Courage! Confidence! Contentment!
Last week I wrote about the Terrible Triplet Demons of Doom: Fear, Doubt and Anxiety. And I caught some major flack for the image I used to represent those triplet demons. (In case you missed it you can see that evil image here)
Now I gotta say, I love babies. I’m a Dad with two sons. Nobody thinks babies are cuter than me.
The thing that is so amazing about babies is their ability to express exactly what they’re feeling. They have no filters at all.
When they’re hungry they scream.
When they’re tired, they scream.
When they’re frustrated, they scream.
And so it is with fear, doubt and anxiety:
When there is risk or danger, fear screams.
When there is challenge or uncertainty, doubt screams.
And when all of these are present, then anxiety joins the chorus!
Just like babies, these feelings have no filters. They scream and shout and sound the alarm. Like babies. That is their job: to make us aware of our needs!
A baby’s survival depends on being fed. In a baby’s mind hunger equals danger. So she screams. As she grows and matures she learns to communicate her needs differently.
Eventually she gains the ability to care for herself. She learns to eat before she gets hungry. She is no longer controlled by the feeling of danger.
So it is with the Terrible Triplet Demons of Doom.
Fear can grow into courage.
Doubt can grow into confidence.
Anxiety can grow into contentment.
The fear doesn’t necessarily ever go away. I still get terrified when I speak in front of a large group. But now I have learned to listen to my fear, which is warning me to make sure that I am completely prepared, physically and emotionally before taking the stage.
When I listen to fear’s warning and prepare, I can go on with confidence, knowing that I have done all that can be done.
When doubt arises, I know that there is something that needs to be mastered, usually a new skill or ability.
Have you ever been asked to do something new at work? Perhaps you got a promotion or took a new position doing something you’d never done before. The night before, you’re overwhelmed with doubt. Perhaps you’re even up all night worrying about how you’ll do the next day.
Fast-forward a couple weeks. You’ve been doing this new gig every day. That new job is now old-hat. You’ve mastered the skills and abilities you needed to in order to excel in your new role. And along the way, doubt grew into confidence.
There have been periods in my life where anxiety was like a roommate that just wouldn’t move out. Like, I’m really done with this experience now. Time to move on. Okay?
Anxiety doesn’t always take the hint. Sometimes you have to address the fears and doubts first. When they have been quieted, then you can begin to turn anxiety into contentment.
Time in nature, meditation, prayer or just taking a day to yourself are all things that can help alleviate anxiety. Sometimes I’ll even combine ‘em all and go for a big hike in the woods and find a nice beautiful spot to sit and commune with nature as I pray and meditate.
What about you?
How do you turn fear into courage?
How do you turn doubt into confidence?
How do you turn anxiety into contentment?
Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.
To YOUR freedom!