Success isn’t born overnight, usually. It is built from within you. It is built by stepping into your fear. Facing what scares the shit out of you. Looking it in the eye and seeing it for what its worth. Most times, it’s not worth 2 pennies. I can tell you this because I face my fears daily. I have been diagnosed with “OCD” or obsessive compulsive disorder. No, OCD does not mean that you are a super tidy person who just cleans better than everyone else and likes things neat all the time. It is a savage monster in your mind and it will try to take you over, leaving you feeling powerless and like a puppet to your own mind. Your OCD mind feeds you fear as a control tactic, as a way to scare you into doing exactly what it wants. And it will not let you rest until you obey its commands. And the fear carrot that it dangles in front of your face is a big PHAT juicy jumbo size fear carrot. That carrot knows all your fears, all your secrets, and what will get your anxiety from zero to one hundred in a millisecond. Countless times it taunts you with that carrot – saying if you just do this one thing (this one compulsive behaviour), you can eat the carrot and your fear will go away. LIES – OCD LIES. Not only will you NOT get to eat any of that fear carrot, but it will grow bigger and stronger and more carrot-y. As the carrot grows in force, so does your anxiety. And the meaner this fear carrot becomes. It will try to order you around. It will be your mean boss, telling you to waste time doing stuff that is taking out of the beauty of the present. Or the non-beauty of the present. Whatever is happening, carrot tries to distract you. Carrot wants you striving for it, running towards it on a never-ending treadmill with carrot reflections in your eyes. Carrot is not juicy, not tasty and never ever satisfies. One demand fulfilled for carrot only brings more demands. It builds and feeds on your fear.
BUT! WAIT! THERE IS A WAY OUT! It won’t be easy, but nothing worth it ever comes easy. At least no lessons really worth learning ever came easy. And sometimes life just gives you your challenges. It gives you lemons, or nasty carrots. And this is just what is in front of you, in your way…and you know what they say…”what’s in the way, IS the way”. And it may be your challenge for today, and tomorrow too, and quite possibly the next day. But if you play your cards right…it might not be your challenge the day after the next after the next. To gain, sometimes you have to take a leap.
So let me tell you how I’ve been working at that stupid carrot. I have been doing what is called “exposure therapy”, wherein you expose yourself to the anxiety you are trying to avoid feeling. The avoidance of your feelings usually comes by doing these “OCD compulsions”. Instead, I am choosing to hang out with the anxiety for a little bit. Choosing the scary path, making the uncomfortable or difficult choice. But the greatest reward of freedom is waiting for me on the other side.
Sometimes in order to take leaps we must first face our fears. Acknowledge them and give them our presence for a minute. When we do that, a funny thing happens – the fear starts to dissipate. And we feel a little bit of our power coming back. When we show that we are no longer afraid, our fear holds much less power over us. We become free.
By facing the fear or “the scary way” we actually begin to undo the fear. And we begin to build our bridge of power towards our success. Don’t get me wrong – it can feel absolutely terrifying to choose the “scary” way. However the power of our ability to choose makes it much less scary. It seems backwards – but it is the way to my healing and to my ultimate power. In being with my emotions and acknowledging them, I am no longer running from the fear that tries to run me. The fear of the fear begins to unwind itself. I am freed from the rule of the over-sized carrot. In freedom I find my truth, and truth is what I seek.
So I keep building my power bridge, and it’s going amazing places, I know it. I can feel it. The thing is, the bridge is my success. As long as I’m building it, I’m successful.
What are your fears that you face or haven’t yet faced – small ones, big ones? How are you building your bridge? What’s keeping you moving? How do you want to feel when you get to where you’re going? How do you want to feel along the way?