How To Face Your Fears

The last decade of my life taught me not to be afraid.

Well, at least it taught me not to be afraid for some of the time.

In December, I shared on my Facebook page about one particular moment that stands out to me over the past 10 years. I am sharing it again as a reminder to myself that I am brave, I know how to face fear and walk away stronger for it. (And so do you)

In November 2014, I was visiting Las Vegas (for what became an annual trip for awhile). The High Roller is the world’s largest Observation wheel and is 550 feet above Las Vegas, providing incredible views of the strip of Las Vegas and the surrounding valley area. Each cabin is mostly glass (with the exception of the floor) to provide limited distractions. At the time we were there, it was only six months old.

As our ride started, I immediately stood next to the glass to take in the nighttime view and walked around the cabin to get the different views. It was incredible to be that high in the air. It took me some time to realize one of the individuals I was with was sitting down, pale and holding on to one of the poles.

“What if something happened while we were up there?” they asked after the 30 minute trip was over. “All I could think of were worst case scenerios.”

“I’ve already been through the worse.” I immediately responded without thinking about the words (and if I was tempting fate). This was a year and half after the cancer deaths of my Mom and Nanny. A little over two years after failed infertility treatments and a miscarriage. I was working multiple contract jobs after leaving my full time job and didn’t know what my future looked like. However, at that moment, I felt that whatever happened to me, I had the ability to get through it.

I don’t want to say I was fearless, but at that moment I was simply tired of being afraid of what could happen next. I was not going to allow anxiety to take away the joy of the moment as I truly felt I had the ability to cope with what life handed me – even if that was getting stuck 550 feet above Las Vegas.

I wish I could say I kept that feeling consistently since then. There have been many times since then when I allowed the critical voice to paralyze me with anxiety. I became the one standing next to the pole holding on and looking pale.

In fact, that voice has held me back from making decisions many times as I thought about all of the (bad) things that could happen.

“You’ve made it through 100% of your bad days.” is a statement I remind my clients and myself of regularly. True, some of the days may have been horrible and painful. However, the fact they are in front of me is proof they have the ability to keep going.

What have you made it through in your life?

  • A difficult childhood
  • Learning disabilities
  • Addiction
  • Deaths of loved ones
  • Health issues
  • Divorce
  • Loss of job / Bankruptcy

Remind yourself of your bad days and that you have survived. Write these reminders down. Revisit those moments when you are facing fear and thinking you can not possible make it through

As for me, I walk into these days of 2020 remembering the days of caregiving for the two women I have loved the most, the nights I curled up crying in my guest room (as not to wake my husband) missing them and the life I had hoped to have as a family, and the overall feeling of wanting to run away (because fear makes us want to escape).

Those days have made me recognize that I can face my fears. After all, I have made it through 100% of my bad days – and so have you!

You are stronger than your fears.