Beware of the Universal Law of Attraction

I personally believe in the unlimited possibilities of Universal Law of Attraction. Through my research I have discovered much of our greatest inventors in history used this law to their benefit. How did they do that?

It is my understanding that utilizing this Universal Law of Attraction to the best of its ability involves the following process:

(1) Thought/Idea
(2) Dream
(3) Goals
(4) Affirmations
(5) Visualize
(6) Plan
(7) Action

I believe the first step to create anything into your life begins with a mere thought or idea. If you like the idea enough you may decide to own it as your dream. A dream is just a dream without creating some goals to make it a reality. While not a necessity, creating affirmations and visualizing are powerful tools to aid in the achievement of your dream. Pulling all of this together into a plan helps you take the action required to make your dream a reality.

However, reader beware! Much of what is being taught today on this subject is unrealistic. The true dangers of this Universal Law lies in the interpretation. While you can easily manifest things into your life, the question remains, “Is it sustainable?”

Now lets say your belief in the Universal Law of Attraction ignites within you a dream to live in a spacious, beautiful home full of pleasant furnishings, complete with all the latest appliances. You dream it, you believe it and you decide you will go for it. You then manage to finance a mortgage complete with new household furnishings and appliances. In fact, during the process you also decide to reach for the stars and finance a new vehicle. Life looks great, you have it all. Or do you? What happens after you complete the financing? You are left with huge debts to repay. Not only could this cause a great deal of strain on your income but it can easily become unsustainable if life throws lemons your way. No one plans on unemployment, illness, divorce, death or many other unfortunate situations.

I suggest keeping yourself grounded while applying the Universal Law of Attraction to chase your dream. Please understand, I am in no way suggesting you not follow your dreams. I am an achiever believing you can achieve anything you dream. I know this to be true because I have created a new life for myself against all odds.

What I am suggesting is to take one step at a time. If you have a dream to shoot for the stars, go for it. Just don’t overshoot in a rush to get there. The pursuit of all dreams requires patience, persistence, determination, faith and courage.

The dream of living in a spacious, beautiful home full of pleasant furnishings, complete with all the latest appliances is attainable to anyone willing to pay the price. Life is all about choices. Choosing the easy route by financing your entire dream life can cause it to come crashing down around you when you least expect it. Defining clear goals, while taking all necessary action towards your dream, may take some time to achieve your dream but achieve you will. Once achieved it can be yours for the keeping, not for the creditors to repossess.

One step at a time.
One day at a time.
Believe and you can achieve!

Positive Affirmations Help Create a New Life

Affirmations can be used to create a continuous flow of positive thoughts into your subconscious mind, thereby, helping you create a new life. From the time you wake in the morning your mind is on constant chatter with thousands of thoughts, all day long. Did you know your thoughts are on automatic pilot? You might be interested to learn most of these automatic thoughts are totally ignored by your conscious mind.

These thoughts, which I prefer to label as your “Chatterbox”, are most likely negative in nature, compliments of your childhood experiences. The negative Chatterbox was birthed through well-meaning adults trying to conform you into the little person they wanted you to become. Unfortunately, most baby boomers were programmed through unhealthy tactics such as shaming, belittling, anger and/or corporal punishment. In short, we learned to live in our own private world that involved beating up on ourselves, using thousands of negative thoughts per day.

To make matters worse, it is said, “What we think about we bring about.” Look around your life right now. What you see is what you have created through the power of thought. You might like what you see ~ you might not. If your life is not what you want, if there is room for improvement, if you want to create change, please read on…

You possess the power to reprogram your negative Chatterbox making it your best possible ally. One such tool for change is creating positive affirmations. First, you have to figure out what it is you do want. What is the change you want to see in your life? Perhaps you want more money to get out of debt. Would you like to get a better job? Maybe you are unemployed wishing for a job, period. Does your heart yearn for a loving partner to share your life with? To improve your life you must at least have a good idea of what you want to change. Take some time to create a wish list for your life.

