Friday, October 19, 2012

I'm Tired of Being all Grown Up and Stuff

Ever wish that you could go to bed...and then wake up,  wearing really cool Thundercat pajamas, (that your friends would NEVER know about), looking up at the ceiling in the bedroom you grew up in? The one that you stared at night and found patterns in the random texturing? There's that donkey and that strange looking old man that sometimes looks like a rabbit, depending on the angle? And maybe a few of those glow in the dark stars that really didn't glow all that well at all. That familiar bedspread all wrapped around you? Your alarm goes off, and you get up eagerly, because you're in eighth grade and you get to see your "crush" during math class and pass notes back and forth: the one's that say, "Do you like me? Check yes or no". Or if it was true love, they were more along the lines of "I can't stand you." "Or you're such a dork." Now it's "sexting".

You worried about fractions and reading tests, not whether or not you were going to be able to make the car payment, or if the over-time you were putting in at work was going to affect your child's development. You stressed over the fight you just had with your best friend. You didn't fret  obsessively over the safety of your children.You didn't assume that every man was a pedophile.

Ever wish that?

Yeah. Me, too. Thirteen was hard, but being a parent is harder.

My mom made my brother and I breakfast and it was always waiting for us when we made it to the table. She gave us Flinstone vitamins (that I hid in my dresser drawer) and she made us lunch (which also usually ended up in my dresser drawer. And yes...my room may have had a certain...stench.) She did our laundry, made dinner... And I didn't worry. I was safe and while I may have been convinced that I hated my parents, I knew they were there for me, no matter what. I knew I was lucky, because I had friends that didn't have that kind of support system. I was innocent. Someone once told me that I needed my eyebrows waxed and I didn't even know that meant. Hand holding was the pinnacle of love.. and I had my first kiss that year and quite frankly, the "French kissing" part didn't impress me. I think it may have been because it involved food. But today, eighth graders are getting pregnant and having oral sex in the boy's bathrooms. I didn't even know what that was. Oral? I assumed it had something to do with talking. Oral reports were something I would ditch school to avoid. Why would I give one in the boy's bathroom? I wasn't even allowed to go in there.

Growing up isn't as fun as it was supposed to be. Someone lied. And I'd like to have a word with them.

I wonder what will be standard when my children are in eighth grade? I have the feeling the days of innocent notes and searching the Valentine hearts for secret messages will be over. Will strong parenting override the all-powerful peer pressure, or create an even stronger sense of rebellion? What about drugs?  Drinking? I'm not naive and I know this stuff is coming up sooner and sooner and I just hope that my feeble attempts at parenting will be enough to make my kids stop and think before making any decisions that have life changing potential. And I hope they make good decisions.





Friday, October 12, 2012

Waiting...and more waiting...



October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, during which I was personally and ironically introduced to the fear and uncertainty of a possible diagnosis.  While I have a family history of breast cancer and helped care for my “granny” while she was going through her treatment, I was surprised to discover a lump on myself. Being relatively young, it’s not something that had ever really crossed my mind. Yet, it was there, and obvious. So I made an appointment for the doctor who examined it and told me “that it didn’t look good” and I was referred for a mammogram, which also “didn’t look good”.  Next step was an ultrasound, where a “suspicious mass” was discovered. The radiologist came in to the room and explained what she saw. The only words I understood were “vascular” , “abnormal”, something about blood flow…apparently I don’t speak radiologist and when she asked if I had questions, I figured it would be easier to say no than have her bring me a dictionary and have her start over. I did get the part about a biopsy which needed to be scheduled. 

The first thing I thought about?  Money. Without insurance, how were we going to be able to afford that? It’s bad when the prospect of paying for any possible treatment is scarier than an actual cancer diagnosis. I expressed this and Komen Foundation entered my life. I have never been so thankful for an organization in my life. I vow to donate and walk and do whatever it takes to show my gratitude. Without them, and the care team at Summit View Health, my experience would have been even more stressful than it was. 

