How to overcome your fears one step at a time

How to move forward when you feel like your steps don’t measure up

I’m writing this article for all the friends, family and folks out there that need to hear this. I need to hear this every day too! I love the picture I found for this image because it really captures what I want to say:

Big steps are all relative - just keep moving forward where you're at! Click To Tweet

We look at this adorable little doggie and go “Awwww…, isn’t it so cute!” We would never expect its teeny-weeny little legs to take the same sized steps as the Great Dane buddy he’s hiding under! Can we have that same attitude for ourselves though?

What’s a big step out of the comfort zone for you may be no big deal to someone else, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a big deal and should be measured the same! For instance, my husband Greg and I are very different when it comes to our comfort with heights. He has bungy-jumped twice without batting an eye, and once literally blew his jean shorts off jumping off a bridge! Good thing he had his legs closed and undies on underneath! Yikes!

Then we have me. I have been called ‘Chicken-Little’ in the past! (An old children’s story about a scaredy- chicken who thinks the sky is falling because an acorn fell on his head!)

I have recently had some breakthroughs in my fear of heights, but there was a time I couldn’t even go on the balcony of a high apartment, or jump from the medium diving board at a pool! For me to muster up the courage to jump from the small diving board is a big step even though it’s no big deal to Greg. For others with a fear of water, it’s a monumental step to just stick their foot in the pool!

We’re all different

We’re all in a different place in the various areas of our lives. Also, we are all carrying different loads. My eyes tear-up at the thought of what some of those dear to me are carrying. Some are bearing the load of grief from the loss of a loved-one, or a broken relationship. Others heave heavy scars of abuse and pain. Some pack the weight of physical or mental illness for themselves or others, while some drag shackles and chains of fear and regret.

We all have things that hold us back or weigh us down in one area or another. Many have more than they feel they can bear, and then life throws another log on the pile! I’m not saying this all to depress you! I’m really wanting to encourage you to stop measuring yourself against others who seem to be doing better than you.

First of all, we’re all different. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We all go through difficult life circumstances that affect us uniquely. Secondly, not everything is as it seems! You are judging from the outside but have no idea the inner world of someone else.

How can you grow or overcome your fears? One step at a time, no matter how your teeny-weeny little step measures up to the Great Danes in your life! You might be a Chihuahua in one area and a Labrador in another – just embrace your inner ‘puppy’ and just keep pressing forward! (PIC)

Perfectionism, performance and measuring up to invisible standards sucks!

When I say they suck, I mean it literally – they suck the life, momentum and joy right out of you! They will keep you stuck and never celebrating your small wins! Or, they’ll keep you from even taking the small steps that lead to big wins!

Have you ever sat and watched a plant grow? No?! I guess you didn’t do psychedelic drugs like I did in my youth…  Anyways, of course you aren’t going to do that unless you’re stoned, or have a time-lapse camera set up, because it happens so slowly – but it does happen a bit every day!

Your growth depends on you. Just keep the right growth mindset (Check out this great video on the difference between fixed mindsets and growth mindsets) and keep taking steps forward out of your current comfort zone, or mental and emotional war zone, and soon, what seemed impossible yesterday will become easier for you. (The brain actually works that way!)

Good news about my past fear of heights! Overcoming is possible!

Last year Greg and I went to Whistler, and before I left, I was telling a girl that he wanted to go on gondolas and all kinds of freaky high places I wasn’t comfortable with. She’s one of those crazy awesome girls that prays about everything, so she asked if she could pray for me to get rid of my fear of heights. I kind of laughed and said yes. What could it hurt?

I went on the gondola first, which was enclosed, but up high and all glass, then I walked across the bridge in this picture that many people said they would never do, then I went on an open chair-lift.

Do I believe God helped me? Yes. I also believe that I made the choice to take the steps and he worked with that. I started out with one scary thing, then moved to the next, then the next. Each one prepared me for the next higher place.

I was recently at Whistler again and saw an advertisement for their zipline that goes between two mountains. My brain didn’t say “No freakin’ way!” like it did last time! I told myself it would probably be fun, then I looked at their Treetop adventure course and thought, “I could start with that!”

You can do it – one step at a time!

I believe in you. I believe that you can take that next small, but scary step for you, and that tomorrow it won’t seem as scary anymore, so you can take another step a little higher. Before you know it, the garden of your life will be showing more branches, leaves and fruit. Sure, you’ll still have to weed and spray for pests, but you will be growing and that’s what counts!

Just don’t measure your plants with the next guy’s! Talk to yourself like you would talk to your little plants! Be kind. Be patient. Be loving. Plants, puppies, whatever analogy works for you – just remember that big steps are all relative!

Love ya! You’ve got this!

P.S. If this post made you laugh, cry or inspired you in any way, please share!

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