There is something very powerful about acknowledging your feelings. In so many words this is what Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, shared with Oprah Winfrey during her interview on OWN. I believe in this philosophy more than ever now that I have begun this journey with my girls. I have spent most of my life running from FEAR. I felt like having FEAR or being scared was a sign of weakness, a lack of faith, and not acceptable. I had grown up listening to many sermons and motivational speeches that spoke to the necessity of having faith and pairing that faith with action. My approach to life was to not acknowledge FEAR in any way. I thought, just keep moving forward, like Nemo said, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming”. I didn’t realize that not acknowledging my FEAR, whether it was FEAR of failure or being alone, was creating an underlined feeling of anxiety, worry and stress. Ignoring my feelings was creating a new set of issues that long term would affect my physical self. While I do not suffer from chronic illness, I found myself being overly tired and lethargic, nauseated, and plain ole meh….
I had a revelation in the shower one evening, shortly after we launched the SASS-E Todds video. For some reason, every time I get in the shower, my brain begins to mentally vomit and I am overwhelmed with hundreds of thoughts. On this particular night I had one clear thought. “It is perfectly OK to have FEAR. "Stand in your FEAR, but don’t let it paralyze you.” FEAR is just your body’s way of issuing a warning. It’s just like when an alarm goes off in your car, or on some fancy gadget that heightens your awareness. The goal of these alarms is not to get you to stop everything you are doing or in the case of driving abruptly slam on your brakes. The goal is to focus your mind on a particular area or action.
So, what do you do when your brain hits the FEAR alarm? Acknowledge whatever it is that is signaling your fear response and trust your intuition to address it. Our mind and spirit connect to form our intuition. Too often we know the answer to a problem, or have identified an untapped talent or passion that needs to be pursued, but we press the snooze button on these things because of FEAR. Like pieces of a puzzle it took me a while to integrate my thoughts and reach this conclusion, but I got here. While this may not be a reality for all, it rings very true for me and many others out there. My prayer is that my learnings help to inspire others to pursue their talents and passions and provide a psychological roadmap on how to get there without giving up.
I would like to invite you to join me on this journey as I take my own advice and get behind my girls on this SASS-E adventure. Each day I experience a wide range of emotions. I often wonder did I make the right decision in pursuing this dream. Ultimately, I know the answer is yes, but I have to acknowledge the question. It’s like my Grandmother would always say, “If your motives are good, God will always bless your effort.” MAKE THE EFFORT.
Please feel free to comment or tell us your story. Sometimes it helps to know you are not alone in your thoughts, or hear different perspectives.