A core needle sample was needed, which would require a small incision to allow the needle access. The thought of a large needle being poked around into my breast tissue and around my nipple was less than appealing. And yes, when my appointment came, I was a nervous wreck. But I pretended not to be. So, you’d be cutting a hole in my breast and prodding around inside it with a needle? No problem. Just another day. Obviously, the techs and the doctor saw through my tough chick act, and were amazingly friendly and compassionate. The biopsy was ultrasound guided and I could see the screen but when the Dr. started the procedure and I saw the numbing needle start to probe around in my breast tissue, I decided I’d keep my eyes shut for the remainder of the procedure. The nurse tried to distract me: asking about my kids, Halloween costumes, etc. but the “snap” of the spring loaded needle contraption used to obtain the core samples was hard to ignore. The sound reminded me of a Nerf gun. “Snap!” “Snap!”  Fortunately, the numbing was effective and the “worms of tissue” were obtained. Which I absolutely did not want to look at, but of course, my retired fire fighter/EMT was very interested in checking out. 

It was Monday. Results would be back by Wednesday. So obviously, until then, I googled everything related that I could find. I quickly came to the conclusion that I was going to die. 

The waiting is the hardest.  You have too much time to imagine all the worst case scenarios. Finally, Wednesday came, and my stomach flipped every time the phone rang, but it was never “the call”. I made phone calls, but there were no return calls. It was a long night.  Maybe I sound a bit melodramatic, but the possibility of dying (no matter how unlikely) and leaving three young kids behind is horrifying. I stood by their beds that night a little longer than usual, and watched them sleep. 

Thursday morning came along with the anxiously awaited phone call. The mass appeared benign. And I realized that I could breathe again. But now I am being referred to a surgeon for a second opinion, so more waiting. But I realized that nothing can be taken for granted, because as cliché as it may be, it could be gone just like that and then you’re left with all the things unsaid, the regrets, heartbreak and loss. So say the things that need to be said, have no regrets and tell them you love them, because aliens could abduct them tomorrow.  An asteroid could hit. And there is always death by water intoxication. And oh yeah, that little cancer thing. You just never know.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bullying Sucks.




Bullying is a sensitive subject for me, being as my oldest child has been the victim of it numerous times. He came home from kindergarten many times, upset because “Jake” was picking on him at school. He’d hit him, pinch him, and call him names, all while in class. There were several times when my son fought to stay home. After a few such incidents, I contacted his teacher to see what she knew and to find out what she was doing about it. She wasn’t even aware of it. She insisted that it wasn’t going on; she’d never seen anything of the sort in the class and to the best of her knowledge, “Jake” and my son got a long great.  Believing that she was attentive to what was happening in her class, I wrote it off as the exaggerating of a six year old boy.

 Then he came home from school with a bright red mark of a small handprint on his thigh. My son told me that while he was in the bathroom, his friend “Jake” had grabbed his leg and squeezed so hard that it actually left a handprint. I took a picture and brought it to the teachers’ attention that next day. I was informed that, yes, “Jake” does have some anger issues. And that was the end of the story. Fortunately, it was at the end of the year and I put in a formal request with the principal that my son and his tormentor be put in separate classes in second grade.

My request was granted, however I really began to worry about the bullying that occurs in schools. It can happen right under a teacher’s watchful eye and they aren’t even aware of the problem. Approximately 160,000 children miss school every year because they fear the bullying they know they’ll be subjected to. Intimidation and fear of attack account for 15% of all absenteeism during the school year. (MBNBD (2009) Facts and Statistics).  Bullying can happen to anyone, at any time. Certain things can contribute to it and those who others may see as weak or “different” are often targets. Children that are perceived as unpopular or exhibit low-esteem can also be mercilessly picked on.

Often there are indications that a child is being bullied, even if the actual act is never observed by a teacher or person in a position of authority. Unexplained injuries and frequently broken or missing possessions are telltale signs. Children who are bullied often fake illness to avoid school, but they can actually get sick from the stress bullying causes and many children suffer from bleeding ulcers, headaches and stomach complaints.

