Conquering Your Fears and Challenges…

After a week long trip to my hometown with my two teenage children and driving over 9 hours each way, I have finally realized what it is like to see myself, at that age, as they are today. I can only imagine what they must think when they see me doing things I haven’t done in years and thoroughly enjoying myself and acting like a kid! Some thoughts I imagine they were thinking or whispering to themselves, i.e. “My Gosh, my Mom is so weird, why is she doing that?’ or ” She is yelling and screaming on the roller coaster loader than I am!” or “Look at my Mom, she is in the front of the raft paddling through class 5 rapids, she is fantastic!” Or at least that is the impression I want to leave them with!
I had so much fun with my teens this past week, it was awesome! For them to have let me be as weird as I wanted to, yell as loud as I wanted to, scream out my lungs on the roller coasters and tackle the rapids in the New River Gorge, was the best possible time I could spend with them! Just hanging out and not being a Mom so much, except when needed, and letting my hair down about work and being a kid.
Sometimes in life we have had some experiences that have left us with a memory that not only challenges us, but keeps the gripes of fear riveted in our brains, that we cannot overcome. It is not until we let ourselves experience all the wonders that life has to offer and then some, to fully appreciate our youth. The young are fearless for a reason. The young are impressionable for a reason. We are shaped by our experiences. If we grow up being fearful, we won’t experience half the most pleasurable and rewarding moments in our lives. For this reason alone, I will no longer dreamily want to do something or experience something, I will just do it! Of course if it is within my power and financial wherewithal to do it.
Why is it, that our brains hold onto these memories and experiences, whether positive or negative? Well, from what I gather, and I am not a scientist or anything close to it, but, we are shaped by the moments and they make us who we are today. Character traits are an important part of us. We live our lives by what has been taught to us, what we have experienced, who has passed down from generation to generation the traditions and principles, and most importantly what our parents exemplify to us. For the latter, we are who are parents teach us by example and passed onto us. If they are negative or even negatively perceived lessons or examples, it is up to us as individuals, to change the pattern, or the experience or the lesson. I believe you should break that mold and become your own person. Shape your own destiny, take bits and pieces of the best part of the lessons taught, and move forward in a manner that fits YOU!
I had a bad experience on the river several several years ago. The raft and guide ran us right into a huge boulder, we got trapped on the rock with the raft having flipped up onto us, covering us. We ended up finally being able to release the raft and having to jump into the river, class 5 rapids, and floating down to an area of safety. Very harrowing experience for a 17-18 year old. Very eye opening and memorable experience. I was able to go down the river one more time after that, and then the fear set in from the experience. It took me another 20+ years, and many other kinds of moments and experiences to finally overcome that fear of the river. Not to say, one shouldn’t be fearful of the river, but very cautious and respectful of it.
The point I am trying to make in all of this is the fact that, no matter what, do not let anything or anyone hold you back from doing what you want to do or know is right. Our experiences shape us. Don’t let one bad experience gripe you and take hold forever. Conquer the fear, own it, and experience a new one. I had the best time with my kids and they didn’t even know about my bad experience with the river until after. I didn’t want to scare them. I didn’t want to impose my fear onto them and shape their decision to experience a rush one can grow to love, the thrill of adventure!
I can emphatically transpose this type of lesson or overcoming my fear/challenge to my business life. As an entrepreneur, for years I had dreamed of starting my own business. I put myself on the back burner for years, while I resoundingly took care of my family and children. I have very much been rewarded taking care of them, but my itch to start my business was there looming in the background. I helped run a business with my husband for 5 years, but it wasn’t until I struck out on my own, that my passion of being a business owner, had taken hold. Since my business beginning, Aug, 2, 2007, three years ago, I have experienced so many more positive and negative moments, lessons, and growth, that it has spurred me to incorporating the passion into my personal life more as well.. One should never hold themselves back from experiences. If you can swing it, “JUST DO IT” PERIOD.

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