One of the people I have found to be truly inspirational in what I have been going through is Kassandra Vaugh and her Stay Strong messages. She uses a lot of quotes and quite frankly, I love quotes. One of my favourite that she uses that is powerful is a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt:
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
This is SO true. It is probably one of the hardest things for me to have learned to do. I am still learning how to do it. I remember going through a similar phase in my life 15 years ago. I had ended my first marriage and I was barely holding on to the only thing I had left in the world, my children. I was sure that someone was going to take them away from me too. I was getting no financial support, had been evicted from my home, had a car accident where I was hit by a garbage truck which resulted in my car being totaled and me loosing my job as a school bus driver due to liability increase. I was at the bottom of the barrel.
Somehow I managed to scrape together enough change to bring my children to an amusement park for a day. They had had a rough time too and deserved to have a day of carefree fun. My daughter was nine years old at the time. There was a ride there that we had seen before and she was petrified of it. She had tried it once before and had cried so hard we had to have the ride stopped so she could get off. Basically it is a ride with hanging carts that you sit in that spins to fast that the carts end up flying at a 90 degree angle from the ground. This day, my daughter asked to go on this ride.
I was a bit skeptical to bring her on the ride, but willing to help her make that leap if that is what she really wanted to do. I asked her if she was sure that she wanted to give it a go and she looked me straight in the eye and said yes. We got on the ride and after the cart’s cage closed, she looked up at me and said:
You know Mom, sometimes in life you have to face your fears. It is just like me and this ride. I am afraid, but I am going to go for this ride anyway.
Wow! I was stunned. This was coming from the mouth of my little girl and she had hit the nail on the head. I was struck by the profoundness of her statement and drove it home in my own life. She never knew at that time how she helped me move on from that point forward, but my life has never been the same since. I have forgotten to apply that to my life from time to time and it always comes back to bite me when I do forget. But it is key.
If we do not face our fears, how can we ever grow? When we hold on to our fears, they become real and they manifest themselves into obstacles that we feel we cannot overcome. Fears are unreal and without substance. We need to face them and dismiss them. To conquer them give us strength and courage to face the next one that springs up in our path.
So today, think about what it is that fears you the most. What is it that is holding you back from living the life you want to lead? What monsters have you brought into being that need to be slayed so you can move on? Face them, tackle them and start living!
Listen to Kassandra’s podcast on the subject. There’s another great quote there as well. You Must Do the Thing You Cannot Do – Kassandra Vaugh