Your Fear: A Catapult or An Anchor?

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one.

Elbert Hubbard

Day 7 of the 30-Day NaBloPoMo Writing Challenge

Fear, it’s such a complex thing…so basic and primal yet so layered and manipulated by the individual head-trash we all carry around.

Fight or Flight?  Catapult or Anchor?

As a kid I had no problem leaping out of trees, off roofs or on a four-inch wide balance beam.  As I got older I transitioned into throwing myself off diving boards.  Now, in adult life I spend more time launching off invisible platforms.

It was a lot easier when the neighborhood kids yelled out their “double-dog-dares” because knowing you had an audience for your spectacular feat was important.  They were there to goad you into something brilliant or stupid, it didn’t much matter; to witness amazing success, or run like a bat-out-of-hell to go get your mom to let her know you were crumpled in a pile and might need medical assistance.  Some of my most epic wipeouts were legendary.  They brought me bragging rights and a golden glow around my head as a super-hero of sorts.

Super Heros are a recurring theme.

Super Heroes are a recurring theme.

Where’s my posse now?

Where are my crazy friends on the sidelines now, yelling, “Do it!  Do it! I double-dog dare you to just do it!” all the while holding a safety net or at least a life-line just in case I crash and burn?

As adults, epic wipeouts are embarrassing, sometimes career ending, definitely deflating.

In spring of 2011, I was hurled out of corporate America from a springboard I couldn’t at the time identify.  The plunge has been a steep one, but boy has it been fun.

A lot learned

A lot of growth

A lot of new people in my world

And more than just a few “Ugly Cries” (credit for this name and ritual goes to one of my BFF’s)…

Let’s talk for just a minute about those lovely “Ugly Cries” (you know the ones with the lower-lip sucking in and out, snot streaming out of your nose, and mascara running down your checks…lying on the floor either prostate or curled up into a ball is optional…well you get it).

I found that those are the manifestation of me doing battle with me; fighting myself for the right to get out of my own way to create the courageous change that I need, want and deserve.  I also found out that the screaming band of crazies yelling “Do it!  Do it! I double-dog dare you to just do it!” are still there.  Some have different faces and some I had to invite to come out to play but their hearts are still the same.

Cheering me on to succeed,

Throwing a life-line if I get stuck

And ready to call 911 if I crash

Fear is not something that ever goes away (thank goodness), but I chose to use it as a catapult rather than an anchor…. At least that’s the mantra I will keep chanting as I walk to the edge of each high dive.

What’s your best catapult or anchor moment?

© 2013 aPlungefromtheHighDive

All Rights Reserved

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2 responses to “Your Fear: A Catapult or An Anchor?

  1. I totally get that! I think the spirit is what overcomes the fear in the long run. That and the trust in ourselves that is developed through the mentors, coaches, family and support systems around us…

  2. Good question. I have a daughter who is scared of everything. EVERYTHING. But she also has an indomitable spirit and she faces those fears on a daily basis. She is so inspiring to me, because I do everything I can to ignore my fears. I guess when I really want something, I’m willing to face them…but I have to want it badly.

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