Dancing with fear

I could probably write a book on things I’ve learnt from Seth Godin.

Seth taught me that maybe this fear is something I can work with instead of work for. As in, I can do everything I want to do and still have fear, instead letting the fear dictate what I do (which always ends up with me not doing what I actually want to do).

Learning to dance with fear is often uncomfortable (because it’s new) but it’s taught me valuable lessons about moving through life.

The best place to start is somewhere small because it’s like a form of immersion therapy. Imagine if you’re learning to swim, diving in at the deep end with no arm bands is probably a silly idea. You might end up panicking, swallowing water and needing to be rescued.

If that happens you’re unlikely to dust yourself off and try again. You almost died, it’s too dangerous, how could you even think it was a good idea. And your body will do it’s thing in letting you know it was dangerous and that you need to protect yourself. At that point even the shallow end will seem too risky.

But if you start at the shallow end and do the smallest uncomfortable thing that doesn’t feel too risky you might be willing to do something slightly bigger bit by bit overtime.

And then eventually diving in at the deep end won’t seem so risky. Because you’ve done everything else before that and it’s turned out okay. You’ll be at a point where you know what to do if you feel overwhelmed and even if you need a little help or support it you won’t feel like a failure.

Then once you’re out the deep end you’ll be okay to go back in again.

Turns out it wasn’t so scary after all.

The deep end: It’s not that deep

On how life imitates being in water when you can’t swim.

Sometimes in all the flurry and commotion of being thrown into the deep end, you forget to check how deep it actually is.

If you stop panicking and give yourself a moment to stop, to take a deep breath and to place your feel firmly on the ground you might realise that the deep end is not that deep after all.

But sometimes it is ‘that deep’ which is why learning to swim is so important and if you haven’t learnt how to swim yet, the best thing you can do for now is to stay afloat.