One of my favorite bloggers, Dianne Gray, in her latest post asked her readers if they had a mantra they live by. I thought about it for about a second and knew what mine has been since I reclaimed myself when I was in college in 1987-1991.
The mantra is not original by any means. After my divorce, I did a lot of self-examination and read LOTS of books. One of them was Gloria Steinem’s, REVOLUTION FROM WITHIN. As I turned the pages, I realized my life and her’s weren’t that different. Except that she was famous and I wasn’t. She struggled with many of the same things that troubled me, like insecure, figuring out what it meant to be a woman, and how to shed personal baggage. But best of all, she offered some advice that would change the rest of my life. She encouraged her readers to: Feel the fear and do it anyway!
Those seven words are now etched in my soul. After reading that book, I walked away from a fearful, negative woman to one who looked a challenge in the eye and conquered it. I took the opportunities that came my way–like traveling with new friends, taking jobs that I had never done before and meeting new people who offered new points of view. I adopted a positive attitude no matter what happened. And learned to live gratefully. I walked away from the security that imprisoned me. I even walked away from money. (With a stack of bills staring me in the face, I wonder if that was a good idea.) No. Not really. The money in my life at that time had strings attached. I don’t need that kind of money ever again.
Yeah, taking chances was alien to me because I had let so many other people shape who I was and what I did for too many years. When I shed that “camouflaged” skin, I became a risk taker. Now don’t get the wrong idea. I didn’t not go bungee jumping or take up skateboarding. I just was brave enough to get comfortable in my own skin again. I came out of a cocoon after suppressing my true spirit for so many years. I rediscovered the child within that had been hiding for so many years. Better yet, I found a strong woman who could stand on her own two feet. I stopped hiding my intelligence and creativity. I even began writing again.
I’m happy to tell you that my adopted mantra saved me, and I will be eternally grateful. And like Gloria Steinem, I offer it to you. Go out there and “Feel the Fear, and DO IT anyway!”