I woke up thinking about when I took figure skating lessons in 1994. The Olympics had just ended and 4 or 5 guys on my softball team in Dallas decided it would be fun if we paid for a private class for 6 weeks and learn how to do what we had seen the skaters doing. We all had the same level of experience with ice skating which was NONE. We had our class in the Downtown Dallas Plaza of The Americas. I've watched the stuff on tv my whole life and it never once entered my mind wouldn't be able to skate.
We all laced up for our first class and everyone got on the ice. Frankie, Gill and the rest of the guys were holding on to the railing and I just skated right past them. In ten minutes childhood roller skating muscle memories came back and I started skating backwards. My friends were telling me that I was lying about my skill level and I assured them that I wasn't. I wanted to try one of those cool jumps. I did, and I landed flat out knocking the wind out of my lungs and barely missing coming down flat on my chin, It was the hardest fall I ever had without breaking something.
The next lesson, I was back with everyone else, learning how to stand up right and move holding on to the rails. The fall had introduce fear into me and it completely convinced my that i couldn't do this. I could barely stand up and the ice looked hard.
We hear a bunch about being perfections. Martha Stewart is called a perfectionist. To me, my fear on not doing something perfect keeps me from participating in many many things. Fear lies to me, it says things like there is no room for mediocrity and this if it isn't pretty than it's not perfect.
I saw some 10 year old do something incredible on TV and a friend with me said "How did that kid do that" and my response was, he didn't have anyone he believed in, tell him he couldn't do that. He didn't know how to listen to the voices of doubt in his own mind. It's so crazy that the more experience we get on earth the harder it is to do and try things because we are afraid, (I am afraid) to fail or look foolish. Think about all the stuff we had to learn as children.
I'm not sure I would have ever learned to tie my shoes, to read, learn to swim or to go to the bathroom on my own if I had to deal with the idea that failure had been a possibility.
Every major religion tells its followers/studiers to "be like children" and frankly for me a lot of the times means- to do it now, fear it later.
There is really a beautiful thing that happens when I face a fear, live through it and come out the other side. First, it gives me usable experience to share with others and second, it makes me a little big stronger when I need to pull from my own courage reserves to get through the next big horrible monster of a thing I think will kill me.
Just for today I will show up and "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain". I may have to hold someones hand but I can get through whatever fearful stuff comes my way.
To paraphrase someone elses idea "We spend our lives running for monsters that didn't exist and never really chased us."
THE POWER INSIDE IS GREATER THAN THE FEAR THAT LIES AHEAD.