The effects of intimidation and harassment on a child are many and far-reaching. They are more likely to suffer from mental issues, such as depression and low self-esteem which can follow them into adulthood. They have more health complaints, and their school work and grades can suffer dramatically. 

Another factor?  Revenge. It is estimated that in the 1990s, 12 out of the 15 school shootings were instigated by children who had been victimized by bullying. (MBNBD (2009). Facts and Statistics). Take for example, the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999. While the act itself was heinous, it was revealed that both the shooters were bullied at school and were seeking a generalized revenge. It is no excuse for the murders, but it leaves one to wonder if the outcome had been different if school officials, adults or even fellow students had stepped in at one time or another and stopped the professed bullying of these students. Unfortunately, during the aftermath of the tragedy, gun control advocates stepped in to spread their message and the focus became about them, rather than focusing on what could have been an ideal time to discuss the effects and prevention of bullying. 

Another disturbing consequence of bullying can be juvenile suicide. According to a study at Yale Institute, children who are the victims of bullying are two to nine times more likely to kill themselves than those who are not. (Bullying Statistics.org)

Bullying can extend its reach far out of the classroom and onto the Internet. “Cyber bullying” is just as harmful and to date, there have been several recent cases covered in the media. Many have ended in suicide, like in the case of Megan Meier who hung herself after a friend’s mother harassed her through the social site, MySpace, pretending to be a boy with whom Meier developed feelings for. (Wikipedia 2012) Meier is far from the only case. Many states have implemented an Anti-Bullying Legislation in an attempt to prevent and punish those who create such situations. Unfortunately, these legislations are unfunded and have no real impact on the issue, and some Christian groups actually are fighting these laws because they believe that it fosters acceptance of homosexual children.

"We feel more and more that [gay] activists are being deceptive in using anti-bullying rhetoric to introduce their viewpoints, while the viewpoint of Christian students and parents are increasingly belittled." (Denver Post, 2010) The quote is from the “education expert” from the extremist “Focus on the Family” group. 

This quote seems to actually prove the opposite; Focus on the Family is using the important issue of bullying to further their hate-filled agenda. Their propaganda actually hurts students who suffer in silence while being humiliated and exposed to bullying at schools. Homosexual or not, every child has the right, and the need, to feel safe and unthreatened at school, and the hatred of one over-zealous group of fanatics should not have the power to impede that right. However, that’s exactly what is happening. 

In Arizona, the group actually persuaded the local government to kill an anti-bullying bill because of their belief that it carried a “gay friendly agenda.” (The Huffington Post; Politics 2012).
While anti-bullying laws are not the end-all solution to this terrible epidemic, they are a start in the right direction, and unfortunately misguided groups such as these are a hindrance to any progress that could be made.  Because of this lack of support, and a lack of funding, it becomes necessary to take action at a local level. 

Many schools have incorporated programs, held informational assemblies, printed t-shirts and organized events. But it’s not enough. We need to step up and stop it when we see it. We need to speak up when it happens to us, despite the fear of retaliation. Educators need to be more diligent and pay attention to the warning signs and changing moods of the children they see eight hours every day. They are the children’s first line of defense against bullying and without the support, attentiveness and compassion of their teachers, intimidation, violence and fear will continue to permeate the lives of one out of every five children.

It’s cycle that needs to stop. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Manscaping

A post from a few years back. Thought I'd pull it out again. 
 
Be forewarned: This post possibly contains material which may be unsuitable for younger viewers. Or something like that.


The other morning I was accidentally listening to a morning show on the radio. Normally, I would flip the station as fast as I could because I hate talk shows of any kind, tv or radio. But the topic was Manscaping and despite myself, I got interested.

Manscaping is a new term for me, although the instant I heard it, I knew what it was. Pretty self explanatory. The definition, anyway. The motivation behind it, not so much. While there is nothing wrong with trimming those nose hairs, do I really want my husband in the bathroom shaving his nether regions? After a long, hard day at work, do I want him to take his truck to the salon (and that's Salon, not saloon) and have his back waxed?