With your “wish list” in hand, you can now begin to create some affirmations. Let’s say you want more money to get out debt. Your first thought for an affirmation might be, “I want to get out of debt.” Let’s review this statement:

– “I want” will keep your life in the state of wanting
– “get out of debt” will keep your mind focused on debt, thereby, not creating a life free of debt

One possible positive affirmation for wanting more money to get out of debt would be, “I am so happy and grateful to be living a life full of financial abundance.” Let’s review this statement:

– “I am” a strong statement for the most powerful self to emerge
– “so happy” will attach a positive emotion
– “and grateful” expressing your gratitude is important
– “to be living” states the affirmation in present tense (as if you are living it NOW)
– “a life full of financial abundance” states the goal you want to achieve

Affirmations are of no use unless you use them as a daily tool as follows:

1. Write/type the affirmations on paper or index cards
2. Post them around your home, in your vehicle and/or around your work space
3. Speak your affirmations (aloud if possible) every morning upon waking
4. Take your time, concentrate on the words of the affirmations
5. Feel the emotion of having already achieved your affirmations
6. It is useful to look in the mirror while speaking your affirmations
7. Smile and feel good about the affirmations
8. Speak your affirmations (aloud if possible) every night before going to sleep
9. During the day, replace your negative thoughts with one of your positive affirmations
10. Be patient, it takes time ~ repeat, repeat, repeat your affirmations day in and day out

Taking the time to create, and properly use, positive affirmations can literally change your life!

Dreaming One Step at a Time

I truly believe a life without dreams is a life without hope. Hope for a little something in your life, or hope for an exciting future all begins with an idea. Ideas and dreams require you to take action if it is to become a reality in your life.

The question is, “How do you do that?”

Lets begin by putting your dream in writing. Write it down on a piece of paper. For example, “My dream is to attend University next year.”

The second step is take one small step towards that goal. What can you do right now to make your dream a reality? Now, if you do nothing towards reaching that dream, what are the chances of it becoming a reality? The answer is simple, “You have no chance of making any dream a reality without taking some sort of action towards it.” Dreaming without action is futile. Dreaming without action leaves you with just a dream.

However, dreaming partnered with action can lead you success. Your choice, your way!

Most people don’t even begin to chase their dream because of pessimistic attitude. Learn to become an optimist. Don’t let your end goal overwhelm you with impossibility. For instance, perhaps you already perceive a hurdle of not having enough money to attend University. At this early point in your goals try to ignore that.

For a moment try to imagine the great inventors of our history looking at the end goal and becoming overwhelmed. Where would we be today if Thomas Edison took his ingenious goal of inventing electricity and let it overwhelm him with impossibilities?

Take on an optimistic attitude. Take one baby step at a time. Baby steps lead to steps, steps lead to strides and strides lead to goal accomplishment. The question to ask yourself is, “What is one small step I can take right here, right now, to help make my dream a reality?” It is important to take that first step because it will lead you to the next step, then to the next step, then to the next step until it is accomplished.

Start where you are right now. Just begin and each step will lead you closer to your dream goal. Of course you might encounter obstacles. You can conquer each obstacle placed in your path with enough determination to reach your dream goal.

The truth is, in the end it all boils down to just one thing, “How much do you want to achieve your dream goal?”

Take that first step to move from dreamer to achiever today…

…make a commitment to your dream…
…be determined to achieve that dream…
…greet each obstacle with faith and keep moving forward…
…refuse to be defeated…
…and NEVER, ever give up!

What are you willing to do to accomplish your dream goal?

Here is a summary formula to attain your dream goal(s):

#1 – Your DREAM begins with an idea

#2 – Set your first GOAL to begin right now

#3 – Take one STEP at a time

#4 – ACCOMPLISH your final dream goal

Your Chatterbox

Are you familiar with your inner voice? That voice in your head I have nicknamed the Chatterbox. If you have an unhealthy self-esteem this Chatterbox can be a vicious bully causing devastating effects in your life.

Let’s take a bit of time to ask yourself a few questions:

Do you blame yourself for things that go wrong?
Do you judge yourself based on what others are thinking of you?
Do you think others do not like you?
Do you think others are laughing at you?
Do you feel others are always judging you?
Do you beat yourself when you make a mistake?
Do you keep a memorized list of your failures?
Do you often call yourself names? (ugly, fat, stupid, weak, incompetent, etc.)
Do you always strive to be best?
Do you feel like a failure if you can’t be the best?
Do you exaggerate your weaknesses?
Do you often want to hide and disappear at social gatherings?
Do you believe your Chatterbox speaks the truth to you?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, your Chatterbox can be compared to a psychological assassin attacking you at every angle.

How do I know this? Sadly, in the days of my youth, paranoia consumed my every waking moment. I believed people were always looking to find fault with me so they could laugh, judge and make fun of me. My stress level was on a constant high causing me to remain in a continuous state of alert. I was always on guard about what I said or did, everyday, in every way. To make matters worse my phobia was often taken out of context. Many people would read me as being a snob or conceited; how far from the truth they were!

