The Balanced Life: Facing Fears

claire and me in central park

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

~Maria Robinson

How do you become a confident person?

I’m talking about the confidence of knowing that you have the ability to do anything you set your mind to, or at least the willingness to give it your best shot.

This kind of confidence is hard to find and tough to develop. You’ve got to force yourself to try new things where you know failing is a possible and even likely outcome. When you take on these endeavors enough, the possibility of failure doesn’t register like it used to. You get consumed in the project, enjoying the process and the journey so much that the outcome is so far off that it doesn’t strike you with fear like it once did.

I started thinking about different ways in which I’ve faced fears and I realized I’ve been doing it my whole life.

Kid's ready to take on anybody!

Kid's ready to take on anybody!

When you get older you put more importance on your fears; you begin to see how failing at this one thing can set you back or effect you negatively for a long time to come. You think your world’s going to end if you’re not successful. But, when you realize it, it’s a learning experience and if you’re passionate enough about something, you should face your fears with the knowledge that you’re going to try your very best to make this dream a reality.

Now, after such heavy words you’d think I’d tell a nice, deep, and meaningful story. Well, it’s meaningful to me, but it doesn’t have the same importance as say, quitting a job to start your own business. It’s just a nice little story

about one of my first memories of me facing my fears when I was a kid.

When I was 4 years old I had a friend who was 7, he was a big kid and he was a good guy too, but he had a friend who was a real piece of work and he used to pick on me any chance he got and it drove me nuts – keep in mind I was only 4.

One evening I went to my Dad and told him that this kid was picking on me, he said, “son, sometime you have to stand up for yourself, if he pushes you sometimes you just have to push back,” or something along those lines, but you get the idea.

Anyways, the next day must have been a weekend because my Dad was home mid-day. He was upstairs in either his room or the bathroom where he spends a lot of time sitting down and ‘reading’, and we – my friend, his friend the bully, and myself – were outside in the back yard of our town house.

We were all having a great time laughing and joking around but I must have all of a sudden remembered what my Dad had told me the night before, albeit at the wrong moment, because all of a sudden my Dad hears me calling out “Dad! Dad! Watch this I’m standing up for myself!” as I proceeded to give the big 7 year-old bully a punch to the gut.

The kid folded in two and ran home crying and I was left standing there all alone in the backyard with a great big smile on my face. My Dad came running down, “Chad, I’m proud that you stood up for yourself, but he wasn’t picking on you, you can’t just punch someone for no reason.”

I guess he just forgot that the mind of a 4 year-old, no matter how advanced, 🙂  it doesn’t quite think in the same way as an adult does.

In my mind, I saw a bully, and even though he was much bigger than me I had to listen to what my Dad had said the night before and face my fear head on or else this guy wouldn’t stop, I just happened to pick the wrong time to do it.

Needless to say, the bullying stopped and me and the guy began to get along great and became friends.

Even though I was only 4 years old, I think that was a lesson that was beneficial to learn at that young age. I wasn’t scared of too much when I was a kid, but it was good to get this out of the way; to stand my ground and fight back.

As you get older the bully may not be a person, it may be a decision you’re scared to make, a job you could take that would involve some risk or just keep on going in the same, safe workplace you currently work at. It could also be a decision to quit your job and start your own business, or to tell someone how you really feel about them.

Whatever that bully may be or whatever the challenge is that you face, I think it’s important to face it and go for it with everything you have because even in failure you end up growing and evolving. When you decide to face what you fear head on, more often than not you’ll find that if you are truly passionate about what you’ve decided to do, things will end up alright in the end.