God, no. Why? Because I married a man, not a smooth skinned prepubescent boy. I like some chest hair on my men. A man's arms should not be smoother than mine and I shouldn't feel like I have to shave my legs every frickin' day because I'm worried that my husband's baby smooth legs will be scratched raw by my stubble.


No, no, no. That's just wrong. Wrong, I tell you. And as for his...well, you know...C'mon! I mean, really? Really? Why? One of the callers on the station stated "If you trim the bushes around the tree, the tree looks bigger." Hmmm... to me that's false advertising. Yes? Aren't there men out there that complain that the Wonder Bra is false advertising? Wouldn't that fall under the same category? As a subscriber to the "it's not the size of the tree, but how you use it" school of thought, personally, I really don't care. Are there people out there who really do? Apparently so.

Another caller worked in the medical field and had seen middle school boys shaving below the belt. As soon as that hair would come in, they were shaving it off. She said that it's attributed to the smooth bodied men in advertisements. Ooo la la.


But apparently, these kids see that and think that's what the girls want.

Which means that these 13-14 year old boys are already taking their superman underpants off in the presence of 13-14 year old girls. I don't know about you, but that scares the hell out of me. I didn't even know what a penis looked like when I was 13, let alone formed any opinion on what a boy's pubic hair, or lack there of, should look like. They're little kids, for goshsake.

And this works both ways...One woman called in to say that she was completely "bald down there."



She was into trends, she said, and had everything lasered off. What if the trends change? she was asked. Well, she thought of that she said, but "is that ever something that goes out of style?"  As for me, I'll shave the bikini line for trips to the pool and I do the whole landing strip thing for special occasions but that's about it. I keep maintained, but there are other times when it's like the Congo down there, and I've never had any complaints. Maybe that's because he knows if he does complain, there will be no more safaris. Ever.

And besides, when I get the chance to take a shower, I barely have time to wash my hair, let alone go bushwhacking. Nor do I have the money to pay someone to do it for me.

And so, to sum up this eloquent post, I'll just say a little hair never hurt...





Thoughts?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Life and Suicide


A year ago this month, I attended a funeral for a second cousin who had committed suicide. Even though I hadn’t seen him in years, witnessing the pain his death caused in those close to him was heartbreaking, because I know what it’s like to lose someone you love so violently.

Seven years ago today, my grandpa, “poppy”, shot himself in the head. (The story is here.) Even though so much time has passed, his death still causes a strange ache inside me. There is something about a suicide that never lets go. There is always the “why?” question that never will be answered.  I think of that day and the days that immediately followed. I think of my family and the shock and the crushing pain. Awhile back, I found myself with a handful of sleeping pills, wondering how many it would take to put me to sleep. Forever. I’ve thought about my pistol; the gun safe combination and a trigger. So simple. So quick. And then I think of my kids. And I think of poppy. And I realize that I will never do it. Suicidal Ideation is one thing; the actual act is another. No one can know what goes on in another person’s head and we have no right to judge, but for me, I know that as deep and as dark as my depressions can get, I know I will never go that far. Why poppy did, I’ll never know.

I had a tattoo created in his memory; as a tribute and as a reminder of what life is. It is several very vibrant, very life-like poppies, an obvious reference to “Poppy”. The flower is also my birth month flower; it is the flower of remembrance and consolation. They are rendered in a deep red-orange color; representing passion, happiness, life, vitality, and survival. It’s in a very prominent location on my upper left arm. It’s not a tattoo I take lightly, and every time I look at it I’m reminded of everything that is important to me. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Inspire Me

I used to blog all the time. I’d post about 4 to 5 times a week. I had a loyal pack of followers. I was even making money doing it. Granted, it wasn’t millions, but it was a couple hundred. Enough to convince me that maybe blogging could be more than a vehicle which I simply was using to vent my frustrations. I was asked to review products and got some really cool stuff in return. Then about a year ago…what shall I say? I flipped out? Had a nervous breakdown? Became certifiably insane? One of those. Officially it was labeled bipolar, but what’s the difference?

