"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow." ~ Helen Keller

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Do It Anyway

Do It Anyway 

A speaker I really like talks about fear and how people get immobilized by things they are afraid of and begin to believe they "can't" do certain things. For example, "I'm afraid to fly, therefore, I can't get on a plane." "I'm afraid of being laughed at, thus I can not speak in front of people." Obviously, we all struggle with fears like these. 

Her advice..."...Well...why don't you just do it afraid?" Do it afraid? Step out of my comfort zone and do something I am afraid of? HOW?  Well, to borrow from NIKE, "Just DO It." 

I'm not saying that it's easy. It's not...not at all. The time when you least feel like doing something is probably when you need to do it the most. As hard as it may be, it can help you get unstuck and moving in the right direction.

Believe me, I know how paralyzing fear can be. But if you ever want to have the good life you dream of, you have to find the courage to face those fears. It can just be a tiny baby step. But it shows tremendous courage to "do it afraid..." whatever IT is. 

Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the going ahead and doing what you need to do in spite of the fear. 

Sometimes the struggle becomes all consuming until you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel any more. At a time like that it feels reasonable to just give in and quit trying because you simply don't have the energy to deal with it any more.

That is when you most need to do something. 

Sometimes, the last thing I feel like doing is praying. But I go on ahead and do it, even if I feel like I 'm talking to a wall. Whether or not my prayers are heard or answered isn't based on how I feel. They can't be heard or answered unless I actually DO it. 

Sometimes we get so desperately stuck we need help to get out of it. Personally I HATE to ask for help. I would actually prefer a root canal to admitting that I can't get it together. I don't want people to know I can't do everything myself. As women, we are under such tremendous pressure to be super heroes, and you can keep that front up for a while, but it is not reality. Sometimes things can't be fixed on your own, so you just have to go on ahead and ask for help anyway. 

I've had to do it at times, and it is really, really hard...even from the people you love, and who love you the most. I would rather try to pull myself up by the bootstraps, but sometimes it just doesn't work. On those times when I have reached out for help, that is always when the tide began to turn and things got better.

When someone you love is struggling, you may not particularly feel like taking up the slack, or listening to their sob story, or letting them wallow in self pity. But if you love them, and that's what they need, you do it anyway. 

It definitely stinks that when you're depressed or sick or completely out of it, things still have to get done, but that's life. The clothes and dishes won't wash themselves, the car won't fill itself with gas...and you won't magically feel better unless you do something.

Even if you're exhausted and tired and thinking, “what's the point?” you have to do it anyway. You may not be physically or mentally able to do certain things. The point is you have to do something.

The something can be anything...anything that will move you in the right direction. It can be tiny.  As tiny as simply saying to a friend, “Hey, I really need to talk to someone.” Or forcing yourself to do the dishes even though you would rather have that root canal. Or writing a blog post even though you don't feel like you have anything worthwhile to say.

Whatever IT is for you, just do it. You will feel better for doing it, and it will get you moving toward something positive.

The hard truth is that even if you paint on a smile, you still may feel awful. The house may look like crap despite your best effort to clean it. Even if you write words meant to encourage, they still may come across as dark. Do it anyway. 

I have found this to be a powerful and profound truth in my own life, and I wouldn't write it if I didn't truly believe it.

This song and video says it more beautifully than I ever could...

This incredible song is based upon The Paradoxical Commandments by by Dr. Kent M. Keith.

The Paradoxical Commandments

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

Thanks for reading, and God bless.


Writers Shelf Life said...

Wonderful reminder. I especially liked the part about the tide turning when we finally realize we need to lean on others. We really do need to remember that we aren't wonder women (or men) and truly can't do it all no matter how much we want to. Still, moving forward is always the better option, whether we feel like it or not, and even more so when we do it positively. Nice post!

Wanna Be A Cowgirl said...

Thanks Linda. Yup, we gotta keep moving forward or we risk becoming stagnant or worse, going backwards. It is very tempting to try to be "Super People" but it is not very realistic. Too exhausting to do everything!! Thanks for reading.

Kazul said...

I am afraid of high places (why God made me short, I reckon). I have tried and tried and tried to overcome this fear and literally have found myself out on a limb when I 'step out!' I don't know how many times someone has had to help me off steep stairs or hold my hand across high walking bridges or even hold me as I inch down a ladder. But, I will keep trying..or just find someone else to do it for me!

Absolutely Positive said...

Kazul, I have heard that more people are actually afraid of speaking in front of other people than they are of DYING. They would rather DIE than give a speech in front of people. I was the same way in college! I had a panic attack every time I had to give a presentation!! Every one is afraid of something. Thanks for reading.

The4Rs said...

Love your positive blog. Have you ever listened to the Roche Sisters, they sing this poem almost word for word. I like this song, but they do a really nice job with theirs, I think it is called Anyways... it is on their Zero Church album, listen to it, you would love it!