Overcome

Skinny Jean Hell

I hate skinny jeans. I’ve hated skinny jeans from the first time I tried them on thinking they were … well… not skinny jeans. As if I didn’t have enough body image issues before that little episode.  Ha. As IF! I seriously thought I’d magically gone up 2 pant sizes over night.  And THAT, ladies and gentleman, was my first experience with skinny jeans.

Oh – did I happen to mention it’s Face Your Fear Friday?  I didn’t? Well, as some of you know – every Friday ’round these parts is Face Your Fear Friday. I talk about fear, face some of my own – and in time – have guest bloggers talk about some of their fears. Today is no exception. Today – I faced one of my body image fears.

My friend, [Polina Osherov], had a conversation with me about a week ago. She’s one of my oldest and best friends and is HIGHLY aware of my body image issues. She pulls me aside and tells me there’s no reason not to update my wardrobe, so she’s ordered me some skinny jeans AND tops with horizontal stripes. O_O  She completely expected the reaction she got. She practically had the paper bag in hand, just waiting for me to hyperventilate. And then it happened. I struggled for breath, my pulse went bananas and I felt all of the blood drain out of my head. WOOZY!!! You probably think I’m exaggerating here and that no one could possibly be this frightened of clothes. I hereby do solemnly swear… it doesn’t get any more real than this.

She explained that all I had to do was try them on.  TRY them. The clothes hadn’t even arrived yet and I was panic stricken. Yesterday she warned me that the clothes were arriving (that day) and that I was going to DEBUT them at the Speakeasy to watch [Jay Baer].  Oh. God. Feeling the heart speeeeed back up.  They never arrived.  Well, they didn’t arrive yesterday at least. Whew!  Bullet dodged.

Today was an entirely different matter.  Today, I got the word… they have arrived.  In all their anorexic glory. Let me just say that I don’t think everyone who wears skinny jeans is anorexic.  It’s just that I felt like I needed to look that way in order to appear like I fit in a pair of them.  I walk into her kitchen where the nice little white box from [Forever 21] was sitting on her table.  She gave me the eye.  Ya know… the one that said, “Ohhh yeah.  THIS is gonna be fun.”  She got to play dress up with me for the next 15-20 minutes ordering me to try this shoe or that shoe – and then ultimately telling me to buy different shoes.  Then she dragged me up to her full length mirror in her bedroom in all my shameful agony to show me … Me.

A woman. Nearly 40 (oh god. another panic attack.  jk – I don’t care about that so much.) with curves. And while yes, my struggle to take weight off has been one nightmare of a roller coaster, my personal trainer told me today that I’m only 6-7 months away from being exactly where I need to be. That’s no time in my world. And so, bring it, baby. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy my curves. They’re not goin’ anywhere. It’s the way I was built – and my new skinny jeans hug them in all the right ways.

What are you waitin’ on? Get out there and face a fear or two. You just might like it.

I’m Afraid of Your Routine

Okay, not really, but lots of other people are. The things that you wake up to in the morning and do out of habit… There’s someone else, next door… a mile down the road or maybe the next state over that’s afraid of that very thing. That’s what this Face Your Fear Friday thing is all about.

Think about it. You wake up, make coffee, brush your teeth, shower, dress, eat breakfast, feed the kids, get them all ready – then what do you do? Most of us pile in the car and we travel our butts to work, school, daycare – whatever the case may be.  Can you imagine if you were afraid to get in that vehicular object and throw it in reverse?  Like … scared stiff?  Right.  Most of us can’t even begin to imagine it.

The folks at the [Experience Project] see this sort of thing quite often though.  Click that link back there <—— (the one in the brackets… it’s ok… I’ll wait.)

How would your life be different if that fear was your own?  It’s not all that different though – from your own fear, that is.  Which one of your fears is stopping you from living your life to the fullest?  Or maybe not even all that – which one of your fears is keeping you from living a life of just a little less stress and a little more ease?

Maybe connecting with others that suffer the same fears as you will help you through it?  There are other folks there too – just waiting to cheer you on in whatever is stifling you.  [Check out the Experience Project by CLICKING HERE!]

What have you done to face your fears?

It’s that day!  Face your fear Friday!!

I’m not talking about me today.  Instead I’m talking about my long, lost roommate (of a whole week.)  Ps – I miss you, Randleski!! :-)  Scott took last week’s blog post and the homework assignment very seriously and stepped outside of his comfort zone.  I’m pleased to report that Scott is still very much alive and his mental muscle is stronger for this step.  Take a peek at Randleski’s blog [here].

Not pleased with the outcome?  Why not?  I am.  He’s stronger for it!  Plus, as I explained to him, she can’t be human.  She doesn’t like coffee.  Interspecies relationships rarely work ;-)

So happy people are starting to take this fear thing by the *ahem*!!  This is exactly why I’ve dedicated Fridays to it.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your own fear story.  Let’s keep encouraging others to do the same.

