Two Teens And Their Mama: Be Afraid And Go On Anyway

Monday, January 5, 2015

Be Afraid And Go On Anyway


Over the weekend we were taking down Christmas decorations and putting back the regular stuff that fills our house the rest of the year.

This little plaque hangs in my kitchen.  The boys gave it to me years ago, and I've probably looked at it hundreds of times.  But I'm not sure I've ever REALLY read it.

One of my goals for this year is to be more courageous.  I take steps every day to keep my anxiety under control, but my biggest issue is fear.  Fear of the unknown, fear that I'll make a mistake, or that something bad will happen.  Sometimes I miss out because of fear, and I get angry with myself after the fact.

So I thought that my first step towards being more courageous was to stop being afraid. I figured if I could manage to overcome the fears that creep into my mind every day, I would have more courage.  

But yesterday as I really saw this plaque for the first time,  I realized that nobody is completely free from fear in their lives.  A soldier going into battle feels fear.  A person facing cancer treatments is certainly afraid.  A mother sending their child off to college for the first time can't help but be fearful.  

My friend Kathy has had to face some pretty terrible things in her life.  She had ovarian cancer, lost her job and her house, and her oldest son committed suicide.  I'm honestly not sure how she gets out of bed and faces each day.  Yet she goes on with her life. Our friend Todd doesn't know if he'll walk again.  He has a wife and three children to support, and he might spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.  But he is the most positive, faithful person I've ever met.  I know that both of them are afraid, but they demonstrate such courage.



The truly courageous people are afraid and they go on anyway.  That's the key. Yesterday it hit me in the face like a ton of bricks.  I was focusing on the wrong part of the equation.

I'm always going to have fears.  I certainly need to keep working on ways to mitigate them, especially those that relate to fear of the unknown, but it's unrealistic to expect them to ever go away completely.  My natural inclination when someone asks me to do something is to say no.  Then I give it some thought, and often come around to a yes. To be afraid and go on anyway, I need to work on saying yes in the first place.  I'll figure out the how later!

I'll probably be writing a lot this coming year about my journey to face my fears and go on anyway.  Not only do I want to "go on", but I want to do so with a positive attitude and a grateful heart.  Any suggestions for how you have accomplished this in your life would be welcome!


This past week, cultivating and celebrating courage has been a theme on many of the blogs I read.  Pam at over50feeling40 talked about doing big things this year, and Carol Cassara wrote about noticing the courageous people all around us and helping them in any way we can.  Both great reads.

Have a wonderful week and be courageous!

Linking up with Motivation Monday

24 comments:

  1. You are right, there is always something we are going to be afraid of! We need to face our fears and keep moving on! Such an inspiring message!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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    1. Thanks Jill. Now I just need to follow through!

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  2. Lana, I am so happy I came over to read your blog... you are so right, we all have fear, I am one of those people who says no immediately and then I come around and am always grateful that I did but like you, I want to say yes immediately and do it with a happy feeling ...

    Not one of us lives without fear and honestly if we were to all throw our problems in one great big pile, each of us would be quick to grab our own back... somethings people get through blow me away... yet there are many people who think that about me...

    I look forward to your journey, the first step is always admitting it, I will be working on that too this year.

    Have a great week ;)

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    1. You are so right about taking our own problems back! I'm so glad you stopped by today.

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  3. Great reminder. If we wait to feel safe about every opportunity we'll miss a lot of them. I'm going to try and keep this quote in mind this year!

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    1. I feel like I've missed out on things because of fear - and I'm really going to work on changing that!

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  4. It is true that most of life is just about continuing to put one foot in front of the other, even when you think you can't. When I was in the hospital 2 years ago and it was a very difficult time for me I can remember thinking, "Well I have to go on...don't I?" You realize that you simply don't have a choice. You need to keep pushing through.

    I loved this post.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. I think that realizing you have to push through shows the courage you possess. Sometimes people do give up at that point unfortunately. Thanks so much for the nice comment!

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  5. I've always had huge anxiety especially over the unknown and I've missed some pretty great opportunities because of it. What I'm starting to realize is that whether we do that thing or not that fear is there anyway so go for it! You need to be in SC in April to go skydiving with momma and me!!!!!!

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    1. I can't believe you're going skydiving! So exciting!

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  6. Thank you for being so honest! I know that you can do this!

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    1. Thanks Sarah - I appreciate the support!

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  7. I look forward to you writing about this!
    I think I approached my anxiety differently in the last year. Instead of dwelling on the "whys", I dwelled on the "hows" - namely, how to get out of an anxious situation. Or my anxious reaction to a situation, more likely.
    It's similar because it's admitting that there will always be fear and new experiences, but maybe they don't all have to grip me so terribly.

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    1. See, you already knew! You're much farther along on this journey than I am, I think!

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  8. Thanks for sharing this viewpoint Lana. Like you, I often say no, not out of lack of time, energy or enthusiasm, but out of fear. I plan to read this post often. Its message really is one that I need to remember!

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    1. Thanks Susan - we'll say yes together!

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  9. What a great post, Lana! I deal with this, too. I've never been the most brave person, but I have had my moments, but the head on collision did a number on me, but it's made it even more difficult, because drivers are generally pretty horrible here. I know everyone says that, but I've seen several studies this past year that puts us indeed having some of the worst drivers. This has caused me to battle with fear and anxiety that seems to have creeped into other areas.I'm so tired of feeling like this. A few years back I flew, something I hadn't done in many years. I was pretty freaked. There was definitely some alcohol involved. But by the time we got back home, I felt like I could do anything, and I wanted to keep flying. Life crept in, and I got hurt (doing something that required no bravery...lol), and I didn't do the things I had wanted to do...then I started to feel not so brave again. I think when we do things, we become brave. We just have to do them. The brave feeling comes AFTER we do them. Ha ha! The more we do, the braver we will feel. Thanks so much for sharing this. I needed to hear someone else felt the same way, and I needed to write out this comment and remind myself of what that feeling felt like to feel brave and what I did to get there. I'm going to put this on my list of ideas to blog about this year.

    Here's to a brave 2015 for us both! xo

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    1. Thank you! You're so right - the more you do brave things, the braver you become. It's just taking that first step. It's nice to know I'm not the only one feeling this way!

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  10. Thank you for posting to Motivation Monday!

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  11. Great post. I've suffered with anxiety for a large portion of my life. I use to believe I was abnormal and not like everyone else. The truth is, we are all fearful. It's what we choose to do with our fears that determines the quality of life we lead. Very uplifting post. Thanks

    Turn up Tuesday Blog Hop

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! You are so right, and I'm still working on it every day!

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