Fear Is An Opportunity For Growth

This past weekend I had some new experiences regarding FEAR and INTUITION.

I promised my nephew I would bungee jump with him. I thought it would be an amazing moment for the two of us to share. A wonderful mixture of facing your fear, experiencing incredible adrenaline and that indescribable feeling of surrendering to the moment.

Now anyone who knows me is shocked I went bungee jumping the first time (as was I). I really had no desire to jump again however, this second time was about honouring a promise to someone I love very much and creating a memory we’ll never forget.

People said to me,

“You’ve done it before, what’s the big deal?”

The ‘big deal’ is that you are jumping off a bridge that is 160 feet high into mid air with fast, rushing water below. It doesn’t really matter that I’ve done it before. Standing on that bridge is really scary. Jumping is terrifying.

Last time I bungee jumped I went through an entire process of managing my anxiety, forcing myself to stay present and not allow fearful thoughts to affect NOW. I also jogged beforehand and listened to my quiet voice, my instinct which said,

“It’s ok Tina, you can bungee jump and you’ll be fine.”

I trusted that voice. I believed in that voice.

I didn’t have a quiet voice this time whispering calming messages, I didn’t feel my instinct and I didn’t go through any process. This time I just jumped.

Was I scared? Yes.

Did I stall before standing on the edge? Absolutely

Did I love it? YES!

I am proud of myself. Because I’m not second guessing myself anymore I was able to ‘just jump’. I’m growing and proving to mySELF with each thing I do that I am TRUST-WORTHY.  This is good stuff!

The other thing I did this weekend perhaps was a little more scary but in a totally different way. I took a leap of faith and went on my first date. I have been in relationships but I’ve never “dated” so I was very nervous.

This is what I learned:

I’m a really good catch!

The next man I enter in a relationship with is going to be one lucky guy. I understand for some people that may sound arrogant but understanding your value and worth and what you bring to the relationship and then sharing that with others is a gift.

Dating is going to be an interesting adventure for me. I know exactly what I want and definitely what I don’t want. I feel ready because I have done the work on my SELF. I am not entering a relationship with BAGGAGE but rather an UNDERSTANDING of what happened in the past and why. Someone said to me,

“Well Tina, you haven’t been very good at picking them out before…how would you know a good guy if you saw one?”

At first I was very hurt by this comment and agreed with it but then I realized I HAVE CHANGED.

In knowing who I am, what is important to me, and having a deep trust in mySELF, I know I will attract a different type of man. Nothing less will work for me this time. Yes my bar is set high, and it should be.

Anytime you have an opportunity to face fear, you have an opportunity to GROW.

I encourage you to EMBRACE that growth…it’s well worth the fear beforehand and it proves to yourSELF that you are smarter, stronger, wiser and more incredible than you ever imagined.

Give yourself that GIFT. Face a fear today. Learn. Grow. Live. LEAP!

With a smile,

Tina

What Is Self-Esteem…Really?

Self-esteem is defined as self respect, or the over-all evaluation or appraisal of one’s own self worth.

As children we learn self respect and we decide whether we are worthy through the actions of our parents. We are also influenced by our friends, kids at school, teachers and other family members.

We base our self value on whether we feel LOVED, SUPPORTED, VALIDATED and HEARD.

Through ACTIONS and WORDS our self-esteem is formed in a positive or negative way.

If it’s negative, we begin to create a voice inside our head that tells us we are ugly, stupid, fat or useless. We start hearing that voice instead of the voice of instinct and wisdom which we were born with.

When the negative voice gets louder it will:

  • Affect our choices, judgment, and decisions
  • Affect our appearance or how we carry ourselves 
  • Affect how we view ourselves and the rest of the world
  • Affect our emotional and mental well-being (anxiety, depression)

It seeps into our core and begins to CHANGE who we are. It becomes so familiar we don’t even know it’s there. We don’t realize we can change it.

BUT WE CAN CHANGE IT. We can reclaim ourSELF from that negative and warped perspective.

First you must recognize it.

