It was the twins’ 10th birthday. Their parents had carefully selected their gifts and put them in the kids’ respective bedrooms when they were out. The excitement built as the kids returned from their outing and were told their gifts were in their rooms.
The little boy ran to his room, threw open the door, and saw a dazzling array of toys. There was a programmable toy dog, a Uniwheel skateboard, a Space Blaster shooting game, and a remote control dragon, for starters. His eyes were big with anticipation as he rummaged through the different toys. He rummaged through them again with a bit more intensity.
Then a blood-curdling scream came from his room. “I asked you for a Buzz Lightyear. And all I got were all these other stupid toys! I want a Buzz Lightyear! I never get what I want. You love sister more than you love me.” He was inconsolable.
In the meantime, the little girl threw open her bedroom door and squealed in delight — a room full of manure. She was heard saying, as she dug in, “With all this manure, there has to be a pony in here somewhere!”
The story you tell yourself is reflected in the life you live. The little boy repeatedly told himself he wasn’t loved, that his sister was the favorite, that he never gets what he wants — heck, he never gets anything cool. He only saw the negative and downside of things. The little girl, on the other hand, expected the best, saw the positive side of things, and was grateful for all she received.
Where do you see yourself in this vignette? Do you repeat stories to yourself that shine a light on the negative in situations, or even lies about the situations? Or, do you tell stories that shine a light on the positive in situations?
Dealing with fear is like dealing with any situation in your life. It’s all in the storytelling.
When a fear arises, is the conversation in your head “That scares me. I can’t do that.”? What you repeat to yourself over and over again becomes the truth — at least in your mind. If you keep telling yourself you “can’t do that” then you have eliminated that action or event from your life. With time, your life would be very limited and limiting. You might as well live in a cage. You are stuck.
Get Out Of Your Cage
What if, on the other hand, you said “That scares me, but I’m going to do that anyway.” or, “I’m going to try that even though it scares me.” What would happen? Your life would be rich with experiences and open to more opportunities. You would be free.
Life is meant to be lived to its fullest. When you lock yourself into a cage of fear, you block yourself from living a full, rich life. You aren’t giving as much as you could, and you aren’t receiving or experiencing as much as you could.
When you start to say “I can’t”, consider turning that story around and instead say “I will try.” It’s a better story that way — it’s a better way to live — with a better outcome.