I know. Seriously, right? Who posts these kind of images of themselves on the inter web?
This was me last Thursday, holding a mouse in my hands. It’s amazing to think that what brought me here was a desire to change my life. And this is not an exaggeration. Holding a mouse is something I thought I would NEVER do. No chance, EVER. And yet… I did it. It might not seem like a big deal but it taught me that I can in fact do things that are really hard.
This year I have gone on a massive personal development journey replacing the hours I used to spend watching other people live their lives on TV with reading about, and studying how to live my own. I am loving the self-awareness I have gained and can see the profound impact this is going to have on my life in years to come.
How I ended up with a mouse in my hands came from my participation in Belief School, which I would recommend to anyone who is wanting to make change in their lives. This program requires me to take part in a number of practical exercises that work on building belief in myself and this week was a biggie. The focus was on that ugly F word- fear and discovering what is on the other side of fear which is courage.
It was important to me that I completed this task properly because I know too often I allow fear, worry and doubt to dominate my life. I can think of several times when I have allowed fear to steal my joy and my precious dreams and I won’t allow it anymore. Quite simply I don’t want to live a life that is controlled by fear.
Last week I made a list of three things I have wanted to do but haven’t because of fear, and decided to action them. One of those things was facing my fear of animals. Yup. The furry things that most people think of as family leave me with sweaty pits and mild panic attacks depending on the size of the animal. Generally the smaller they are and the more they can wriggle, the sweatier I get.
It is so difficult live a normal life while being afraid of animals because they are everywhere! Most of my friends have pet cats or dogs, some have pet mice and rats ( WHYYYY??), there are geese and ducks at parks where I regularly exercise and it seems that animal encounters are never far away.
Now I know that overcoming this fear isn’t necessarily going to move me towards my dreams and goals, but it was the act of identifying something that I was afraid to do, staring the fear straight in the eye and doing it anyway that will.
Never in my life would I have dreamt that I would share such a personal moment with the internet, yet, here I am posting a few pictures of my day at Butterfly creek where I screamed, cried, prayed, poked and eventually held a mouse. (Before you laugh just remember I can’t even bring myself to watch the cartoon Ratatouille!)
Facing your fears is scary and as you can see sometimes it’s just downright ugly. But if you want to know happiness and realize your dreams, then you HAVE to be willing to take a leap of faith despite being afraid. I am now really passionate about helping others see that they can truly face their fears, because heck, if I can do it, ANYONE CAN.
Anyone on earth.