Lean in to the Fear!

Posted on January 24, 2010. Filed under: Philosophy | Tags: |


  What do you fear?  Ask yourself this question.     Life is all about perception.  You often think things are one way and they really turn out to be something different than you thought.  How many times has this happened to you?  Fear is over rated!  How many times have you feared something just to find out that what you feared never came to pass and all that negative emotion was misplaced?

Fear takes on basically two forms:

Real Fear: the kind that is born from reality.  The kind of trouble we could get into by crossing the street without looking both ways.  The kind of fear if we didn’t pay our bills we would lose our credit or home.  Keeping an eye on our children so that they are safe from harm. 

Imagined Fear:  This is 95 percent of all fears.  These little demons are pre-programmed in your mind that keep telling you that you can’t succeed or that it’s not time to do that project now, or that you will do it later.  It is a paralyzing force that keeps you in your present state. 

  I remember being in Iloilo City Philippines last time, we were about to leave for Manila the next day when we tried to get some Pesos for our trip back.  You see you need to live by one concrete precept when travelling in the third world.  A.B.C.   That little acronym is vitally important!  A.B.C. stands for always bring CASH!!!.  So there we were, standing in line at the A.T.M. waiting not so patiently for our beloved turn in line.   This has to be experienced to be believed!  The pace of life in the big P.I. , well, sometimes a snail has a sporting chance to win the race!   We arrived at the magic money machine only to find that our card information was “not valid”.   Our card was fine but this is where the fear part comes in.  Our card didn’t work so we had to try to go into the bank, insert here Mr. military man with loaded automatic weapon at the door!   The line at the A.T.M. paled in comparison to the sea of exasperated would be patrons of the Banco de Oro.   We languished for approximately 35 minutes in line once again  only to find that if we didn’t have an acct. with them they could not help us!   OK!  Back in line again in the futile hope that our card would magically appear to be in working order this time!  

What if we couldn’t get the money?  We have no accts in the Philippines!  We don’t know anyone with enough money to lend us here!  If the card doesn’t work this time what will we do?  We had approx. 10 hours to get cash or miss our flight to Manila to catch another one to go home to the land of milk and honey (America)!   Yes, Americans, we do have it pretty cake here!  The tension was palpable, the panic was building!  Frustration was the rule of the hour!  The long lines will hasten for no man.   We decided to try a different A.T.M. this time so we crowded into this 40 ft. line that not so happily was adjacent at the end of a hallway next to the crowded women’s C.R. (Bathroom).   In the big P.I. they refer to bathrooms as “Comfort Rooms”.   Another 30 minutes of aching feet and fragrant air later we were determined to take full advantage of our turn at the roulette wheel that is the Filipino cash machine!  All my midwestern polite upbringing was tabled because you see we were at an impasse!  We had to get cash or become illegal citizens of this country that I have come to love.   Our turn came only to find that once again we were turned down.  We dug for cards and tried to remember obscure pin numbers until at last one last attempt was made.   It was like the pressure you feel when you have applied for your first home loan!  Push the enter button and wait for that seemingly endless moment of time between when you hit enter and the dreaded/blessed moment arrives when you see your results!  Yes, I am writing this from the comfort of my home in America on my fabulous Toshiba laptop in the lap of luxury I enjoy everyday here.   So obviously we got the cash!

Was this a real or imagined fear?  It could have went either way.   We would have made it somehow even if the machine had not worked.  Believe me, the names and phone numbers of some expats I had recently met living in the Philippines were coming up as a possible resource to my dilemma!  

Lean into the fear!  When you feel inadequate or merely apathetic Lean into the fear!  What do I mean? 

Ask yourself this question:

What is keeping me from achieving all my dreams?

I bet if you really analyzed it you will find that fear is at the root of your paralysis.   Did you ever see the long ski jump competition when the athlete takes off and is suspended in the air?  His or her head is almost touching the front of the skis!   Imagine yourself there looking down.  Who knows how high you are!  Are you going to land correctly or wind up in the hospital?  He/she is leaning into fear knowing they have prepared themselves for the outcome!   In life we face daily challenges both large and small. 

     I have found that progress and victory only appear coming out of the struggle!   We must grapple with life.  Life appears to be unwilling to grant us wishes like a good Fairy God Mother!  So my friends we must put our hand to the plow, shake off our fears and steer straight ahead.  Life may not be like that Fairy God Mother but you can attest to victories in your life when you accomplished something.   Why did this happen?  Think of those times now!  Stop and remember  two or three.  Remember the process you went through?  Remember the fear?  Remember the struggle?  This is your own key to success!   Take the process you went through and repeat!  Maybe refine the method a little but get another goal and repeat!

Please leave a comment at the bottom and share some things that you have been through.  I don’t want you to do that just to have comments on my blog, I want you to do that so you can see what a great person you are and when you put it down in writing you make it more real to yourself.  You don’t know how your story might inspire someone else!  Don’t be selfish with your story, please share to inspire others!  Thanks!

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6 Responses to “Lean in to the Fear!”

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It’s funny my husband and I were just discussing this yesterday. I had just listened to a speaker that made the statement that so many of us work sooooo hard to arrive at death safely! Seems kind of silly really, ultimately the truth is we will all one day die. In our comfortable culture we have been taught to be concerned with our safety and security….maybe so much that what we “fear” the most is anything that seems a little “risky”. My hope is that as I face fears in this life that I remember that my goal is not to reach the end of my life “safely” but to live it as a blazing offering, 100% sold out to not letting fear rule me.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

Thanks so much for your comment! It is true it seems we have a wall of fear (that is a lie) that permeates most of our waking moments. My wife asked me one time “If you had no fear, what would you dare to do in life?”
The prospect of that commitement to do what you dare is daunting at best. But what we should ask ourselves is “What is the worst that could happen?”

Apparently you have to ask yourself what’s the worst thing that could have happened. Heck, if that cash point hadn’t turned up you would have just had an extended vacation really…

I once got stick in Amman, the capital of Jordan with no money. Unfortunately I’d anticipated that I’d be able to draw cash on my credit card via a bank. How wrong I was. Thus a week was spent in a bombsite of hotel living off flat bread and browsing the markets for Saddam Hussein souvenirs – they loved him in Jordan, but alas, unable to buy any.

Love your writing, roll on more P stories:)

Wow! I would like to hear that story over tea sometime! A little danger does seem to make travel a lot more exciting!

I may be one of your few readers who experienced this same fear while in the same city, Iloilo, in the Philippines. Went to our regular ATM to withdraw some cash, and my card was rejected! Had used this machine many times before, and if I couldn’t get the cash no one back at our home in the Philippines would be eating. Thankfully after a long wait at another bank’s ATM, the card worked! I empathize completely with your experience.

Yes, it was quite an experience. We will meet up someday at the S.M. and have a great time! Thanks for your comment and looking forward to hooking up before too long. Right now it is looking like January at least before we travel back home again. Next time I really want to go to Guimaras and get some quality beach/San Miguel time while meeting new friends. Paalam Po!


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