Punching Fear in the Face
12 days ago, I embarked on a little experiment. A 24 day Start Experiment, orchestrated by Jon Acuff, an author who wrote “Quitter” and “Start.” (And also a blog called Stuff Christians Like, which makes me smile.)
In that time, I have dug deep, cried in a little ball in the corner, shouted from the rooftops – I have grown. I have had so many Oprah-style “a-ha” moments since last Monday, I am starting to wonder when she’s going to call to offer me a sweet little talk show on OWN. What I discovered yesterday does not compare to what I just discovered this morning, and who the heck knows where I will be tomorrow.
The concept is simple. Jon Acuff’s book, Start, is about punching FEAR in the face, going from Average to Awesome, and simply starting on the path to your dream. He not only includes some great stories and illustrations, but also has practical steps to get there. This experiment group (there are about 2500 of us) has simply been asked to take one step each day.
One day we had to identify our Fear. I have many fears – fear no one will like me, fear I will say the wrong thing, fear to ask anyone a favor, fear of picking up a phone to order a pizza – all of which come down to a Fear of Rejection. I have been rejected literally from before birth, when my biological father left, and he rejected me again at age 16 and again just last year. Many tiny fears, all boiling down to this deep-seeded fear of Rejection. This was a curl-up-in-a-ball kind of day.
The next day, I had to write Truths to battle that Fear, and that was even harder. Because the best I could come up with was God loves me more than anything, and while I know this is true, it is an abstract answer to such an ingrained feeling. I am definitely still working on this one.
We also had to let go of a Failure, which I realized was also a Fear of Rejection issue. While pregnant with my first child, I was fired from my Director of Marketing position, and I deserved it. I was so afraid of my boss (for a myriad of reasons), that I kowtowed to whatever her wishes were, even if I did not agree. I was not the Director of anything – if I was good at my job, I would have stood up to her. Stupid FEAR.
And then this morning, as I watched my seven year old fall to floor in a fit of tears because I was forcing him to choose from one of nine fruit/vegetable options, I realized The Failure that has kept me from making FitMommas what I always had in my mind it would be.
Who am I? Who am I to think I can give anyone Health and Fitness advice? I cannot get my seven year old kid to eat anything other than freeze-dried strawberries, roasted broccoli, and salsa (not all together!). Who am I, who lets the opinion of others direct the course of my life, to tell you to step out of your comfort zone and go get what you want? Who am I, who spends more time promoting what I believe instead of doing what I believe, to tell you get off your butt every day and into the gym?
That last one hurts. I was listening to Jon’s book on my iPod this morning, and I heard these words: “…to be awesome you need to spend more time practicing your dream than you do promoting your dream.”
But I needed that. My Fear is so deep and so ingrained, I am more comfortable helping others than I am helping myself or asking for help. Stupid FEAR. Fear is a Liar.
I have no idea what you want out of this life. Maybe you want a completely different job, but don’t know where to start. Maybe you want to run a marathon, but can barely run around the block. Maybe you just want to lose five pounds. What are you waiting for?
If I had to guess, there is some FEAR in there somewhere. I invite you to take a look at it. Say “Hi” to it. It is only Fear. And it is a notorious Liar, and whatever it is telling you, it is simply not the Truth. And when you get comfortable with that Fear, I want you to be a jerk right back. Punch Fear in the Face.
Who am I? I am me, and I have dreams for myself, for my husband, and for my family. I know you do, too. I am ready to get a little feisty with Fear, and invite you to join in on this journey.
As a side note, I would like to acknowledge Linda, my accountability partner on this Start journey. I feel like Linda got the last pick in the game of elementary school dodgeball, saddled with a fear-laden partner who is so bogged down in her own self-discovery, she has little left to offer back. Linda is awesome, and I could not have done this without her!