The smell of crisp, damp air fills your nostrils and you can hear the leaves and shrubbery crunching under your feet with every step you take. You take a deep breath as you continue forward receiving the branding marks of the low hanging branches and vines as you cut your way through the uncharted path with a large machete. Then all of a sudden, you freeze! Your hands start to tremble as your heart begins beating faster and your senses heighten with an awareness that something isn’t right. Your head turns sharply with the snapping of a nearby branch, you are not alone. Your adrenaline increases as your sympathetic nervous system prepares your physical body to flee or fight. You take a deep breath trying to calm your nerves just as you see it, the dangerous beast that is lurking deep in the mats of greenery. Just as you turn to run the fierce beast steps into sight. The fierce animal… oh wait, is actually a fierce . . . stray cat, with yellow stripes? No, wait, this can’t be right. Your mind races trying frantically to retrace your steps and where your brain went wrong. You had sensed that you weren’t alone on your path and you heard the snapping of the branches beneath its feet. Surely, you aren’t mistaken, there must be something more, something bigger with sharp snarling teeth, still hiding in those bushes. This small cute looking kitty, most certainly can’t be it. . . can it?
There you stand face to face with your beast, the one your senses and brain created and you begin to laugh. Laugh at your own ridiculousness and how you almost fled from a small kitten with big eyes and yellow stripes. How could you have been so confused you wonder? Well, allow me to introduce you to your parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. The ones that prepare your body for flight or fight and also bring you back to a place of homeostasis. First, it was your senses that reported to your brain and then that beautiful piece of machinery created an entire story of a fierce beast that was hiding in the bushes, which sent the emergency signal to your nervous system to prepare to flee. All because of the story you created in your head.
Let’s pause for a second. Perhaps we aren’t following unknown trails through the jungle but we are daring to take the unexplored paths in our lives. Maybe the roadblocks we are encountering along the way really aren’t blocks at all, but rather stories created by our brains. Stories, telling us that there are beasts hiding, when in reality, they are nothing more than small kittens that have been blown out of proportion.
The brain can be a very tricky thing if we let it be. The funny part is, our bodies respond similarly when we are excited or afraid. Our heart rate and blood supply to the body increases. Our breathing becomes more rapid, our pupils can dilate and our adrenaline kicks in. So what determines whether we are experiencing excitement or fear? Our brains of course. It’s our perception of what’s going on around us that determines whether we are excited or fearful. With that being said, if we can shift our perception of a situation then we can completely change the way we view a so called roadblock or event. We can take it from a paralyzing fear based perception to an exciting new opportunity that can empower us to take action. The brain can be tricky but so can we.
I have fallen into the fear trap so many times that I’ve lost track but I will say that I always tend to find my way out. As I sit here writing today, one of my biggest “roadblocks” is around finances and financial abundance. I often catch myself worrying about finances and my need to make more money. This is coming from a “lack” mentality, as though there will never be enough; enough clients for me to work with or enough green stuff to go around. As if big businesses and powerhouses have sucked it all up. I worry I will never be able to afford the traveling and adventurous lifestyle that I crave. The better part of me knows these are false beliefs and there is no evidence to back them up. Deep down I feel afraid to move forward with my business, my creation, and step into my upmost power. Then there’s my favorite cop out; what if I invest all this money into my dream and I fail. I could play the “what if” all day but trust me, it’s not going to do anything but keep me stuck. Instead of fearing failure why don’t I imagine my own success? What if I am abundantly successful and make a profound difference in the world? Why do I feel more drawn towards the worst case scenario? I’ll tell you why; because of fear. A simple emotion, that is keeping you away from everything you’ve ever wanted. It is a real emotion. It’s real enough to cause a physiological response in your body isn’t it? But that does not mean that fears cannot be overcome and one of the easiest ways to do so is through reframing your thoughts.
For example, I can take my fear of losing everything through pursuing my dreams and turn that into an exciting opportunity to do something I love and drastically increase my financial abundance! Just be rewriting my thoughts and my “what if” sentence I can completely shift the way I view my roadblock or situation. Increasing my financial abundance sounds a heck of a lot more appealing than the alternative. This is one example of how we can tackle our fears and journey into the unknown with a little more ease and success. There are several other ways to tackle these beasts as they appear. I am not saying that this process is easy. No one is fearless, but some can more courageously look the beast in the eye and move forward. Fearless living has nothing to do with not being afraid but rather feeling the fear and doing it anyways. Take the leap! Take the chance to work through your fears instead of avoiding them. Fearless living is something that we can all do if only we are courageous enough to take a step forward into unknown. Even if things don’t turn out the way you had expected, they might be even better than you imagined. Fearless living is taking three deep breaths and then moving forward, never taking your eyes off the desired result.
So, it is my personal challenge to each of you to re-examine something that is holding you back. Take another look at it and perhaps with a different point of view and see how that feels. Shift your perception and then DARE to take the next step past it. You can do it, I know that you can. It is my personal guarantee that once you do, it will be completely worth it. You are courageous and there is nothing you cannot handle!