And also – Happy Valentine’s Day!  Significant other or not, you’re loved!!!

Stepping Stones

When you went to sleep last night, what did you wake up intending to do?  64% of us wake up 5 days a week and get ready to head in to work.

Since my divorce in 2005, I had been one of the 64%.  Prior to that, I’d run a successful Agency for public speakers.  As going through divorce often does, it tore my WHOLE life apart.  Not just the emotional side.  I lost the business.

Man I felt like a failure.  I was embarrassed.  I felt nothing short of defeated. Over the last 8+ years, I’ve allowed that failure to decide my (lack of) happiness.  I allowed that failure to keep me from following my dream.  Why?  I was afraid I’d fail.  Again.

So instead, I job hopped.  A telephone sales job here, a serving job there.  I was even a technology teacher at a charter school at one point.  About 80% of the time I was doing those other jobs, though, I was also doing marketing on the side or marketing was part of my job description.  I’d developed a few clients (and held them), but I was afraid to make this leap of faith.

There’s a certain sense of security knowing your employment is held by an employer.  They take care of payroll.  They take care of making sure clients show up.  They take care of hiring and firing.  All you have to do is show up and collect your paycheck every 2nd Friday.

Now, don’t get me wrong:  As a society, we need people to do this.  Without them, we’d have no medical workers, no legal workers, no public servants.  But there are those of us who feel like we’re merely stumbling through life, keeping our head down all the way.  We are the people who need to snap out of it.  Why aren’t you following your dream(s)?  What fears do you need to face to take your leap of faith?

Again, friends who love me gave me a nice little wake up call.  A gentle smack upside the head to first, wake me up… and then – we began planning.  In one single night, we planned what it would take for me to leave my “normal” job to begin this journey.  The difference is that this time, I began with a bag full of lessons learned.

This journey is mine and now I know one thing.  My past was not a failure.  It was just a stepping stone to my success.

“When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.” 
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tarantula Tarantella

Ohhh boy.  Woke up yesterday morning knowing that I had to do a fear blog because…. well… today is Friday!  I had no clue what to do.  I have enough fears, I suppose.  But none of them (except for one) are paralyzing fears.

My friends who have known me for at least a couple of years – or those who have had the privilege of living with me – know this fear to be my biggest.  Their funniest, but my absolute nightmare.

I think I developed this fear when I was around 12 or 13 years old.  The movie Arachnophobia came out.  My neighbor was scared senseless.  I was bound and determined that i was going to show her what I was made of.  I was one brave chick!  So I watched it over…. and over…. and over… and over again.  Until I fully understood EXACTLY why she was so afraid.  And it stuck.

So yesterday morning, I decided.  I know my fears may be puny – but these silly Friday blogs aren’t really just about me.  They’re also about my readers.  I want you guys and gals to take steps outside of your comfort zone to meet your fears .

In my case, last night wasn’t so much about overcoming any fear because I think a fear of spiders is something of a rational fear.  In this case, it’s more about not letting anything  get in the way of your dreams and your passion.  Not a little spider, not a big snake, not fear of failure and not even yourself.

You’ll have to excuse my appearance. My hair had been under a scrub cap all day and I had to consume 2 glasses of wine and eat a Rice Krispie ® Treat the size of Texas before I even worked up the gumption to walk out the door.  When I got to the place (which will remain nameless due to their less than ethical purchasing strategies… hey, it’s the only place around that had a tarantula.  Back off. I didn’t buy anything.) the associate was with another customer and I had another 30 minutes of pure hell waiting around to hold a creature that I’m fairly certain was spewed from the mouth of Satan himself.  My. Nerves. Were. Shot.

I told the associate of my plight to face my fear of spiders.  I told him I wanted to hold one of the tarantulas at which he said, “on one condition. When I put this on you, you can NOT throw it if you get freaked out.”  Done.  The mission had begun.  I began to feel my nerves actually calm knowing this venture was coming to a close.  That is, until he opened the first container and said, “Ummm no.  That one won’t work.  Any time they pull their fangs up like that – I’m not messing with them.”  I’m sorry… THEIR WHAT?!  It’s ok.  It’s clearly for the best that I didn’t do proper research before I had an 8-legged hairy monster crawling on my arm.

The second monster seems less peeved.  Up and over… and…. ohmygoditsonmyarm!!!!!!!!!!!  Breathing.  Be very still.  Don’t let the monster know you’re scared.  They sense fear.  They like the taste of fear.  The monster most surely is going to bite me.  Ok, you may now remove the monster from my arm.

As it turns out, the monster liked me.  It’s when it had to trade hands to the associate that it decided to bite… him.  Poor sucka. :-)

spiders2 copy

 

Go do something that makes you grow!!!