Friday, December 31, 2010

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway

I was into self-help books for a while in my twenties. I believe my early twenties which was in the mid 90's. This was also the time that there was a huge surge of infomercials. I used to love watching the infomercials. So many different products and ideas.  Some seemed useful and others seemed down right idiotic.

Infomercials also gave me a great perspective regarding dating, but that's another post. There were a few infomercials that I absolutely loved in the self-help arena. One of them was relationship related called "Light the Fire Within" by Ellen Kreidman.  There were a set specifically directed to women and one for men.

I was not in a financial position to purchase them at the retail, opps I mean discounted infomercial AMAZING price so I checked my local library.  Sure enough the library had both cassette tapes in stock. No, I did not have a typo there I did write cassette tapes. Where does the time go, seems like I've not thought of cassette tapes in years, or seen one, or touched one. I digress, sorry.

I don't know why I was attracted to them since I wasn't in a relationship at the time and didn't really care if I was in one. I listened to them over and over. I think I may have even made a copy of them with my dual cassette tape player and recorder boom box. Loved those things. I did not ever make a copy for the purpose of making a profit off of them, in the event anyone needs to know.

I think my brain was thirsty for knowledge and since I enjoyed social and personal relationships this seemed to give me a lot information I could tuck it in the back of my brain for later use. One of the things that I remember quite vividly was the phrase Ellen used to describe a specific situation which was "feel the fear and do it anyway". She was telling about a situation with one of her neighbors.  The neighbor wanted Ellen to deal with the situation because they didn't have the confidence to deal with it.  Dr. Kreidman explained how she herself felt the same fear and anxiety over doing things like that but she did it anyway because it had to be done.

Now to the point of my post. Sorry I felt the background was necessary to get the whole picture. I was in Target last week doing my regular grocery shopping when I happen to realize that shopping in the exact same department is someone I knew from my childhood.  I had actually known this person since I was 5 years old. I have known this person longer than anyone else in my life, other than family members. 

I'm was torn as to if I should say anything to her or not? Last year we re-connected via facebook and it was internet only.  We had not arranged to meet in person or talked on the phone. At the time I was very perplexed as to why this person would want to connect with me again anyway.  About 15 years ago, the last word I heard about her was if she ever saw me again she was going to "kick my ass" - her words.

This whole "kick my ass" business had to do with her not wanting me to tell another friend of ours something that she needed to know. I didn't think this person was going to really come clean and confess her dealings to our friend.  I realized that I had an obligation to tell our friend and so I did.  I know this person was not proud of but we all have those situations that we've been through. Once our friend told this person that she knew that's when the "you tell her if I ever see her again I'm going to kick her ass" statement came out. 

Back to the present.  We had reconciled a bit via the internet and she didn't know why I was so standoffish to meet and I told her why and funny enough, she says she didn't even remember all of that happening.  So I'm faced with a do I say something to her or not dilemma. My immediate reaction was to just duck and cover so she doesn't notice me. I would think that most would do the same thing after 15 years of keeping an eye out for this person who's last words were ones that might result in bodily harm if you ever meet up in person. 

So I ducked and covered and took myself to another part of the store to hit a different part of my shopping list. From 20 years ago I hear "feel the fear and do it anyway". So I threw the idea back and forth and then I thought, hey why not. What do you have to lose. Might be interesting like those infomercials to see what the outcome might be. So I tried to find her in the store. Sure as you know what... couldn't find her. Of course Murphy and his Laws had to laugh at me there. No problem, on with the list. I made a note of this to be a lesson to myself to "do it now" another infomrercial lesson for a later date.

I was wrapping up my shopping when I spotted her. Aha.. I got my cart into NASCAR mode and raced on over to where she was. She had her back turned to me at the time, I said her name. She turned around and seemed surprised but happy to see me. I suspect that she did the same duck and cover since she was in the original area I saw her in at first but when I went back to that area she was gone... Hmmm...

It went a LOT better than I had suspected. We still have a lot in common, some children the same age, and we live fairly close to one another. Life has obviously had time to soften her and myself and it was a pleasant reconnection.  All those years and even the last year semi-reconnecting that I've held onto this what if I see her anxiety. Not really an issue in the end. I felt the fear/anxiety of what might happen and did it anyway.  Thank you "Light the Fire Within" author. You never know what will come back one day and be a useful tool to help you with your life. 

Is there anything your putting off because you fear it or have anxiety about it? In the end it might not be the big monster you imagine it to be.  One way to find out.....