I remember once standing in front of a beautiful lake in the middle of a forest in France. It was the beginning of summer, so the weather was warm, but not too hot. The water was not too warm, either. In fact, rather “fresh,” to put it diplomatically. All around, the sounds of nature were beautiful: the birds were singing, and it seemed to me that one in particular was mockingly looking at me:
“Chirp-chirp…aha, is the water too cold for you? Chiiiirp?”
“Why don’t you go inside? It is nice… Chiiirp!”
“Fresh… Nice… Chiiirp!”
“DARE YOU… Chirp-chirp!”
The fluttering little devil-bird was flying around, all over the places, making a point to taunt me…
Well, the water was a bit “fresh,” but that would not have stopped me. A quick dip in and out would be certainly a refreshing “awakening” in that mild, late summer morning – Like a “whole body” espresso coffee!
The reason I was hesitating there was of a different nature… The water looked so still, perfectly reflecting the embrace of the surrounding trees and the kiss of the soft blue sky above. In fact, the whole idyllic scene looked quite unreal, like straight out of a fairy-tale.
Isn’t this usually the moment when the creepy creature lurks off the deceivingly still water?
So, standing there in doubtful contemplation of the lake, I could not completely shake the nagging feeling that “something” might be lying in wait, concealed just beneath the darkish smooth and, of course, alluring surface of the water… And then, right as if on cue, the little fluttering bird pitched its highest mocking note at me:
Yeah, yeah, what are you looking at, shameless little one? My partner, who was standing right next to me the whole time, probably wondering what has been going on, looked at me with a puzzled expression. Which is when I decided it: let’s turn off the “scary movie” and turn on the “fun, action one” instead. Let’s jump into the water; t is such a nice day to have a swim!
(Loud splashing noises here… )
Does the pattern sound familiar to you? Doesn’t this happen to all of us, again and again?
- We all WISH we COULD do something,
- We KNOW that we CAN do it, but
- We cannot DECIDE, if we WILL do it.
So, instead of going along with our well-known “over-thinking routine,” and getting stuck in the process, we usually hesitate one moment too long, until the magic spell fades away…
We eventually find an always-fitting, suspiciously omnipresent “good Reason” not to do whatever it is that just a moment ago we were wishing to do. And that is usually it, the stopping point.
There, at the end, where the exclamation mark should have been.
But why not? Let’s do it!
(Whispers from the little “spark” right there, twinkling inside of us, for an impalpable instant…)
The simple truth is: It is always our own choice!
Looking back on our lives, our most defining moments have been most likely those when we consciously decided to challenge, instead of submissively bending to our fears.
Those where we often ended up rewarded by the most unforgettable memories.
So, why not choosing active awareness, instead of passive resignation, when witnessing the “scary movies” playing in our head?
Fears are often just disguised as omnipresent, wise-sounding reasons – You know. Those fun-sucking know-it-alls! Always be on the lookout for those misleading, only seemingly harmless, shady characters.
Awaken your own superhero/ine: Let her/him take care of those wimps!
The secret of happiness is freedom.
And the secret of freedom is courage.
And if you are still there wondering about the lurking creature in the lake – or even if you are not: There was no crocodile concealed under the alluringly smooth surface of the lake.
In fact, as revenge against my own disagreeable “scary thoughts” (yeah, let’s teach those a lesson!), I finally went ahead and swam across the entire length of the lake and back.
It was no Olympic feat, but to me it was a clear victory!
You have certainly felt those moments too, right? When you decide to act despite your fears – and prove them wrong in the end! Aren’t these the moments that have most defined who you are today?
When you rewrote your limits and grew stronger in the process…
More often than not, your inner superhero/ine gets rewarded with magical experiences that just a moment ago seemed out of reach to you.
True magic happens when your faith is bigger than your fears.
So, when we are scared of something, that is exactly when we have to go for it! Why?
Glad you asked!
- First of all, each time we collect a good experience, after facing our fear and proving it wrong, we tip the balance towards our freedom.
We wipe our fears away and grow stronger, more confident in the process.
- And because, given the two options, it is always better to face the fear, than to hide from it. Because, guess what?
It is either us or the fear. And the fear is not going anywhere!
In fact, the more we try to run from it, the more it grows in front of us, like a scary shadow, that becomes bigger, the further the light is standing…..
We shall recognise our challenges for what they are: opportunities to grow! Whenever you are tempted to give up, remember:
We cannot stop the waves, but we can learn how to surf.
Of course, like with surfing, this does not mean we shall be reckless! But our definition of what is reckless shall not be too broad either, encompassing everything that lies just outside our comfort zone. It is about finding the right balance and expanding our horizons.
Just to be clear:
- On the one hand, if somebody points a knife or a gun on you and wants your wallet, don’t go all karate-kid on them and just give the damn money… better than to end up in a hospital or worse, right? Afterwards, you can even think about it as a charitable act to somebody so desperate and resourceless that they needed to resort to robbery.
- On the other hand, if you catch yourself getting entangled in one of your recurring scary movies with commercials that pop up just before the best, most entertaining moments (those starring you as you put on superhero/ine’s vest and take a leap of faith, being it just jumping in a lake in the middle of a forest or else doing something you never did before!), then switch channels: From “scary movie” to your grand finale and go for it!
Get away from the drama and choose the adventure instead.
Go ahead, be your own superhero/ine! Dare it and rock your life!
Whenever you are tempted to give up, remember:
Fear challenging our faith is like the wind blowing on a flame.
Only Small lights can be blown off.
But big ones will be set on fire!
- DREAM BIG
- BE FEARLESS
- BE FREE