A negative Chatterbox can creates within you many coping skills. Here are some examples (not a complete list of possible coping skills):

(1) Perfectionism
As long as you are striving for the impossible, you are not feeling inadequate or hopeless.

(2) Fear of Failure
Creates within you a fear of change, thereby, keeping you in your comfort zone.

(3) Fear of Rejection
Self criticism helps desensitize you to what others may think of you.

(4) Anger
Turned within, instead of outwards, temporarily decreases your anxiety level by creating undeserved guilt.

The very first step to improving your Chatterbox is simply becoming aware of it’s existence. Start today to actively listen to the negative chatter. The next step is to begin challenging that chatter with positive, reinforcing statements. You must get assertive and sometimes aggressive with yourself.

Unfortunately, challenging your negative Chatterbox can create within you an internal war. Being at war with yourself can be a very disturbing. However, forewarned is forearmed. Any personal growth I experienced throughout my life has been challenging and well worth the effort.

Most of us do not like change, especially when your Chatterbox begins to work overtime warning you to remain in your comfort zone. To conquer your Chatterbox you must want to change for you, not for anyone else. It can become an exercise of courage to look in the mirror allowing yourself to see the truth of what you do NOT like, but more importantly, what you DO like.

Your Chatterbox has spent an entire lifetime filling your head with all your flaws. The truth is, we all have flaws, learn to accept that. The good news is, you have many other good to great personality traits, and talents, just waiting to be discovered. Take the time to discover the positive you, using it as a tool to gain confidence in yourself. This exercise alone will begin to increase your self-worth one step at a time.

Discovering Blackmail

Blackmail may be viewed as harsh. Perhaps the term “manipulation” is a gentler or kinder word to describe abusive type personalities that tend to manage (control), or alter, the beliefs of their target. Some would argue the similarities, or the differences, but that is not the issue of this article.

Blackmail is used to gain power and control over a target. It usually includes, but is not limited to, the practice of bullying. They will stop at nothing to get their own way. They have but one agenda, “WIN at all costs”.

Targets of blackmail will go against their instincts, continually question their own thoughts, wonder if they are crazy, become easily confused during a confrontation and eventually, over time, become programmed to cave to the demands of their abuser. They become so fearful of the consequences hovering on the horizon, they will do anything to stop the eruption of aggressor. You might wonder how one can gain such control over another.

Getting stuck in this vicious cycle is quite confusing, that is, until you discover the secrets.

(1) The blackmailer demands something from the target
(2) The target might refuse
(3) The blackmailer begins to play “the game”
(4) The blackmailer cunningly twists reality, placing blame on the target
(5) The target accepts the blame and begins to feel guilty
(6) The blackmailer side steps responsibility
(7) The target begins to accept responsibility
(8) The blackmailer threatens the target with consequences
(9) The target is now burdened with fear on top of blame, guilt and responsibility
(10) The target caves, giving into the demands
(11) The blackmailer wins the battle
(12) The target didn’t even know there was a battle
(13) The blackmailer files this experience in his/her back pocket
(14) The blackmailer repeats a similar cycle when necessary
(15) The target soon becomes programmed to respond through fear

It is difficult to break free from this vicious cycle. Becoming aware of the agenda is the first step into healing.

When I first discovered this cycle, I often wondered why.

Why would anyone want to act this way?
Why would someone want to use such power over another?
Why would anyone want to inflict such pain?
The answer does not seem to be simple. I am not a professional psychologist or psychiatrist. However, from my research, I discovered the person inflicting the pain is often not consciously aware of their actions.

It is usually a learned behaviour from childhood.

They too, had terrible pain inflicted upon them
They too, felt the fear of such control
They too, were bullied into compliance
In short, fear is fueling their actions and controlling their life.

They are consumed with fear.

Fear of pain – someone might hurt them
Fear of lack – someone might take from them
Fear of security – their needs might not be met
Fear, fear, fear!
For me, I had a desire to heal from the destruction. Part of the healing included releasing the pain, forgiving the abuser and finally looking at him in a new light.

“Compassion for the child that suffered those childhood experiences. Perhaps it was pain that created this man.”

Happiness Sometimes Requires Change

After leaving my now ex-husband the sudden realization hit me that he would have happily remained in our marriage regardless of the unhappiness we were living. Why? To resist change!

In my opinion, it is not enough to love someone, you must be happy with that relationship. Putting family aside, the one most important thing in my life is to be happy. I believe that happiness comes from within. It is not measured through your finances, from your possessions, from your friends, from your partner or from anything in your world. It is a state of mind. It can be grown from your thoughts of worthiness, gratefulness, harmony and joy.

