Halloween is a holiday observed on October 31st in 15 countries, worldwide.
A traditional Halloween celebration includes a combination of costume parties, trick-or-treating for candy, touring haunted houses, sharing scary stories, and watching spooky movies.
It’s a holiday which preys on our most primal fears. The arrival of Halloween got me thinking about topics most grown-ups fear.
Studies show that most adults have anxiety over things that fall into three basic categories:
- Money: They fear they’ll never have enough money to live comfortably. They’re afraid they’ll always live paycheck-to-paycheck. If they do have money, they fear losing it.
- Weight: They’re afraid they’ll never lose the excess weight they’re dragging around. They fear the consequences of health issues they already have, or will have, due to their obesity.
- Relationships: They’re afraid they’ll die alone. They fear being without friends. They’re afraid they’ll never find that special someone they’re meant to be with. If they’re in an unsatisfying relationship, they fear that they’ll live the rest of their life, never being completely happy.
I’ll have to admit at one point in my life, I was obsessed and nearly paralyzed with fear over this very trifecta.
I was broke, I was morbidly obese and I was in an abusive and loveless starter marriage.
That wasn’t the worst of it, though.
My greatest fears were that I would always be poor, I was never going to lose the weight and that I would never find anyone to love me. I thought I’d live the rest of my life without friends, let alone a life partner who adored me.
Rewriting the Outcome
Once my paralyzing fears brought any hope or dreams I had for my future to a complete standstill, I had an epiphany.
I heard the following quote, and it struck me to my core:
‘Nothing changes if nothing changes.’
Nothing was going to magically push me off the trajectory I was on, unless I altered my daily world.
It was up to me. I realized I was responsible for my own Life. I had to change or deal with the fact that my life was always going to be more of the same. If I was going to be self-actualized, I needed to take action.
Making the Shift
The amazing thing was it didn’t take any huge, monumental shift to begin transforming ‘my life’ into ‘my Life‘.
I started small.
I took baby steps.
I began making my life over with my first Gratitude Journal.
It wasn’t anything fancy.
I didn’t have the money to be fancy. My first Gratitude Journal was a spiral bound notebook that was lying around the house.
- Broke or not, I wrote down all the things I was thankful for.
- Overweight or not, there were things I could appreciate in my life.
- The sunrise didn’t care if I was in an abusive relationship. It started my day with a spectacular show of hope for me, each morning.
I could choose to wither away in the small, hopelessness and despondency of my life. Or I could dare to believe I could deliver myself from my dire straits into something greater then I could ever imagine. I could choose to begin living my Life.
The Ripple Effect
I was surprised to discover writing in my Gratitude Journal created a ripple effect of unexpected proportions.
Once I began appreciating the things that were already present, my awareness of all the things I could be thankful for became more apparent. My vision had shifted, along with my mindfulness.
After becoming more appreciative, I also became aware of wanting to take better care of my body and my feelings. For the first time in my Life, I was slowly beginning to realize that I mattered.
A subtle shift had begun. Unbeknownst to me, a much larger personal transformation was underway.
My Life, Today
So what does my Life look like, now? I’ve created my Life to be something greater then I could ever dream.
I’m financially sound. I’m the most fit I’ve ever been in my Life. My Life is full of loving friendships. Fun and laughter are part of my every day and I like, love and adore my best friend and husband, Steven.
What about you and your life? What’s your greatest fear?
More importantly, what are you going to do about staring those anxieties down?
Don’t you deserve to live your dream life?
Remember, ‘Nothing changes if nothing changes.’
Isn’t it time to turn your apprehension into appreciation? Why don’t you launch your own Gratitude Journal, today?
I’ll help you begin. Let’s get started.
Write this down…‘I’m thankful for being me.’
What things do you fear the most? Do your fears fall into the top three categories I mentioned at the beginning of this post?
What do you do to squash your fears? Are there any helpful tricks to scare the monsters away that you’d like to share?
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