I use to be a super shy. A catastrophic scardy cat, petrified of my own shadow, powerless without a voice and paralyzed in motion.
I was so shy that I would turn 50 shades of pink when the teacher said my name out loud and dared to ask me a question in class. I would stutter, be at a complete loss of words, dumbfounded in dead air and painstakingly stunned in utter fear as to what to say or do. Fight or flight thoughts of panic attacked my senses toying with my body to make a run for it or freeze in absolute stoic stillness – praying that no one would notice I was still there. But I was and they noticed and let’s just say I faced the wrath of some pretty stinky meanies in my time.
My anxiety escalated. I started to catastrophize situations. Presume the worse case scenario, imagined the end of the world or like I say “saw the heard of rhinos stampeding instead of a box of new born kittens”. Being a worry-wort, nail-biting, lily-livered, namby-pamby, sissy wuss who’s always in a dither is no way to live.
I realized that fearing something is way worse than facing it and by not facing it you are choosing to hold onto it. It was time to “Feel Everything And Revel” in it (F.E.A.R.). So I decided to jump the fence of fear, unfold my wings, hold up my sword and make friends with the monsters under my bed and say hello to Adventure Girl.
I started slowly, a lot of self talk, a lot of escape plans (just in case) and more than anything getting some perspective on the situation. I’d start with taking a breath and realizing that I probably, most certainly would survive and that sharing my opinion in a crowd wasn’t as scary as being eaten by a bear one limb at a time…in fact each baby step I took into the mirror of fear made me stronger, smarter, braver and awarded me more badges!
I started to dare myself on a daily basis, an hourly basis and stretch myself beyond my comfort zone at every opportunity presented. Heck I tried tiger tiger licorice mandarin ice cream instead of vanilla! Scary situations were now made-for-TV movies I starred in as the heroine, daredevil, explorer and high-wire acrobat! “What if’s” became “whatever’s” because I could do anything! Really what did I have to lose? Except everything I had to gain.
It was a huge shift that all started with a desire to be free. A coveting to open up my caged adventurous mind and visualize the story I wasn’t living but wanted to. A life full of possibilities and the freedom to dare to make them happen.
It’s amazing when you begin to believe in yourself – it creates a domino effect in your self-esteem and in others who support you on your adventure. You’ll discover new talents, expand your wisdom, elevate your emotional capacity and really get to know, trust and celebrate yourself.
So go for it – I dare you! And remember … one life – one chance to live it.
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