What Would You Do If You Were Not Afraid?
Sometime in the past week, I saw this question, “What would you do if you were not afraid?” And, it got me thinking. If I weren’t afraid, I would long to do a million things. Such as skydiving, raising sheep on a farm, raising chickens in my backyard, buying a tiny house on wheels, and spending time in different places around the United States, etc…
But I am afraid, and there is a pandemic going on, and I am over the age of wonderment and exploration…
Or am I? “Not so quick honey,” the wild part of my brain is sawing. “You can still have a ball.”
I can? I have not been for more than an hour from my house in six months and that was to go to a doctor.
“What are you talking about?” I ask the crazy daring part of my brain as I sneak into the kitchen for 10 more black olives and a few peanuts.
What about all your talents and strengths and potential you’ve been writing about for years? Did you forget about all your positive psychology teaching? Are you going to get in the dumps because you cannot jump out of a plane? You never really wanted to do that anyway. And you have tons of allergies, you would never have made it on a sheep farm. Also, you never worked out enough to have good arm muscles. Think you could lift a sheep to be sheared? Think again. Chickens? Really. All those feathers, and what about collecting the eggs in bad weather or having chicks that need to be under a heat light. Seems to me that is not the right you for you.
Okay, maybe you could go around in a tiny house… However, I think your style is more of a nice hotel room with a delicious breakfast. And seems to me you get carsick even with those crazy bands on your wrist and all those ginger capsules you swallow. Maybe you need to just give yourself a break.
So, how do we get out of our fear? This is what I would suggest. Just hear me out for a second. Let’s not let the dark sides of our brain win!
Some Suggestions to Try During This Hard Time
- This is a hard time for all of us. So, think of things you can do easily, and that doesn’t take a toll on your mood or your health. Nothing wrong with watching a great series on your TV or the computer.
- Comfort foods may lead to weight gain. I know this can sound a bit cruel, but I really love you. Try more vegetables, fruit, and some nuts. But not the whole jar of peanuts!
- Stay in touch with everyone you care about.
- Invite people to meet you in a park or on your porch if you trust they will not throw their arms around you and kiss you madly after they take their mask off.
- Write and call your grandchildren and share with them everything fun or fascinating from your past.
- Be kind to all. Everyone is stressed and many are really upset. This is where you can really show how smart you are. Think of a good thing to say to anyone you talk to. (Even me). I am really on your side.
- Give yourself permission to have fun in any realistic way where you will not break a leg or hurt someone else.
- Now you can make that list of your talents, strengths, and potential that really fit this time in your life.
- Now G0! Start doing lots of great things. I guarantee that you will not be afraid for more than a minute or two. And the best thing is, I get to come along for the ride.
How to Get Started on Your Plan
Here’s how to get started on your plan for feeling enriched and having that wonderful feeling that comes with ‘Enchanted Self’ moments.
Make a list of your talents, strengths, untapped potential, and even your coping skills that you have right now. Also a list of what you have enjoyed doing in the last year or so. Now the puzzle solution is up to you. You are free to build off the list that the daring part of my brain suggested to me. Actually, it’s a good list based on the thinking of many educators and psychologists. Or, just go for your own plan.
I would love to hear from you and what you do to enrich your life and that of others during this trying time. Let me know in the comments at the bottom of this page!
Sometimes friends and colleagues call me, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: ‘The Enchanted Self.’ That’s because as a psychologist in private practice for over 35 years, I’ve developed a form of positive psychology called The Enchanted Self. I’m not enchanted, but I do have many ways and ideas to help all of us feel better through all stages of life. These methods help us to recognize our potential, regardless of our age, to grab on to our talents and find again and again the emotional energies needed to be creative, resourceful, resilient, and to live joyfully.
In two minutes share with the ‘girl’ from my books, The Truth, Diary of a gutsy Tween and Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen, and my films, the ‘girl’ who has no name, as she is all of us. Share with her as she goes from despair to elation as we most, not only in today’s pandemic but as we travel through life. Enjoy seeing the joy she finds loving and connecting once more and bring it home to your and your grand-kids. Watch the film at: https://vimeo.com/
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