Tired of the negative way I was living, I found my self-esteem through POSITIVE THOUGHTS, POSITIVE ACTIONS and surrounding mySELF with POSITIVE PEOPLE. I was determined to live a better life and made a commitment to understand my past so I could change my future.

I created GOALS for mySELF and I worked hard at those goals. Each time I accomplished a goal, I felt good about mySELF.

I speak kindly to mySELF. I have to consciously tell mySELF I’m smart, pretty and talented. It’s up to me to fill whatever void wasn’t filled when I was a kid. It’s up to me to determine which voice I will listen to: The one trying to sabotage and keep me down or the voice of instinct and love.

Self-esteem as an adult is ultimately a CHOICE.

You have to decide you are worth the fight.

You have to decide to make yourself a priority and to understand your past pain.

You have to take ACTION.

It won’t happen by doing the same things you’ve always done.

When you begin to EMBRACE who you are you begin to claim back your self-esteem.

  1. Surround yourself with POSITIVE people who will SUPPORT you in your CHANGE.
  2. Create GOALS with deadlines and complete those goals. It is in the completion of the goal that the self-esteem is found.
  3. Be AWARE of how you are talking to yourself. If it’s negative, mean or self-defeating, change your thoughts with a positive one. Consistency is key.

Remember: You are a valuable, worthy person because you were born. Your existence on this earth means you have meaning and purpose. Treat yourself with compassion and love and surround yourself with others that do the same.

I BELIEVE IN YOU, DO YOU?

With a smile,

Tina

Thank You

Two simple words often forgotten, misplaced or disregarded.

THANK YOU

Saying thank you does two things:

1. It shows another person that you APPRECIATE what they’ve done for you.

2. It acknowledges GRATITUDE, which is a quiet, but powerful energy.

I say thank you and express gratitude every single day.

Here are some examples:

  • Getting a prime parking spot! It’s great when that happens!
  • When someone lets me in front of them in traffic, I immediately wave and say, “Thank you” out loud creating positive energy and verbalizing gratitude.
  • Small acts of kindness that people extend towards me.
  • A beautiful day – I will write thank you in my journal for sunshine and blue sky.
  • I thank my dog all the time for her love and pure joy.
  • I thank my poor car which continues to run despite its looming expiry date.
  • The ocean – I regularly thank the ocean for taking my tears and sadness or for inspiration and wisdom. The ocean is my grounding place and I feel blessed and grateful to be around it.

Saying THANK YOU and acknowledging GRATITUDE are powerful ways to bring POSITIVE ENERGY into your life.

Even in the darkest hours, there are still reasons to say thank you: Fresh air, a slice of sweet watermelon, love of family or friends, a cat’s purr or a dog’s happy tail.

Despite hardships, challenges, pain or disappointments I remain thankful.

Through the challenges lie GIFTS.

I may not understand the gift in this moment but I know it is there.

Saying thank you, shifts your energy from being negative to positive. Seeing BLESSINGS instead of roadblocks. LOVE instead of fear. JOY instead of anger.

Saying thank you could be one of the most important words you say today.

TRY IT!

Observe yourself and when there is an opportunity to say thank you, say it, out loud. If this is a daily practice, you will notice change in your life. It’s a simple but effective way to create shifts and find POSITIVE ENERGY.

Now it’s my turn: Thank you. Thank you for reading this blog. If you choose to share it, thank you for sharing. Thank you for being open to change, growth and insight. Thank you for being YOU.

With a smile and gratitude,

Tina

PS.  I love hearing from you, please feel free to post a comment or contact me!

Embracing Change

“The key to change, is to let go of fear” ~ Rosanne Cash

I had an interesting talk with Jody the other day. Both of us are going through some pretty big changes in our life; which ultimately means we are being forced to deal with some big challenges.

Change is interesting. It’s inevitable and yet we seem to fear it. Right this very minute you are changing. Even as you sleep, your body is changing: your temperature drops, production of new cells increases, and your heart rate decreases.

Around you things are constantly changing: the clouds drift by, the sun rises and sets, and the wind blows.

