I’ve been perusing websites lately, mostly ones that I find inspirational or self-empowering. They all seem to have one thing in common. They want to help you, help yourself. This can be anything from attaining peace of mind, starting a small business, or in my case, conquering my fears.
Matt Koenig wrote a guest post recently on my son, Sean Ogle’s, blog, Location180. In it, he mentions being “paralyzed by fear.” I can so relate to this. I can’t tell you how many books, blogs, magazine articles and fortune cookies I’ve read on this subject. I read all the tips and strategies to help overcome it, but the big bad wagon train of fear, circles around my brain and holds me captive.
Now there are different types of fear wagons. Some are uncovered and exposed for all to see. These would be the ones without the canvas on them. This is the type of fear you have when you are actually thinking about doing something stupid, i.e. dangerous. Cliff diving, alligator wrestling, skating on thin ice, okay I ran out of examples, but you get the point. You are intentionally putting yourself in a dangerous situation. It doesn’t matter if you are doing it on a dare, for money or just because you really are, stupid. This type of fear is adrenalin based. The closer to the event you get, the more your fear rises and then, whoosh~ it’s gone once you’ve done the idiotic deed. I don’t really have this type of fear. I’m a middle-aged, mundane, look both ways before you cross the street, chicken. No stupid tricks for me.
Then there’s the fear wagon with the canvas on it. This is a secret, hidden fear. Maybe you’re afraid of spiders (arachnophobia) or speaking in public (glossophobia). It’s something that someone might not necessarily know about you. But then, with that being said, how often do we recognize fear, of any kind, in people? Well those, less than smart (notice I didn’t say stupid this time, I’m working on being politically correct…) morons (oops) probably have fear written all over their faces, or running down their legs, before they wrastle that gator.
My favorite type of fear wagon doesn’t even look like a wagon. These are fears that you’ve probably never heard of, like, lachanophobia (fear of vegetables) or leukophobia (fear of the color white). These wagons would be like elephants on roller skates. You see it, but you don’t believe it. Sorta like, I found it on a website, but not in the dictionary, fears. Don’t hold me accountable.
So, all these fears are different from my type of fear. Remember the paralyzing fear? This wagon is made of stone, has square wheels, and is stuck in quicksand. The all-consuming fear. It wakes me in the middle of the night with questions like, “How am I going to support myself? Where am I going to live when my house sells? Who’s shoulder am I going to cry on when I’m trying to get my wagon out of the quicksand?” No matter how many articles I read or bullet point tricks I try, when it comes down to it, I’m the only one that can help alleviate my fears. It might be by checking out the local community college for career directions, looking on Craigslist for apartments or homes to rent, or calling AAA to get my wagon hitched back up to its giddyup. It’s up to me to take those steps.
And I’m doing it. It might be with baby steps, but they’re steps nonetheless. Plato once said, “Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”