Just Doing It

afraid

I have a secret. I’m afraid people will come to my website.

I have a great deal of website shame. My content is not all that I feel like it should be so I blog on a different site (http://shaylalogan.wordpress.com/). People LOVE my blog! My website? … not so much.

SO I decided to sign up for the Spiritual Badass 30 Day Blog Challenge AND I plan to post the blogs on this site.

Why? Well, first because it will motivate me to get my site in order. Second, I’d rather have all of my stuff in one place so it is easier for both me and my clients. And third, because sometimes the easiest way to get past your angst is to just move, even if it is in tiny steps.

Being a Professional Fear Buster means that I get to experience all kinds of fear and then bust through it. Each time I do so, I grow and I’m able to help my clients grow even more too. Win-win!

So, today, my plan is to be like Nike and Just Do It. Welcome to Day 1 🙂

 

 

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Taking off the Training Wheels

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I got my first bicycle when I was 6 years old. It had a beautiful pink sheen, a white banana seat with pink daisies, and streamers coming off the handlebars. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen and I struggled to contain my excitement.

Our house was on a hill and there was a long staircase to get down to the sidewalk. My father told me to wait until he carried my bike down the stairs. I, however, was an excited 6 year old. I was still in the stage of life where I considered myself invincible; fear hadn’t yet found a comfortable place to settle within me. It was a beautiful sunny day with just a slight breeze and I was already dressed and ready. The sun and my new bicycle were screaming at me to come play and my father was taking way too long, in my opinion. I thought, “I’ll just ride back and forth in front of the house until he comes out.”

I quietly left the house and, as soon as the door closed, I realized I wasn’t strong enough to carry the bike down the stairs by myself. “That’s ok”, I thought, “I’m really good at riding my Big Wheel and this is just a big girl version. I will just ride it down the hill.” I smiled at the thought of the adventure ahead.

I then got on the bike, pedaled twice, and flew down the hill at breakneck speed with no control whatsoever. The bicycle twisted and bucked, like it had come alive and was imitating a wild stallion. I flew over the handlebars, through the air, and somehow managed to smash, knees and face first, into a large unyielding tree. I was covered in blood and bits of bark, my knee was cracked open, my face had road rash, and my first experience in learning fear (from something or someone other than my mother) had just occurred. The world was no longer a friendly place. It was a place where bicycles turned ugly and trees beat up on little girls.

It was another year before I could be coaxed into getting anywhere near a bicycle. When I turned 7, my father bought me a new bike and conned me by telling me he was putting training wheels on it. He demonstrated how it would be impossible (his words, not mine) to fall if I had training wheels; I’d be totally safe. Not only that, but he would run behind me whenever I rode, for as long as it took…he promised. I warily got back on the bike. He would run behind me and I’d do fine until I realized he wasn’t there anymore. If I’d even teeter, I’d jump off the bike, hysterical, and run back to him. That only went on for a few months and then the weather started making it too difficult to even try. That winter, my father got sick. He passed away a few days after my 8th birthday. There was nobody left to run behind me.

Although I hadn’t had any significant falls since my rendezvous with the tree, the mere thought of it terrified me. My father being gone made it worse. Several years passed and I rode as infrequently as possible. Then I turned 10 and riding a bike became the cool thing to do. Even then, I still rode with training wheels. I knew, deep down, it wasn’t fashionable or age appropriate to do so but my fear was bigger than my concern about being socially appropriate.

At 12, I still had training wheels. One day, I was riding around my neighborhood and one of the neighbor boys called me a “sissy” and pointed and laughed at my training wheels as I went by. By that point in my life, I had endured more than most people do in 3 lifetimes. I lived in a reality where surviving from day to day was a miracle. Fear was all I knew.

