“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” – FDR
“And lizards. Fear and lizards.” – NEB
Here’s the deal, friend: There was a lizard in my car this week, and while I’m not necessarily PROUD of how I handled it, I learned a valuable lesson through it all and I’d love to share it.
If you frequently find yourself stuck in limbo, going ROUND and round taking inventory of your fear(s), this video is for you.
Click below to watch (or take a listen):
HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED:
I took my boys to the commissary (that’s a military term for grocery store).
(Especially once I challenged B to say “can I have that?” at least thrice on every aisle.)
All was well, until we got back to the car.
I opened the door to put Deke in his carseat and ALO-freakin’-HA …
There was a lizard in the car.
Yes, yes, yes, I know. It was more afraid of ME than I was of it.
Which is precisely why it wriggled away to seek refuge UNDER MY SEAT.
Double U. tee. EFF.
For the record – I’m not the type of mom to charge my four-year-old with being “the man of the house” when my husband’s gone for work. No sir. (I’ve got a really great Batman voice – so we’re covered.)
And yet – B’s a pretty slick catch-and-release technician.
A quick “you can have Lucky Charms for dinner” bribe and we were off to the races.
We tried to get this guy out. We REALLY tried.
Scooted the seat back, forward, and back again.
“Get IN there, bud! You’ve got this! I’m SO proud of you.”
We used the flashlight on my iPhone. The straw from my Tervis Tumbler.
But not long after that, we lost our visual.
After no fewer than 15-20 highly adrenalized minutes, once getting verbal confirmation that he’d STILL get his Lucky Charms (E for effort!), my precious four-year-old looked me in the face and said:
“Mama, close the door and let’s go.”
What we can all learn from this story
Whatever you’re afraid of – criticism, failure, embarrassment, LIZARDS, the world realizing you’re not perfect….
There comes a time when you’ve got to just close the door and GO.
This whole experience helped me see three main options for dealing with fear:
OPTION 1: Stay stuck.
I mean SURE, I briefly considered camping out in the commissary parking lot overnight.
But I knew we couldn’t stay.
The shenanigans could only go on for so long before the boys AND our frozen goods would melt down.
I had to zoom out.
See the bigger vision (grown up in charge of two little humans who needed dinner + bath + bedtime).
Come to terms with the situation (lizard perched RIGHT beneath me, ready to run wild at any moment).
Take a deep breath, buckle up, and (literally) move on down the road.
(As we’ve discussed before – quitting is not an option.)
OPTION 2: Phone a friend (+ still stay stuck).
During Lizardgate, I vented my fear by:
1) posting an Instagram story (as seen in the video above),
2) sending my sis-in-law an audio text for general awareness, AND
3) asking my sis to stay on the phone with me (safely in my cupholder) while I drove home.
(I figured if it ran out while I was driving and things got crazy she would’ve known how to call for help!)
Thing is, as priceless as they are, friends and fam can only support you.
They can’t do this for you.
Just like a personal trainer can’t move your body for you, your inner circle can’t move you through your fear.
Pray on it, tap on it, talk about it, journal about it, YES.
But at the end of the day: Moving forward is a choice. And it’s up to YOU.
Which brings us to:
OPTION 3: Move on with it. Literally.
“It seems to me that the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back. If I can relax, fear relaxes, too.” – Liz Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Fear is part of the human experience – we know this. We’ve seen Inside Out.
So how do we move on with it?
Deadlines can certainly help light a spark under your buns (i.e. I had melting cream cheese and, the next morning, a school run), but perhaps the most powerful reframe I can offer up is this:
Focus more on your WHY than on your fear.
Let your purpose – mission – drive – your REASON for going for the proverbial it – take the wheel.
(Fear can ride in the back with headphones, a snack, and a movie. You’ll barely notice he’s there.)
When all else fails, imagine someone who truly DEPENDS on you moving forward looking into your face to say:
Close the door and let’s go.
In the comments below, tell me:
When you look back, what’s ONE great thing that’s come from your decision to move forward with fear in the back seat?
Also – if you’ve read Big Magic, share one of your fave quotes! #commentsectionbookclub
To being big girls (and boys),
P.S. #bigquestionalert: Wanna work together 1:1?
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