Living in a major city, I often find myself walking downtown, which is great for people watching. One person I notice frequently is a blind man who purposefully goes about his day, confidently crossing streets, boarding the bus, and maintaining an independent existence. I always gaze in awe of his courage.
Truth be told, the notion of losing my sight terrifies me because I’ve convinced myself that I would never have the strength to live independently.
Fear can take hold of us easily when contemplating unknown situations. What we forget is how many times in the past we have overcome unfamiliar challenges that have terrified us, many of which, we wouldn’t give a second thought to now.
Think about your first day of college or a new job. Maybe you were terrified as you prepared to become a parent for the first time, or you didn’t know where you would find the strength to deal with a sudden job layoff or a devastating divorce.
The truth is, we find a way. As we proceed through life, it’s inevitable that challenges will arise for which we will not feel prepared. However, our past triumphs teach us that we WILL conjure up the courage to prevail. Day by day, we put one foot in front of the other and through trial and error, we tread forward through the fear.
Moving through a dark situation is rarely a linear path – it is usually fraught with detours and set-backs. However, if we remain patient with ourselves and keep going, we eventually come out on the other side, usually much stronger for it.
The more that we can hold tight to the truth that we WILL find the strength we need in life, the less we have to fear. This frees up energy for more joyful pursuits. Also, when we realize that tough situations will only make us more resilient, courageous and agile, we can better see the silver lining of the unanticipated challenges that we face.
With each new dragon we slay, we can live with a little more joy, knowing that we have even less to be afraid of in the future.
So next time you find yourself feeling anxious about a new situation or overwhelmed at the thought of an unexpected challenge, believe you will find the strength to overcome it. Because you will.