When I opened up Facebook this morning, the ability to look at past postings or memories popped up. Five years ago I went to Hawaii and snorkeled for the first time. It was an amazing experience and literally shattered the fear I had with swimming. This fear was one that stemmed from a childhood experience after being thrown into a river to be 'taught' how to swim. Needless to say that method didn't work with me but rather created an opposite effect; Terror! I love water but could never feel safe in it unless I had a flotation device, could touch the bottom or hold onto something. My efforts to overcome this fear began when I took kayak lessons. One aspect of the class required to pass a water recovery test, which meant I had to deliberately flip my kayak and eject myself out...under water. I cried the first time I had to do it. Then I did it over and over and was feeling elated...until the last time I did it, I caught my foot on the edge of the cock pit and panic set in. In that less than a millisecond all the previous successful ejections were wiped away. Fear returned. Eventually I sold my kayak. Fear had won once again.
“Don't be afraid of your fears. They're not there to scare you. They're there to let you know that something is worth it.” - C. JoyBell C.
Years later, not wanting to be victimized any longer by fear, I took up swim lessons. Everything was great except I could not put my face in and out of the water to breathe. I could go through the motions of putting my face in and out but I would not take a breath.
Then Hawaii happened. I jumped in the vast ocean, with rolling waves and FISH all around me and put my face in the water. Faced my fear head on again. At first I had choppy panicked breaths. Slowly I forced myself to trust. Then I relaxed. Breathe... Then an amazing thing happened. I was doing it! I was swimming with the fishys! I had no idea how freeing it would feel to be weightless and relaxed in the water. The sensation was one of absolute freedom and joy.
Upon returning home, I went to my gym and got in the pool and what I didn't expect was that when I started to swim, I actually had no fear to put my face in the water..then out of the water and BREATHE! Fear was gone!
Fear has a way of deceiving us to limit our potential. I never would have experienced the joy of swimming effortlessly had I not tried again to overcome what felt impossible after facing it the first time in the kayak. I wouldn't have seen the amazing sights under the surface of the sea with my own eyes had I not jumped in an took a second chance at facing my fears. Whether we are facing a big or small fear for the first or second time, or just feeling afraid to step out and live our dreams or launch out in our purpose, if we never try we will never know just how great we can be at life.
Unleash your potential. Your life is waiting for you.
Don't forget to pick up a copy of my book, "Confessions of a Feel Good Addict"
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