• Sally Gutteridge

Face Your Fears!

Have you spent your entire life so far avoiding the insistent little voice that tells you to chase your real dreams? Do possible changes scare you half to death?  Whether the changes you want to make are a promotion in your current job, packing it all in and becoming a dog walker, or building skills by going back to study after twenty years, all it takes is courage. The fun and interesting thing is that when you exercise your own courage, it’s like a muscle that stretches and then strengthens, becoming fast and determined.

There’s a writer called Steve Pavlina; you can find him online and I suggest you do. Steve is a font of wisdom and everything that comes out of his mouth or by his fingertips is productive and conducive to positive change. In a blog post on courage, Steve writes:

“Courageous people are still afraid, but they don’t let the fear paralyze them. People who lack courage will give into fear more often than not, which actually has the long-term effect of strengthening the fear. When you avoid facing a fear and then feel relieved that you escaped it, this acts as a psychological reward that reinforces the mouse-like avoidance behaviour, making you even more likely to avoid facing the fear in the future. So, the more you avoid asking someone out on a date, the more paralyzed you’ll feel about taking such actions in the future. You are literally conditioning yourself to become timid and mouse-like.

Such avoidance behaviour causes stagnation in the long run. As you get older, you reinforce your fear reactions to the point where it’s hard to even imagine yourself standing up to your fears. You begin taking your fears for granted; they become real to you. You cocoon yourself into a life that insulates you from all these fears: a stable but unhappy marriage, a job that doesn’t require you to take risks, an income that keeps you comfortable. Then you rationalize your behaviour: You have a family to support and can’t take risks, you’re too old to shift careers.

But there’s something else going on behind the scenes, isn’t there? That tiny voice in the back of your mind recalls that this isn’t the kind of life you wanted to live. It wants more, much more.

So how do you respond to this ornery voice that won’t shut up? What do you do when confronted by that gut feeling that something just isn’t right in your life? What’s your favourite way to silence it? Maybe drown it out by watching TV, listening to the radio, working long hours at an unfulfilling job, or consuming alcohol and caffeine and sugar”

You can read the full post at the website, all work is in the public domain, he’s literally given away a huge amount of priceless content. as an act of courage of his own. He knows something you see and so do many other people. We know that it will all work out in the end. Fear is unfounded, worry is pointless premonition and life on earth is completely within our control, so if we want to do something – we just do it.

The above work is taken from The Dog Professional's Survival Guide which is available here. 

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©2020 by Sally Gutteridge.