What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Okay, okay. I confess, I’m breaking my own sentiments in the last post. Because I do have a resolution for 2013.

But like the method I’m using to solve my worry problems, it’s less of a resolution than a question.

It’s always tricky, this opening a vein business, especially when I’m talking about my own life. I have this horrid tendency to look at my past actions as mistakes, blunders and fuck-ups. You know, the kind of self-pitying self-deprecation that isn’t honest but, if you’re accustomed to being in that mindset, looks like truth.

The main problem with the whole thing is that I have a tough time sticking up for myself – why bother, when I know that the reason the person I ought to be standing up to is having a go at me is my fault anyway?

And let’s face it, it’s always easier to not ask people to back off, take it easy, treat me with respect. Why invite more grief?

You might remember how back in June I wrote about the changes at both Fairfax and News Corp. through the lens of an article by Julien “In Over Your Head” Smith entitled, “The Simple Guide to Growing some @#$%ing Balls”.

I tried keeping that phrase in mind for a while, tried making decisions as though I had balls, but… there’s just something confrontational in that statement that doesn’t work with me.

Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert (don’t give me that I Never Would Have Guessed gasp), but the implied sense of aggression, entitlement, righteousness tied into the idea of “having balls” runs counter to the idea of living in happiness and confidence.

A couple of months ago, though, I was talking with a fellow at work about the closure of the print centre and the larger wave of change the closure was borne on. He suggested I try and track down a book called, Who Moved My Cheese? I did; there’s a copy in the Cairns Library circuit.

I gave it a read. It’s a small book, so I was through it quickly, but you know what? I’d recommend it to anyone. (Thanks heaps, Chris!)

And there’s a statement in it, a re-phrasing of Julien’s sentiment (although I think Who Moved My Cheese? was chronologically prior), that reads:

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

That, I think, is the thing I need to practice, especially remembering it when I need it the most (easier said than done in this overheated clime). I like its balance, because it implies acting out of neither fear nor anger (which is fear with an attitude).

It’s that middle ground of standing up for yourself between staying sat down and taking it and leaping to your feet and throwing a tantrum. Moving forward instead of staying stuck or kicking a fucking door down.

I was going to make a list of the stuff I’m curious, keen and stressing about in 2013 – I still might – but I think I can sum the whole lot up thus:

When I’m in a situation where fear has the better of me,

where I feel as though I dare not act for inviting more trouble

or the only action I can think to take is to let someone have a dose of my own rage

I will ask myself:

What would I do if I weren’t afraid?

Are you stressing?

What are you stressing about right now? What would you do about it if you weren’t afraid?


Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr. Spencer Johnson

In Over Your Head

Featured image by Kenn W. Kisersourced from morguefile.