It took a great deal of courage for me to look at my marriage many years ago and admit it was dysfunctional. For too many years the truth was cloaked. This eventually took a toll on my health and I was forced to face the issue. Life has a way of doing that.

My healing began the day I dared to step out of my comfort zone. Yes, it was scary. Yes, it was extremely uncomfortable. It was at a time in my life where the pain had become greater than the gain. Change became the name of the game lest I fall into a permanent victim mode mentality.

Reaching out and dedicating my life to personal growth was the beginning of the end of my marriage. Did I know that then? No, absolutely not! I was searching for happiness and had no idea what the future held. Setting my sights on healing I took one baby step at a time. It took years for me to discover the ugly truth.

I had a goal to become whole. I wanted to be happy. It is said, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” Doors were opening for me with my eagerness to learn. I soon discovered that my happiness must be partnered with love and harmony. How can one find happiness from within when they are surrounded in negativity? One day at a time, my healing felt like the sun rise breaking through the fog. When the fog finally lifted, the cold, hard truth of my partner was shocking. In my opinion, he was abusive using power, manipulation and control against me.

With help, I began to see I deserved better. The more I healed, the more I disliked my life. Eventually I totally and completely fell out of love with my partner. Taking inventory of my options, it became obvious the only way out was change and it did not come easy! In my opinion, change requires you to think out of the box.

The first step to change is deciding what you want. What is it you want? Everyone wants to be happy. The next question is, “How will you get there?” The answer will likely always boil down to one thing, “CHANGE!”

The next step is facing your fears. Eleanor Roosevelt said it well, “We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.”

Change is not easy. You must be willing to let go of the old…it’s the only way to allow the new to enter!

Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

COMFORT ZONE… When you find yourself stuck in your current reality by believing your internal self-critic chatter. Chatter that fuels your self-doubt, floods you with undeserved guilt and literally sucks the life out of you by making you believe all the negative chatter is real.

Do you want to break out of this self-imposed prison? Read on…

Where did this self-critic come from? Most of it birthed throughout your childhood years. Did you know your life experiences actually define who you are and who you become? That is, until, you realize you can change your current reality by changing your belief system.

The question then becomes, “How can you change your beliefs?”

(1) Become aware of your self-critic.
(2) Challenge that critic.

How can you challenge your critic? Begin by attentively listening to it. When you do this you will likely be shocked! Where does all that negative chatter come from? The truth is it was created by well-meaning mentors over the course of your life.

…People in your life that cared about you.
…People that believed you would be a better person if you changed to their way of thinking.
…People in your life that wanted to control you so you would do it their way.

The majority of these people did with the best of intent. Most likely, they were people you loved. They were your role models taking care of you. Most of them cared deeply for you. They only did what they felt was in your best interest. They had no idea what type of destruction they were creating within you.

Try thinking back to your childhood. Can you think of an incident that created just one of your long-held beliefs?

I can still hear my Dad saying, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” My parents worked extremely hard all their life while my father used his intelligence to create a wealthy financial nest egg for their retirement. As children, me and my siblings were taught to work hard, very hard. The theory was, if one needed money work for it. Work, work, work and then work some more.

Can you imagine what this one seed planted in our heads created? My beloved older brother dropped dead from congestive heart failure at the age of thirty-nine. I worked myself into emotional exhaustion by the same age!

I have since learned that life is not all about work. I now believe it is important to balance your life between work, rest and play. Taking it one step further, I spent years researching successful people. Armed with this new knowledge I now believe you owe it to yourself to follow your heart…it leads you to your destiny.

Honor your calling, everybody has one. Trust your heart and success will come to you. My journey of changing my belief system of work and money did not happen overnight. It first lead me into the experience of living in poverty. I treasure that experience because of what it taught me.

…It humbled me.
…It gave me strength.
…It blessed me with the will to change.
…It taught me perseverance and determination – giving up was not an option.
…It created within me a desire to succeed.
…It brought me lessons of equality, worthiness and compassion.

Yes, the first step to changing your beliefs is to change your thought patterns. This is the secret ingredient to challenging your self-critic.

Let Stress Motivate You

Did you know there are two types of stressors?

(1) Positive
(2) Negative

The truth is, life without any type of stress would be boring; similar to a “deadline” on a heart monitor. In fact, when I reflect on life itself, is it not like a heart monitor? We experience our UPS and our DOWNS. The trick is to accept the good, with the bad. Realize this is the way of life and learn to go with the flow.

