Written by Marci Shimoff
When was the last time you ran toward something you were afraid of? While it may sound like a really bad idea, it’s actually a way to your greatest joy.
A few months ago, I had the fabulous pleasure of getting to attend two live broadcasts of the hit show, Dancing with the Stars. What an experience! I love dancing and was thrilled to get to see the show LIVE.
I was in the audience when The View co-host, Sherri Shepherd, was voted off the show. I LOVE Sherri — not only do I think she’s a great dancer (and was voted off way too soon), but she was a delight to watch. Her joy, exuberance, and love of dance was so contagious— it was clear that she absolutely loved being there dancing.
Her tearful goodbye message was one of the most inspiring talks I’ve heard on television.
Coming straight from her heart, she said, “Thank you so much for letting me live a dream I’ve always had. AND I want to say to everyone: That thing that scares you the most, that makes you say I don’t know if I can do it — I’m scared. RUN toward it, because it’s so amazing on the other side.”
That, I think, is a wonderful definition of courage.
What dreams do you hold close to your heart but find every way to put off pursuing because you’re afraid? Where do you need to find more courage in your life?
During my visit to the show I stood next to one of the contestants—the legendary Gladys Knight–and she seemed her every bit as nervous as I’ve often felt before a major speech. It doesn’t matter who you are—we all have fear.
Yet, when I think of some of the things that bring me the most joy and satisfaction today, I realize they started out feeling really scary:
–Years ago I was afraid of speaking in public and sharing my thoughts and voice. Now I make my living as speaker….the Universe has such a sense of humor. I still get a bit nervous sometimes before a speech, but I’ve learned to turn that into excitement.
–Before I began writing books, I was terrified of writing and having my words judged—in spite of that, I’ve run (at times, slowly and reluctantly) towards that grand-daddy fear, and 15 million books later, I guess you could say it’s turned out pretty well.
With that in mind, here are some ways you can embrace and run toward your fear:
1. Take baby steps toward your fear. You don’t need jump out of the airplane on day 1– just go try on a parachute; you don’t need to write the bestseller this weekend–just take some time to make an
2. Learn tools or processes that can help you dissolve your fear. There are many “shortcuts” out there techniques that are effective at dissipating the fear on a deep level. One of my favorites is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), also known as Tapping—see page 138 of Love for No Reason for the description of how to do it.
3. Make a commitment to yourself to keep running toward that fear until you’re on the other side. And find a buddy to help support you. Tell your buddy what your commitment is and ask him or her to stick by you through your process.
Marci would love to hear what fear you decide to run toward and to be a support to you along the way. Please share your commitment with Marci on her Facebook page here.
Get ready to be amazed by what’s on the other side.
Marci Shimoff is the woman’s face of the biggest self-help book phenomenon in history, Chicken Soup for the Soul. Her six bestselling titles in the series, including Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul, have met with stunning success, selling more than 13 million copies worldwide in 33 languages and have been on the New York Times bestseller list for a total of 108 weeks. Marci is one of the bestselling female nonfiction authors of all time. In addition, she’s a featured teacher in the international film and book phenomenon, The Secret. Her new book, HAPPY FOR NO REASON: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out, offers a revolutionary approach to experiencing deep and lasting happiness. Website: www.happyfornoreason.com