“Fear is a liar.”
We hear this statement all the time.
I say this statement all the time.
I truly believe this statement to be true.
But… when fear sneaks in through the window that you forgot you left cracked open it has the ability to infiltrate every single corner of your mind.
I equate it to having a flea problem in your house… you can wash everything, spray your house, and treat your pets but somehow fleas always seem to appear here or there from time to time.
“The enemy is fear. We think it is hate, but it is fear.” – Gandhi
Fear can paralyze you, it can make you believe that you are incapable of doing something that you are certainly capable of doing. Fear can negate days, months, years, or even a lifetime of hard work.
So, when fear sneaks in, what do we do? Where do we go? How do we overcome?
I battle these questions EVERY TIME I enter the pool.
I have an intense fear of drowning but even bigger than that is the intense fear I have of not being good at something, of failing at something.
I want to be an Ironman probably more that I could ever adequately express in words. I can’t even tell you why I want it so bad, I just know that I do. One might think this desire would far outweigh any fear that might enter my mind… But, alas, it does not.
Whenever I am getting ready to go swim my anxiety levels begin to rise… My heart rate starts to increase, my breathing becomes irregular, and my thoughts start to race. I start to make bargains with myself about how much I am going to swim. When I get in the pool, all my symptoms become that much worse. When I go underwater, the panic becomes palpable. I start to feel as if I am going to run out of breath, like I have forgotten how to do what I have to do. I find myself stopping after every lap to catch my breath, to give myself a pep talk, to convince myself to keep going.
Swimming is my Achilles heel.
But, sometimes, there is this strange thing that happens while I am swimming… Sometimes when I am swimming there is a strange sense of peace that comes over me. The panic falls away, I feel calm, I do what I have to do without overthinking it… It actually feels natural.
So, when fear sneaks in, what do I do? Where do I go? How do I overcome?
I keep going. I keep pushing. I go to that place within my heart, within my soul, where my confidence and drive live. The place where I know that I can conquer the world and anything that comes between me achieving my dreams. I overcome by pushing past the fear and continuing to get in the pool until swimming becomes second nature to me because…
Fear IS a liar.
Fear WILL NOT win.
Fear WILL NOT conquer me.
Fear WILL NOT steal my dreams.