So here I am. Kind of back. Tentatively. I don’t even remember what I used to write about that was interesting enough that I once had over 500 followers. What did I write about? I did write about pubic hair. I remember that one. And my kids, I’m sure they made an appearance. I work at home. They’re like my co-workers. The co-workers that don’t do anything but sit around and complain about the boss and the working conditions they’re subjected to.  Did I write about my friends? Maybe. But then they read what I wrote and now I don’t have any more friends. I’ll have to think of something else. There has to be some fresh topics. I have a friend on facebook who makes some really good Whitney Houston jokes. Maybe I’ll have to enlist him.

This shall serve as my come back post. Again. I think I’ve come back many times. Short attention span. But this time I mean it. Until I don’t. But I’m enlisting suggestions…any pressing topics you think I should cover? The exciting details of my day to day life?

Inspire me. Pleeeasssse.

Friday, January 6, 2012

There is only now.

Today my youngest son, Sam had to go in for hydrocele surgery. Hydroceles are caused during prenatal development when the processus vaginalis ( I don't know. I can't pronounce it either.) membrane fails to close completely. It causes fluid to drain from the abdominal cavity into the scrotal sac then the scrotum swells. If it's not surgically repaired, it can cause a hernia.

 Sam couldn't eat or drink anything after 5:00am and his surgery wasn't until 11:15am. Which was probably a good thing, since he got car sick and threw up twice on the way to Denver. And I thought I was the one with the nervous stomach.

After the four hour hike out of the parking garage and into the hospital, we finally found the admissions desk and signed in. The doctor was actually running early, which was very possibly a world record, and we waited less than ten minutes before we were taken back into the pre-op area. Dressed in his little gown and socks, Sam looked so small on the bed they had him on. But he was smiling and laughing, oblivious, which I think, was a good thing.

Only one of us got to go back with him when they administered the anesthesia, and I won because I was the only one that would fit in the gauzy jumpsuit. I could tell Sam was starting to get a little freaked out when the nurse started rolling him through the hallway. I tried to keep up, but the nurse was also trying to set a new land speed record. In the operating room, Sam kind of whimpered; all the lights and equipment were overwhelming. I may have whimpered, too. They switched him onto the operating table and I was able to lean down next to him while they put the mask over his face. He fought and fought it. One nurse had to hold his hands down, while one held his head, trying to get the mask over his face. I tried so hard not to cry, but I couldn't help it. I had no idea how hard it would be to watch your child be forcefully put to sleep like that. And then having to turn around and leave him? I hope to God that is something I never, ever have to do again.

The surgery was surprisingly quick and only took about 45 minutes. The doctor came out, said everything went well and that someone would be out to get us when Sam woke up. No one ever came...each time the door opened, both my husband and I would look up hoping it was someone looking for us. Their few minutes turned into an hour before a guy in a football jersey and a sleeve of tattoos came out to get us.

"I've never seen a kid not want to wake up like him," he said, leading us back. "I thought that maybe he'd be more responsive to familiar voices."

He wasn't.

Sam just outright did not want to open his eyes. The man with the dragon tattoo finally unhooked all Sam's monitors, IV, etc. and my husband held Sam, trying to wake him up a bit. We stuck a straw in some apple juice and held it to Sam's lips and all of a sudden he was drinking. With his eyes shut. The grape Popsicle, however, got those eyes open. They sent us home with a prescription for Tylenol/Codeine.

Sam slept on the way home and I sat there, so thankful that it was such an easy, successful surgery. It was a simple problem that was treated in a single day. It made me do some reevaluating of my life. No matter how bad it is, of course, it can always be worse and while that's the absolute last thing you want to hear when you're dealing with your personal issues, it is also so true. I thought about all the parents' that take their kids in for surgery, kids whose lives depend on it, kids who spend more time in the hospital than at home. Kids that will never live to see their teens. Parents' that have to accept that and deal with it the best way they can. I was crying over the simple process of administrating anesthesia. My heart goes out to all the families that know that without the hospital, the doctors and the medicine, that their child would be dead. My heart aches for the families that know every nook and cranny of that children's hospital, having walked the halls over and over while their child undergoes another procedure.

