It will make you put off, postpone or avoid getting the right treatment for the ailment you have been diagnosed with. It will make you listen to everyone else, including that negative chatter going on in your own head. Meanwhile, the professional or expert who can answer all your questions is the one you refuse to accept as being right and stay away from them as much as you can.
The shocking truth about unrealistic fear is that unlike watching a scary movie, observing fear in action right in front of you is neither exciting or entertaining. In fact it is sad. If fear of the unknown is your unrealistic fear then I urge you to stop putting of what you know you must do. Whether it is getting a second doctor’s opinion, ending a bad relationship or reaching out to that person you have been avoiding for so long, the situation needs to be addressed once and for all.
Facing your fears is scary, but delaying what eventually must be done could lead to an even more frightening outcome. What unrealistic fear has stopped you in your tracks? What thing do you need to do but having been putting off because you do not want to deal with it? Is there anything you can do right now to soften the process?
No matter how bad the unknown looks or feels, wait no longer to take the right action. Just Kick Fear Now!
What do you do when you hit a stumbling block or roadblock along the way of achieving your goal? What about two or three stumbling blocks and several roadblocks? Do you throw up your hands in the air and decide that “this is all a waste of time, why bother”.
Unrealistic fear is attempting to stop you from success but I am here to encourage you to please don’t give up. Now is the time to dig your heels in and push forward with more determination.
Brian Tracy, the man I go to every time I am working on my goals, says that the two major obstacles to success and achievement are fear and doubt. He says that the average number of times that people try to accomplish their goals is “less than one.” To me that is scary. In other words people do not pursue their goals completely because they cannot get past the fear factor. Most give up before they even start.
Tracy draws a picture for us to elaborate this position. He says that as soon as people think of their goal, “these fears (failure, poverty, loss, embarrassment, or rejection) overwhelm them and, like a bucket of water on a small fire, extinguish their desire completely.” Today, especially as we still on the topic of our bucket lists, I want you to turn the tables around. In other words, reposition your fears.
First, let your fears be the small fire. That’s right, take all your fears, whatever they are, and mentally toss them on that small fire. Fear of rejection, toss it on the fire. Fear of lack, toss it on the fire. Fear of being in a relationship. Go ahead, toss it on the fire. Keep going, one by one, toss them on the fire.
Next, Get your goals together. They should be big, so big that they consume your mind with thoughts of progress and accomplishment. So big, that the minute fear raises its ugly head your big goals jump into action.
Now is time for that bucket.
Your goals are what are in that giant bucket. Your desires are what you will pour out each time fear tries to ignite itself. With each turn of the bucket, one by one, your goals will eliminate every fear, every doubt, every obstacle that forms a resistance between you and your success.
Your life is too precious to allow it to be wasted away by small, unrealistic fear. The path ahead of you is an amazingly, awesome one that requires you to give it all your focus, energy, and strength. You cannot and must not waste time on what you are not yet capable of doing. Instead, allow what you know, what you have, and what you are capable of doing, to propel you along.
Stumbling blocks and road blocks are just placed in front of you to see how determined you are to succeed. If there is a shortfall in any area then find tools to help you make up for it. Just don’t give up, don’t drop out, and most of all, don’t stop. Remember, the race is not for the swift or the fearful but it is for the one who is determined to go all the way, if only at a tortoise pace. Now go ahead, Kick Fear Now!
For more on setting and accomplishing goals visit @BrianTracy.com
My girlfriend just called me from Florida and said, “Pange, we’ve got to go to a Polo match. I’ve never been to one before and I want to cross it off my bucket list.”
“Interesting,” I said to her. “Did you know that a bucket list is a list of things that a person wants to accomplish before they die? Or to use the correct phrase, before they kick the bucket?”
I knew this because all week I have been churning in my mind what I was going to write in this post. Dana Sitar, author of A Writer’s Bucket List, has proposed a Bucket List Challenge Blog Hop to celebrate the launch of her new book. All I have to do is answer the question, “What will you cross off your Bucket List in 2013?”
I had never heard the term “bucket list” used before I saw the movie with the same title, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. Growing up in London, England I was quite familiar with the phrase because people were always “kicking the bucket.” Whether or not they had made a list of things before they did so, I really don’t know.
I did know something about planning for the future. I knew about goals, dreams, desires and aspirations, but no bucket list. I knew about what I wanted to be when I grew up. Of course, I’m grown up now and certainly am not doing that at all. Well not exactly. I even put together my 100 goals that I want to accomplish during my life time but there was no emphasis, while I was writing, at least I don’t think so, about doing them before I kicked the bucket.
Many people would never dream of putting together a bucket list. That, after all, would be tempting fate. But when you think about it putting together that B-List is one sure way of facing your fears. It’s your way of telling those unrealistic fears that you are not afraid of the unknown. You are ready for a change and you are going to live life to the fullest.
Your bucket list will push you from just existing with no goals, no dreams, and no future. It will show you a world full of possibilities. It will also give you the determination and courage to believe, and accept, that a bright future awaits you. There is something that happens when you write down your goals and visualize yourself accomplishing them. They will keep you focused and remind you that success is within reach if you push yourself toward reaching those goals.
Facing your fears is not easy but it can be done. Even if you only do one thing on that bucket list, the fact that you went on the journey of doing something, is an achievement that can be celebrated. As for me, I’ve learned to accept that my journey of life has both joys and pains. Somethings I set out to do I will accomplish, others, I won’t. Despite that, I will not let unrealistic fear stop me from trying my best.
Therefore, in answer to Dana’s question, I will be climbing a mountain in 2013. I thought it would be Mt. Kilimanjaro, but that is for another time. Instead, I am going after the next best thing and will tackle the mountains at Cuzco, Peru. I will be hiking a 4-day, 25 mile, 3 high passes crossing the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The trail is often steep and one of the passes reaches an elevation of 13,776 ft. Hopefully this adventure will propel me into completing my next book Mountain Move Out of My Way. If I succeed in this endeavor trust me, you will be the first to know.
So what about you? Have you put together your bucket list yet? If not, and you need help in doing so, then visit Dana Sitar’s Blog Hop Page @http://writersbucketlist.com/challenge and see what some other bloggers are going to cross of their bucket list in 2013. Perhaps you will be inspired to do something too.