Positive stress is when you reach out to the world with your own courage to change your life. It may be starting a new job, going back to school, getting married, choosing to leave an unhappy marriage, having a baby, or moving, etc. With any life altering event, you will experience some level of stress, guaranteed! Of course, it can feel very rewarding to experience positive stress. It’s all in your view of life, your outlook, your own personal perceptions.

Try asking yourself, “Do I enjoy the adrenaline rush or do I seek to avoid it?” Your answer will tell you a lot about yourself. Do you tend to remain in your comfort zone allowing life to lead you here, or lead you there? Or do you choose to jump out of that comfort zone to experience life to its fullest?

Stress often gets a “bad rap” because it is mostly perceived as negative, which in turn, brings the word “anxiety” to mind. Anxiety is uncomfortable. When in an anxious state of being many people feel they are not able to cope. Life often hands us circumstances that are extremely stressful. For example, the death of a loved one, living through a disaster or even an unexpected loss of employment. Basically, anything less than a favourable experience in life can cause your anxiety to peak.

The problem can be stemmed from our best laid plans in life. We may not give this plan a great deal of thought, but we all have some sort of plan, or idea, about where we want to go, how to get there and when. Life has a way of sending us on a detour with our plans. How can one begin to deal with these challenges?

First of all, adopt a new attitude. I personally believe that every cloud has a silver lining – we just have to look for it. The silver lining might surface immediately or it may take weeks/months/years to appear.

Second of all, I believe everything happens for a reason. The reason may not be immediately apparent, in fact, it may never surface. Regardless, it is my belief that EVERYTHING happens for a reason.

“Why?” you may ask.

The answer for me is simple, it’s called personal growth.

Without the hard times, the challenges, the let downs, the disappointments, etc., how can one grow in strength and character? I feel it is important to rise to each challenge set before us so we may become the best we can be.

I personally take it one step further with “faith”. Sometimes we want something in life, we work hard to get it, we plan for it and suddenly it is taken from us. This has certainly happened to me repeatedly in my life. After feeling the initial shock and disappointment I turn my sights to the future knowing it is all meant to be, just as it is. Maybe there is a better job for me in the shadows I can’t yet see. Perhaps a life lesson is in the making. Whatever the reason, it is meant to be.

Now this is not to say, “Give up and surrender”. Of course we must take action towards our goals and make life the best we can for ourselves. In many times of turmoil I have found myself having to take a stand and say to myself, “If it is to be, it is up to me!”

The point is, stress can be motivator, if you let it. Sometimes the stress is going to knock you down and slap you silly. I believe it is within you to get back up. This is the key. When you get knocked down, get back up again, and again, and again.

In my life, “Giving up is NOT an option”.

What about you? Doesn’t it sound like more fun to never give up?

Cheers!

Raging Is Battle for Power and Control

Have you ever been the target of a person raging? Not a pleasant experience to say the least!

When I Googled the word “rage” I found definitions such as:

– Violent, explosive anger
– Furious intensity, as of a storm or disease
– Intense, explosive, often destructive emotion
– Anger that seeks vengeance or punishment
– To move, rush, dash, or surge furiously
– To be violently agitated with passion
– To prevail without restraint, or with destruction or fatal effect

In my experience it is somewhat easy to distance yourself from a raging person if you are not emotionally tied to them. But, what if you are emotionally involved? What if you do love this person? Then you will experience the rage on a whole new level.

As a person that has been the target of rage, too many times to count, this type of attack on your psyche can be devastating. From my experience, a raging maniac has but one agenda…to destroy you in the moment. They exercise no mercy, they care not of your feelings, your emotions or your pain. In fact, they seem to enjoy, and take pleasure, in your weakened state. Unfortunately, encountering such an attack from someone you hold dear to your heart is devastating. Love is not supposed to hurt. To make matters worse, they will use the blame game saying it is all your fault. They are cunning, cruel and vindictive stopping at nothing in their quest to feel superior. Reducing you to an emotional wreck makes them feel almighty powerful. Most times you are left feeling responsible, useless, confused and extremely hurt by the emotional and verbal abuse.

How do they hold such power over you? The truth is, the person you love so dearly has been filing away information on your personal flaws to use them in the war zone when their anger erupts. While in a rage, they will “push your buttons”, using your most vulnerable emotions, until they feel they have inflicted enough destruction for THAT moment. And then, just when you think they have retreated to leave you wallowing in your pain, they come back to finish you off, diminishing you to the point of absolute breakdown.