The several hours spent there today, made me look at my kids and realize that, yes, I take them for granted and that is the most harmful thing I could do. "In a minute", "I'll play in a second" or "Later". I'm guilty of saying those often, but I don't have a guarantee that there will be a minute or a second or a later. So tonight, we pulled out the games and sat on the floor, eating cheetos and goldfish. There were no "in a second" or "in a little while".

There was only now.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

11 Fear That Are Holding You Back (Guest Post from www.PinkBikerChic.com)


Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, an engaging motivational speaker known internationally as The Pink Biker Chic - a brand developed to empower individuals to take control of the handlebars of their lives through the power of PINK: Power, Integrity, Negotiation and Knowledge. Don’t let the pink fool you.  Retired Air Force Master Sergeant Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez is a force to be reckoned with.  She trains women and men how to re-think and re-direct their energies for higher performance and better bottom-line professional and personal decisions. She may be reached online at www.PinkBikerChic.com


11 Fears That Are Holding You Back
By Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez

It’s been said that FEAR stands for “Forget Everything And Run.” It’s that uncomfortable, disconcerting feeling that causes us to take a back seat in our own life and prevents us from proactively moving forward to reach our goals and aspirations. Instead of facing a personal, business or workplace situation head on and taking control of the proverbial handlebars of life, fear causes us to turn the other way, freeze in our tracks, or poke our head in the sand. 

One way to counteract fear’s adverse impact on your life and career is to recognize the type of fear that might be defining you and driving your actions – or lack thereof.  In fact, there are many “types” of fears that will prevent you from achieving in both your personal and professional life. Recognizing the specific fears that are be holding you back is the critical first step toward breaking free of the emotional paralysis and living a more carefree, uninhibited life. As the saying goes, “No guts, no glory.”

Below are 11 common fears that hold people back from that which they desire both personally and professionally:

1.  Fear of Success – This is actually a fear of achieving your dreams and standing out. Fear of the attention you will receive should you actually realize success.  Yes, people might look at you, and talk about you, which can make you feel self-conscious. Sometimes, it’s the fear of taking the steps necessary to work toward your goal, or knowing what to do first when all seems daunting at the onset.  We all have things we want to achieve in life but, by giving into this particular fear, you lose faith in yourself and your abilities, and also faith in those who truly have your best interest at heart and want to see you succeed.  And, remember that even baby steps are forward momentum.

2.  Fear of Leading – With leadership comes responsibility, and many are afraid of being responsible for an outcome that impacts not only themselves, but also the people they are guiding. Many with this fear worry and wonder, “What if I lead them the wrong way?” This is where you need to trust your intuition to guide you and have faith that you will make the right decisions – the same faith others have instilled in you so they may follow.  Letting go of the outcome and its various possible impacts brings freedom and, with it, releases you from fearing the unknown.  It allows you to trust your leadership skills and be an example for others.

3.  Fear of Speaking – Many people fear public speaking more than any other activity.  Speaking requires a palpable level of confidence and ability. In our lives and careers, we are sometimes required to present thoughts and ideas to others.  Whether it is ideas at a school PTA meeting, a speech at a wedding or funeral, a briefing during a staff meeting or a full-scale conference keynote, it’s all public speaking. Being a confident speaker requires training, not talent.  Master this skill and you will command the attention and respect that you deserve and the successes will ensue.

4.  Fear of Encroachment – Many women and men today are working in fields that were once traditionally a gender-specific field, such as the military, manufacturing, construction, automotive, nursing, fashion and beauty, culinary arts, etc. Working in an environment with a gender-based stereotype has its own challenges and requires a high level of confidence in your abilities and a strong voice to be heard, and even supported, among others who may not regard you as a peer.  If your desires are unconventional or non-traditional - or simply go against what is expected of you by family members or friends – dig deep and stay true to who you are and what you want out of life. You don’t have to be loud and aggressive; just be unwavering in your vision and persevere.