Children grow up, relationships drift apart, new ones come together, we move away, we mourn what was…

IF WE DON’T EMBRACE CHANGE, WE WILL FEAR IT.

If we fear change we are not embracing the moment because we are worried about the future, the ‘what ifs’. This means a nice dinner with family or a beautiful sunset with a friend is compromised by thoughts controlled by fear and anxiety. We are no longer present.

Right now, the changes I have in my life are not something I wanted. I don’t want to spend my summer dealing with this issue. I have other things I want to focus on such as CELEBRATING my Ebook, TRAINING for my full marathon and ENJOYING my family who will be visiting in a couple weeks.

I am HAPPY; why does this have to happen NOW?

The challenge that is in front of me is OUT OF MY CONTROL, however, I have to embrace it because I cannot change it.

‘Out of my control,’ that’s a scary thought isn’t it?

I ultimately only have control over how I respond to this particular change and what kind of ENERGY I give it.

One option is I can spew out negativity, anger, frustration and tears…and I’m sure there will be days when I’ll feel that way. When that happens I will respect those feelings, process those feelings but I won’t sit in them too long. That’s not healthy.

The other option is I EMBRACE this change and realize that with each change and challenge in my life:

I learned something.

I gained something.

I became a better person with a greater understanding of what I wanted, who I was and what I was capable of doing.

I found inner strength and greater vision.

…and ultimately, I was always, “ok.”

This change in my life may be another challenge but it won’t defeat me…and really, it might be leading me to the ultimate vision I have for my life, so…

As the song says,

Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again!

With a smile,

Tina

The TRUTH About FEAR

I was writing in my journal, as I do each morning and I realized that when I do things, they get done. (Go figure!) When I don’t do something, fear is usually involved. Oh, it can disguise itself as procrastination, laziness or being ‘too busy’ but when you get right down to it; it’s FEAR.

So, whenever I have something I need to sort out, I go jogging. These are the thoughts that came to me while running 9K on Sunday. They are about fear and the danger of it:

Fear is a killer.

It kills your dreams.

It kills relationships.

It kills self confidence.

It kills your potential.

It kills possibility.

It kills love.

It feeds mediocrity.

It feeds judgment.

It feeds hate.

It feeds self loathing.

It feeds doubt.

It feeds insecurity.

It creates pain.

It creates depression and anxiety.

It creates loneliness.

It creates arguments.

It creates complacency.

It creates division.

HOW IS FEAR AFFECTING YOUR LIFE?

We are all afraid of something but is it stopping you from being the best person you can be? Is it stopping you from applying for a job you really want? Or going back to school because you think you aren’t smart enough? Is it stopping you from meeting new people? Or being totally honest with your lover? Perhaps it keeps you in a relationship when you know in your gut the relationship isn’t good for you. Or maybe it’s a fear your headaches are something more but you keep putting off the doctor’s appointment.

In my experience, fear is the absence of truth.

If I am disconnected with my instinct, my TRUTH, then I am fearful.

Your INSTINCT is your TRUTH. It’s the highest form of truth and you have the key!

This summer I will be facing many fears. Some of those fears are emotional and some are physical.

I have to run in my underwear on Saturday. Yup, I’m scared to do that but I also know it’ll be a great day with my dear friend Jody, for an awesome cause (The Underwear Affair) and I’m pretty sure we’ll be laughing the entire time.

I have promised my two nephews that I will bungee jump and zipline. I have bungee jumped once before but I am still terrified of heights.  Why jump again?  I will jump because I want the experience and the memories with my nephews. I do not want fear to dictate my memories.

Conquering your fear is a daily occurrence. It could be small, insignificant things, but once you pay attention to that small fearful voice, you can then empower yourself each time you walk through that fear. Fear does not have to dictate your life.

YOU DECIDE HOW TO LIVE YOUR LIFE.

LEARN TO LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCT AND YOU WILL CONNECT TO YOUR TRUTH.

Be brave, choose you.

With a smile,

Tina

PS.  If you want to read more on fear, check out this BLOG I wrote in September.