One of wisest things I’ve ever heard: Don’t let your feelings stop you.
I spent the first 28 years of my life crippled by fear. And the only way to conquer fear is to literally walk right into it… and then right through it. Do the very things we fear. If we fear public speaking, speak publicly. If we fear intimacy, be intimate. If we fear what we have done to someone in the past, find that person and make a direct amends to him or her.
By the way, if you want to grow up in lightening speed, go make some amends. Coming out of a tough amends to someone, I was a different person than going in. To walk right into shame, to feel that sort of humility, to sweat through the ass of my pants from nervousness, to speak honestly about how I’ve wronged you… this will change anybody, unless of course, you are a sociopath and lack the capacity to be honest. In that case, there isn’t much hope. We all know these types, and usually it’s impossible for them to get better. But anyone who can be honest with themselves can change, heal, grow and recover.
The moment I begin to avoid fear, avoid making an amends, avoid what I know will feel uncomfortable but is the right thing to do… that is the very moment I begin to suffer, become sicker, and sink back into a well of self-pity and cowardice.
My feelings of self-consciousness and insecurity used to be so strong, they paralyzed me. I didn’t have the guts to face the world, to do what I needed to do. But the moment I begin to push myself and do what I need to do regardless of how shitty I feel, that’s when I start getting better. Do what you fear and that which you fear loses power. It becomes easier and easier. Now I run, not walk towards any opportunity to speak publicly if it might help or inspire people. I’ve actually come to enjoy it. The bigger the crowd, the better.
Here is some magic. Have you ever had a nasty cold or something and then had to teach, speak, lead, or be of some service to others? What happens when you start giving of yourself? I had the flu last winter and I had to guest speak at a Twelve Step group late in the evening. The second I opened my mouth, the flu was gone… and gone it stayed until I was driving home. Magic.
God, please give me the courage and power to walk right into my fear…