5.  Fear of PowerPower is your proverbial fuel source – where your inner strength emanates from, your passions burn bright. It’s the juice that allows you to keep going in the face of adversity. Without power, you simply cannot move forward amid life’s seemingly endless road blocks. For all of its importance, power is simply a mindset – a genuine, heartfelt belief that you can do anything you set your mind to. Period. If you aren’t tapping into your authentic power, take some time to dig deep and cultivate it. It’s there and fully available for you to use, and it’s ready to make your dreams come true. Start small, achieve, and savor it. Then confidently aim a little higher, achieve and revel in it. Before long, you’ll be powerful enough to shoot for the stars.

6.  Fear of Inadequacy – Feelings of inadequacy can come from inherent low self-esteem or past negative life experiences.  If someone has told you that you couldn’t do something or shamed you into believing you weren’t capable of doing something “well enough,” you may carry that feeling of ineptitude and not even realize it.  This subconscious stronghold can be truly debilitating.  The best defense against a fear of inadequacy is to learn and master the specific skill, subject or activity in question and, in doing so, you will become self-assured in your execution.  If it’s more about fundamental self esteem, seek out the emotional support to help you value and believe in your own capabilities.

7.  Fear of Failure – All too often we stop short of attempting something new for fear we might embarrass our self or, worse, fail all together. Any given undertaking has the possibility of resulting in failure, which is never a desirable or welcome outcome.  But, when facing something new, a fear of failure can be amplified as anxiety, nerves, and our “fight or flight” instinct kicks in.  These intense feelings can cause us to put our aspirations on the shelf where they can languish in perpetuity.  Mary Kay Ash perhaps said it best: “Fail forward to success.” Indeed, failure is part of the road toward success and should not be feared but embraced as an opportunity for growth. 

8.  Fear of Compromising Integrity – Integrity means doing the right thing even when no one is looking or will ultimately know.  Many fear that, in order to be successful in a career, we have to compromise our integrity and go against what we believe to be right. Overcoming this concern requires nothing more than establishing a specific set of boundaries within yourself and knowing exactly where and when you will draw the line – and sticking steadfast to that plan of action. It’s a commitment to making belief-based decisions in all aspects of your life so that, when success is realized, there is no guilt or angst involved about how that success manifested.  It’s important to recognize that you CAN be successful while adhering to your personal value system.

9. Fear of Vulnerability – While it can be uncomfortable and downright scary to open your self up and expose your true inner self and your ideas and aspirations to others of importance in your life, doing so can be cathartic - and a true turning point in effecting positive change.  Letting down your guard takes courage and strength, and allowing yourself to be vulnerable can help you better relate with people on a more intimate and personal level.

10.  Fear of Being Alone – Many people stay in abusive relationships or negative career situations because they are afraid of being alone, breaking away from the pack, or being isolated from a situation and people they once valued. It’s impossible to be completely content in life if you are uncomfortable being by yourself, or if your positive frame-of-mind is contingent on anyone or any thing else - whether personal relationships or professional affiliations.  Such co-dependency allows your attempts at happiness and success to be controlled by external third parties, which will rarely bear optimal results.

11. Fear of Appearing Selfish – For some, it feels selfish to do anything for themselves so, instead, they do for everybody else and either burn out, harbor feelings of resentment, or both.  To neglect your own needs and focus solely on those of others can make you feel overwhelmed, stressed out, under pressure and weighed down. Often, it can be difficult to find a way out of this quagmire once people have developed expectations and have come to depend on you – and you’re not one to disappoint. However, taking care of your needs first is not a selfish luxury, but rather a psychological imperative to ensure you’re emotionally nourished in your own right. Only then should you tend to the needs of others, which should be in addition to and not in lieu of.

The best way to combat any fear is to hit it head on, keep moving forward and stay focused on achieving your goal.  There will always be obstacles that make reaching your goal seem impossible, and you must be disciplined and tenacious enough to stay focused and on track toward your goal. You must also be committed enough to not only make a promise to yourself, but also see it through even when the going gets tough. Only then can you keep the fear at bay and hit the fast track toward success.


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