When you remember everything’s relative and you take action through your fear what happens is your seemingly worst nightmares become boring fears keeping you from taking creative risks, leaps of faith and other action that aligns with living fiercely alive. Ready to bust up your boring fears and obliterate your comfort zone? Here’s how.
I don’t know where my comfort zone is anymore. I mean, put me on a stage and ask me to sing Sweet Child ‘O Mine (that’s Guns and Roses for younger folk) then maybe bets are off. But asking for what I need? Speaking up when something doesn’t feel right? Going after a life that turns me on instead of one that just feels content? Getting through challenges that test my patience, resolve and mental capacity? Those things used to be where my comfort zone ended. Today those fears seem boring, and I don’t really know where my comfort zone ends anymore. Everything feels like an opportunity.
These past two weeks I lived through a couple worst nightmares; a root canal and lice. In fact those experiences are currently tied for what-would-you-rather-have experiences. I’ve been needle phobic since I was a kid. The dentist, when diagnosing my rather impressively large abscess a couple weeks ago, failed to mention a root canal wasn’t just one appointment. It was four appointments, each sporting three largest-needle-ever novocaine shots.
Needless to say I wasn’t excited to arrive at the endodontist and hear, “You’ll need to come back for two more appointments. And then you’ll have to go back to your normal dentist so they can do the filling for you.” What? You mean I’m not through after this? I thought as my palms began sweating and gripping the muted blue armrests of the torture chamber chair.
Mind you, I had Best Endodontist Ever. So in the end, three appointments later and more Advil than I can count, I was reasonably proud of myself. I even think my needle phobia is gone. Something to be said for desensitization. Worst fear #1 — Dying from the pain of a root canal — busted.
Shortly after that I began scratching my head. Fuck, I thought, I better not have lice. I’d been through lice torture a couple times before with my kids and labeled it “God’s cruelest joke to working mothers.” Now, seems as if another worst-ever nightmare was coming true. I had lice.
“You have lice?” the sweet soul on the other end of the phone asked. Picture me with my hair dripping in olive oil, lice comb in one hand and cell phone in the other. “Adults don’t get lice unless the kid has it,” she continued. The Potomac Lice Lady has saved us before. My daughter’s adventures at summer camp and the cheer gym were always risky when it came to this particular thing. “No, I’m pretty sure I just pulled a bug out of my hair,” I convinced her. “Okay, well I can see you tonight at seven. And you need to bring your daughter so I can check her too,” she said.
After calling my daughter, who was at the gym, in a panic and explaining, I sweated rush hour to grab her and arrive at the lice lady’s office on time. She fixed us up. But more than fixing us up, she put my crazy, stressed-out, panicky, fear-laden mind at ease. “Oh my gosh, one time I had this family come in and the five year old had a rare form of brain cancer, and the mom was so distraught and I was so sad they had to deal with lice on top of that!”
Yeah, this is nothing. This is cake. Lice? Bring it on. Root canal? Bring it on. Small — no, dinky, problems. I’ll take them.
Perspective. Worst fear #2 — the embarrassment of getting lice from your kid and it never going away and having to do laundry for the rest of your life — busted. Sooo busted. Nobody has brain cancer. Nobody died.
I’m also sick with a bad head cold this week, which means I had to cancel clients. Being sick used to be my worst nightmare; having to call in, letting my clients down, the missed income, the feeling of worthlessness, the irrational fear I’d never get better, thinking I’d have to visit the doctor, imagining the drugs he or she would give me that I didn’t believe in taking.
Oh, yeah, my inner critic ran wild and rampant when I’d get sick. This time, not so much. Root canal with a head cold? Easy peasy. My fears dissolved into a pile of this-isn’t-fear-worthy stuff. And I started thinking about everything I’ve wanted to do in my life. I realized nothing’s off the table. I realized my comfort zone was busting up. There’s not a whole lot that phases me anymore. Everything that happens is for me, not against me.
This week I realized I get to be responsible for the awareness, response and action I take in the face of any fear. I realized everything’s an opportunity. Everything! Even the worst stuff. Maybe even especially the worst stuff. These things create my warrior soul.
I’m aware of three huge tools I’m using on a daily basis to live inside of this mindset and create a life that feels exceptional, free of comfort zone limitations and boring paralyzing fears.
- I practice noticing how I feel in every situation and not adding any more mental baggage to the feeling. This frees me from doubt, fear and “what if” thoughts that pull me into a black hole when things are challenging. I remember perspective.
- I take action instead of over-thinking. I made the root canal appointment (and the second, third and fourth). I showed up. I breathed. I got through it. I called Lice Lady. I showed up. I got fixed up and through it. The bucket list item of speaking on stage that’s been burning a hole in me? I called a speaking coach and am creating a strategy to get me there. I do my homework. It doesn’t matter what boring fear you have — take action and you’ll be busting those fears into oblivion.
- Constantly remembering who I am, who I want to be in the world and where I’m headed. With purpose, determination, awareness and action — you can be unstoppable. Root canal? I’m a goddess who’s been through those big needles before and survived. I take care of myself. It matters. Lice? I’ve BTDT (been there done that). I survived. This is temporary. I can get help. Tiny little bugs aren’t going to stop me. The biggest dreams and vision I have for my life? I am a mighty force of inspiration for many. I will stay in integrity with that mission and purpose, no matter what — because it’s who I am. It serves my soul. It feels good.
What is fear-worthy? Maybe brain cancer. Maybe death of a child. Maybe natural disasters. Maybe other kinds of horrible tragedy. Maybe you’ve lived through one of these things? Maybe you’ve been wrecked by it. Maybe you’ve been strengthened by it. Maybe you’re defining yourself by it? And with awareness, you have a choice. Even the fear-worthy events of your life are there for you, not against you. Now, what fear seems boring that you’re ready to bust up?
Laura Di Franco, MPT is an author of spiritual erotica, an intuitive writing strategist, holistic physical therapist, poet and third degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do with over two decades of experience in healing. She teaches the transformational healing tools, and powerful strategy for the expression that’ll nourish your fiercely alive whole self. When you’re ready to begin an adventure to your soul and live the life you crave, she’s your sherpa. Want a workshop that’ll give you practical powerful tools you can use to heal yourself today? Find them at www.BraveHealer.com And more free inspiration on Laura’s Facebook page HERE. Grab your free copy of her new eBook: 7 Badass Habits of Next Level Living HERE!