Sound familiar? You need to understand, right here, right now…their behaviour is not your fault. The fact is, your loved one inflicting all that pain, is full of fear. Fear of losing control in their life. They are a bully, acting like a tyrant in an attempt to take power and control over you. This is not true power. It is short-lived until the next episode of rage. Yes, it will happen again, and again, and again. Make no mistake about that!

True power is standing in your strength and believing in yourself. A difficult chore indeed when you are being tormented in a whirlwind of rage. Knowledge can be a powerful source of information. An important step to taking back your personal power is to gain a better understanding of the “rager”. Take some time in your life to research and learn about these type of personalities. If you can figure out what makes them tick you can help yourself heal.

It is vital for you to understand their behaviour is theirs. You cannot change them. You cannot control them. You cannot rescue them. What you can do is change yourself and your reaction. This was a difficult lesson for me to learn in my life, “I cannot control the actions of another person, but I can control my reaction.”

Make a commitment to feel good about yourself. Find a way to prepare yourself for the next rage attack. Make an internal plan on how you will take one step to deal with the person raging. Perhaps just understanding they want to hurt you with their words can help a great deal. If the rage puts you down, pick yourself back up and move on. It is a process and it will not happen overnight. Above anything else, make safety your first priority.

What you should know about rage attacks:

– You deserve better
– You deserve to feel loved, respected and whole

The first step I took in dealing with rage was seeking and enrolling in personal growth programs. How are you at managing stress? How do you feel about yourself as a person? In what areas of life can you improve? Take responsibility for your health and wellness now and it will pay off in your relationships. Perhaps the time is now to ask yourself, “How can I become a better person?” Improving yourself makes you stronger and better equipped to deal with power, control and manipulation.

When I finally took that step out to heal myself I had a saying that helped me stand strong, “If it is to be, it is up to me!” No one can do it for you. This is your life and you have a right to live surrounded in harmony, love and joy.

I wish you much success in your healing journey!

FEAR Is a Bully That Will Run Like a Coward

FEAR… everyone experiences fear whether they care to admit it or not. You know the feeling, doom and gloom on the horizon, the dreaded feeling of terror.

I remember an incident as a young teenager walking home around midnight with my girlfriends after a Friday night dance at the local high school. My instincts were screaming at me that night. A man in a car seemed to be stalking us. He looked scary with thick rimmed glasses and a glare of desire in his eyes. He repeatedly drove past us, slowing the car down to crawl as my friends laughed at him. Peer pressure was in full bloom that night. I was extremely frightened but held my instincts to myself lest they ridicule me. When the time came for me to continue my walk alone I panicked. Fortunately, the man was nowhere to be found by the time I became vulnerable to a possible abduction. I felt the fear and ran home as fast as possible until I entered the back door of my home feeling safe.

This experience is a clear example of a very healthy fear. In my opinion, we were all in real danger that Friday night.

Everyone gathers unhealthy fears in their life. As an innocent, young child I quickly gained a fear of furnaces in basements after a girlfriend made a scary story of a monster living in a furnace. This monster came out of the furnace at night to kill people in the neighborhood. Children have such wild imaginations. This story seems so silly to adults but to me as a child it was horrifying. It took me until my adult life to realize the fear had no substance.

Our fears tend to control our actions. As a child I would never step foot near a furnace and after a few years this became a habit. In fact, the memory of this story surfaced over twenty years later in my life. While doing the chore of laundry I found myself constantly watching over my back only to realize it was the furnace making me nervous. It was only when the memory bounced into my mind I was able to realistically see the childish fear and remove it from my life.

The only way to live a happy, fulfilling life is to stand up to your unhealthy fears. Fear is a like a bully, when challenged it disappears like a coward. Fear can only have substance in your life if you let it. A few years back I learned that unhealthy fear is “Fantasized Experiences Appearing Real”. It will control you if you do not control it.

To quote Eleanor Roosevelt, “We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.”

Here are some helpful tips on learning to face your unhealthy fear:

(1) Write out a list of your fears.
(2) Categorize those fears as “healthy” or “unhealthy”.
(3) Organize your unhealthy fears from “smallest” to “largest”.
(4) Make a commitment to do something to face your smallest fear and put a time frame on it. (one day, one week, one month)
(5) Continue facing your unhealthy fears one a time.

The only way to rid yourself of a fear is to face it head on. The more you face fear, the easier it gets. Find the courage to face your bully and see how fast it runs in the other direction!