Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Eliminate Your Fears

Remember when you were a little kid, and whenever you were afraid of anything you had a superhero to bail you out? Who can forget “There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here!” What about if you had a bad dream? All you had to do was run into your parents’ room, and they would make everything scary go away.

Remember how long the days used to be when you were a kid? Remember how long summer vacation lasted? Do you remember how slowly the school year went? First grade took forever. High school felt like an eternity. It seemed like every year was as long as a dog year. Things are so easy in grammar school. You go to school. You come home. Then you do crazy things with your friends.

Did you ever take a box you got from the supermarket, draw some headlights and a license plate on it, and then go for the ride of your life in it down the stairs? Sometimes you’d make it all the way down, while other times you would land on your head.

I remember as a kid I’d go sledding (or sleigh riding as we called it) on those plastic blue sleds down this huge hill. So one day I went sleigh riding with my brother and sister behind my house on Winged Foot Golf Course in Scarsdale. At the time, my brother was probably six years old, my sister was eight and I was thirteen. We got to the top of the hill, got on our plastic sleds, and then we all started down the hill.

Due to the icy conditions, we were all headed in different directions. I headed in the direction I was supposed to go because I weighed the most. My sister did continuous 360’s down the hill, while my brother headed directly for the brook. My sister ended up about 25 yards from me, dizzy and confused. My brother, meanwhile, was nowhere in sight. So I headed to the brook, where I found my brother about 12 feet from his sled laying face down on the ice.

I thought I had killed my brother . . . and boy was my Mother going to be mad at me for that!

Forgetting to take out the garbage was one thing, but killing your brother on a February day can’t be good. I kept screaming his name “Little guy! Little guy!!” Finally he lifted one side of his cheek off the ice. It was quite red. As I pulled him up, he looked at me with tears running down his cheeks and he said to me “Can we do that again?”

What happened to that fearless little kid in all of us?

I learned a long, long time ago, though, that the number one excuse behind which people hide is fear. What this is about is the excuses you make to stay hidden behind your fears. Time is ticking by. The days are shorter. The months are shorter. You don’t have long summer vacations anymore. We’re full of obligations. It seems like years go by in months and all we’re doing is getting older . . . but sometimes not getting wiser.

As kids, we are fearless. As adults, we live behind our fears. The difference is that as adults, we have the means to work with people to help us eliminate our fears. It’s funny. Have you seen the movie Defending Your life, where the lead character played by Albert Brooks finally realizes his life lesson was that he was cheap with himself? What’s the point of making money unless you can invest it in the most important thing – yourself? We spend money on clothes, expensive vacation and cars – all external things. So you can afford to go to the Bahamas for a week, but when you get there and see a woman (or man) to whom you’re attracted you are still the same fearful person you are at home.

Nothing will change unless you start changing things about yourself. Fear is the number one reason and the number one excuse why people don’t try something new.

Think back in your life. What was your sleigh riding moment as a kid? How did you feel being totally fearless?

Now think about your current life; your weight loss journey and your desire to wirte and become published and what you’re not accomplishing. Think about your fears and excuses. How would you rather be?

Would you rather be an adult having fun like a fearless kid, or would you rather hide behind your fears and not connect with the people you most desire. When was the last time you did something fearless without expecting a result?

The only thing preventing men and women from getting together are the fears that each of them have. It’s time you eliminate those fears and self-doubts, and live like the fearless five year-old who has gusto for life and embraces life as a new journey.

That’s how I live my life every day. If you want to go sleigh riding with me, I’m here.

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