I think I knew at some level, though, that I had strength that went to unfathomable depths. I was a quiet, meek kid who tried to stay as unnoticed as possible but something about having my strength challenged, set me off. “Sissy” was like a trigger word for me. I would go to great lengths to make whoever dared to utter those words, regret it. I rode to a neighbor’s house, borrowed some tools, rode back down the street, maneuvering the bike with one hand and gripping the training wheels with the other. I rode up to him and literally threw my training wheels at him as I rode by, hitting him in the head. “I am NOT a sissy!!”, I yelled defiantly as I rode past. He was too busy crying to notice.

It is highly likely that I hadn’t actually needed the training wheels for several years, but fear often makes you hold on to things you don’t really need. Just as my first day on a bicycle had been my first major lesson in fear, the day I removed my training wheels was my second. I learned that fear can be overcome if there is something that is bigger or more important to you than holding on to it. I had been laughed at and called a big baby prior to that day but there was something about the word sissy that made me want to fight it. Sissy was my “something bigger”. What I have learned over the years is that there is always a “something bigger”. You just have to find it.

What are the training wheels in your life?
Photo credit: striatic / Foter.com / CC BY

I’m Not Perfect

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I’m not perfect. That was shocking to discover! (Just kidding)

Yeah, I know I missed two days of writing. I’ve been in Indiana with my beloved on a family visit. I came along to provide the appropriate amount of emotional support, shoulder to lean on, willing ear to listen. Would have worked great except I think I have an ear infection. I spent our entire time here trying not to fall down and I threw up in every location we hit. Apparently my ear being out of whack has caused me to have motion sickness – even when nothing is moving. I’ve also lost almost all of my hearing in that ear so I spent a lot of time not being very sociable because I couldn’t hear what anyone was saying.

I withdrew. I didn’t talk, I was as supportive as I could be but felt like the tables got turned in the wrong direction and I ended up needing care instead of being caregiver, I didn’t write, and I didn’t work. I didn’t do much of anything except sit in my sad, semi-silent bubble and try not to hurl on people. In short, the past few days have sucked.

On top of that, is a disorder I’ve almost cured myself of but not completely. I have a mild case of perfectionism. 🙂

I’m the person who misses a day of writing and decides that’s clear proof that I should never write again because I simply don’t have the discipline to stick with something like that. I’m also the person who is sometimes immobilized while I try to make whatever it is I’m about to say or do, be perfect. Luckily, I now have only a mild case. I used to have a near debilitating case of perfectionism and, sadly, like attracts like, so many of my friends and clients still do.

What I realized, in the course of my journey, is that perfectionism is nothing more than fancy, socially acceptable FEAR. We can talk about our perfectionist tendencies in social settings and be perfectly understood and commiserated with but being blatantly honest and saying something like, “I’m afraid people won’t like me” has people labeling us as an over-sharer and shying away. That’s almost always what perfectionism is about though, isn’t it?

We are either afraid we will somehow do something that will make people not like us or make fun of us OR we use it as an excuse to get out of something we really weren’t committed to doing anyway – like when we use a diet slip as an excuse to go on a month long binge.

There are three truths I have found about perfectionism of the first variety:

1. Unless you run with a socially immature crowd of people who have self-esteem so low that the only way they can lift themselves up is by putting other people down, nobody is going to make fun of you if something you do isn’t top notch. In fact, making mistakes and screwing up often works in your favor. Talking about how you failed the first few times you tried or about your difficulties on your journey to where you are makes you seem more human, makes you more likable, and, as a result, makes you more popular.
2. “People” are usually pretty self absorbed and you’d be surprised just how much they’re not thinking of you. So, half the time you stay stuck because you’re worried about what people will think and you’re probably nowhere near their train of thought. Your concerns are actually a reflection of what you think of yourself. Fix those and your confidence in whatever you’re doing will increase dramatically.
3. There is no such thing as standing still in life. You’re either moving forward or you’re slowly drifting backward. Progress and success do not happen as a result of never trying. Even if you worked on something until you did find it perfect, you would still end up tweaking it once it gets into the real world and you see how other people react to it. Be YOU – that’s your greatest gift. If you’re being 100% authentic, you’re as close to perfect as you will ever get.