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"Fear in Your Chapter 2" is today's Purpose Project blog

Starting your Life's Chapter 2 is a thrilling opportunity! But it can also be a scary proposition. I don't think there's any way to escape those moments (or hours or days) of anxiety and fear, but we can prepare as best as we can. That's why it's key to create your vision board early in your Chapter 2 process. Once you begin to see and feel your goals, you will be better equipped at switching out the fear images in your head to those images on your vision board - the ones that remind you of the joy and accomplishment you know is coming your way.

For the first few years of Pajama Program, my fear was all about having enough pajamas, books and funding for all the children in my green, "Needs Pajamas" folder. That folder was my lifeline to those children. I lost sleep night after night, knowing that as that list was growing, our supply of gifts was diminishing. The day I received Jason's note my fear grew ten-fold. I could not see my way out of my greatest fear - letting these kids down because I couldn't do the job. I battled that fear every day. Night's darkness made it worse. Finally, I felt my heart open to an idea brought on by my fears. Yes, I'd have to ask a lot more strangers for help; yes, the dollars I needed to keep going were much more than I could have ever imagined; yes, there was a chance I'd fail miserably. And while all that was incredibly frightening, this little boy's note was the visual that I concentrated on. I had the best reason of all to walk through that fear storm, Jason. He loved his pajamas and so would every child on my list once I started asking for help. I finally had a picture on my vision board that helped me walk through the fear.

I used to say, "feel the fear and do it anyway." But some time ago I heard a line in a romcom (my favorite movie genre through the pandemic) that really resonated with me, "sometimes you just have to do it afraid." And for some reason, that phrase calmed me. I realized I didn't have to steel myself and charge into a situation with a strong front and brave face. Sometimes I could just take a deep breath and walk into that scary place, accepting that I'd be uncomfortable and fearful, but not forever. I learned that I didn't have to alarm myself by filling my body up with anxiety and stress on top of the fear, that I'd get through it and probably learn something new and valuable that I could then use moving forward. Doing it afraid gives me permission to accept my fears and not fight them. Fighting with my fear always seemed to multiply the number of worse-case-scenarios in my head! It takes practice to give up the fight, but it does seem to help. I hope you'll try it and let me know your thoughts.

Keep your vision board full of images that are the opposite of what fear looks like to you. Look at your board often, feel what the pictures mean to you, and let that smile spread across your face. That smile is way more potent than any of your fears. Your smile rules your heart. And nothing beats a full heart.

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