I have been busy lately raising my new puppy. He is a Yorkiepoo or Pookie called Kato and is currently only 12 weeks old. To help a puppy become a confident well-balanced dog, it’s important that they get an opportunity to be socialised. This means that we have to try and introduce him to as many situations as we can, so that everything is “normal” to him. We have taken him everywhere. If it’s dog friendly he’s been there, from restaurants and shops to outdoor events and large family gatherings.
Certain situations have made him scared, but the one thing we haven’t done when he was fearful and wanted to run away was fuss him, feel sorry for him or remove him from a situation. We’ve just let him figure it out for himself. He has worked through his fears with us by his side.
It got me thinking about how fear plays such a huge part in human lives. Most people have fears that hold them back. We are scared of what others will think of us, we are scared we are not good enough, we are frightened that we will fail. It’s only natural to feel apprehensive of new situations but it’s when we over think things and shy away that our fears become a destructive curse.
The truth is we are the writers of our fear. We create the scenarios in our mind of the things that frighten us. It’s the ego’s way of keeping us safe. If we can keep ourselves within our comfort zone then all will be well; we won’t get hurt or risk looking like a fool.
But, we must start to see our comfort zone for what it really is - a cold, empty prison-cell of mediocre.
If we want our lives to be more fulfilling, we have to face a few fears. The trick is to face the fears repeatedly, over and over, so that they are no longer fears, but completely normal.
“Find out what you are afraid of and go live there.”
- Chuck Palahniuk
Remember your first few driving lessons? How scary it was to manoeuvre a car? Going 20 miles an hour felt like speeding. If you have been driving for a while that fear is just a distant memory.
I have a friend who has scared of flying until they were promoted to a job where they had to fly for work. On their first flight they wrote a goodbye letter to their parents, so convinced were they of a plane crash. Well, hundreds of flights later and they no longer have any fear, they actually enjoy it.
I also know someone who was afraid of going on dates, so she decided to go on 100 coffee dates. She told me, “I was not looking for Mr Right; I was looking to get better at dating.” When she took the pressure off herself and was willing to make mistakes and be less stressy about it, she found she enjoyed dates, because she enjoyed meeting new people. She only needed to get to date number 34 until she met her now husband.
The point is, if we do the thing we are scared of consistently, we’ll become less scared and our comfort zone walls will begin to crumble.
I’m not talking about doing amazing feats of bravery, I’m just saying take a good honest look at where you are holding yourself back in the most mundane ways and imagine what your life would be like if you could overcome your fears.
Baby steps, it all begins with baby steps, or should I say puppy steps?
If you or anyone you know is ready to be free of the uncomfortable comfort zone, please do message me. I’d love to hear from you.