Try this healthy, delicious recipe from Clean Eating!
Laughing Away Doubt & Fear
When reading the directions, I was a little reticent. What if I couldn’t make the food look like the picture? What if it tasted horrible? What if the doughy consistency was all wrong and the dumplings became the crumbled, broken remnants of my adventurous culinary spirit?
Ah, my old friends doubt and fear had come to visit.
Those little emotions can create havoc if you let them. The duo of doubt and fear can talk me out of things I really want to do because I might fail or look silly.
Doubt and fear are really good at getting me to procrastinate, hide in busyness (oh, too bad I can't do something hard, I have to meet friends for coffee, lunch AND dinner then clean my entire house!) or do nothing because paralysis is far better than trying something with a potentially sketchy outcome.
And honestly, when facing the unknown, doubt and fear can paint a pretty dire picture.
Happily, the mere act of putting your hat in the ring and carrying through with something that feels hard is actually energizing and confidence boosting. (Check out Brene Brown's Daring Greatly)
When I was in high school, some friends and I tried out for a highly competitive modeling gig with a local bridal shop. Only a few from the crowd were chosen to participate in the spring fashion show. By some stroke of luck, I was one of the chosen. The selected few received professional instruction on walking, went to fittings at the bridal shop, and excitedly bonded over magically invisible undergarments. Final rehearsals were a flurry of taffeta, silk and lace.
A day before the fashion show, I was cut.
It was unceremonious and humiliating for this high school kid.
I decided to skip school the next day and eat bowls of cereal and watch daytime television.
I look back and notice I survived.
The shock wore off, the event had no bearing on my future or my social status, and I’m pretty sure that staying home from school and eating copious amounts of carbohydrates was an emerging form of self-compassion that I still practice when things go badly.
It seemed an odd sentiment given the occasion but who am I to judge? I just had to read it.
After the grand wedding procession, I walked up to the podium and began my reading. I reached the words that had given me pause and…I started laughing. It was not a guffaw, a chuckle, or even a giggle. It was a full on, can’t stop, hysteria that is featured in commercials about and may require medication.
Again, I survived.
Most people thought I was overcome with happy tears for my sister.
Thank goodness I had fooled them all.
Sweet Lord! Get the stretcher!
I have had some moments.
I was even able to overcome my fear of spontaneous hysterical laughter during public speeches.
When my father was awarded a posthumous Parchment (degree) from a regional college last year, our family was graciously asked to give a speech. I volunteered my services along with those of my sister.
My sister and I would speak together! Surely that would keep me from laughing.
At the last minute, she decided she couldn’t do it
It was all me.
I feared so much that I would erupt into inappropriate laughter.
But you know what came to me in those moments before I started my speech?
The memory of my dad furiously practicing the band solo he was to perform for an adult band that he belonged to when I was growing up. I can remember him practicing the ballad All Through the Night over and over again with a worn cassette tape. He was obviously nervous, but he prepared all he could. When the time came, he performed his solo in the school gymnasium despite obvious doubt and fear. Some of his notes may have wavered, but he did not. As I recall, he was pretty proud of himself once it was over.
In the same way my dad had sucked it up and played the notes of his French horn, I stood up in front of those college graduates and spoke my truth.
I had prepared the best I could for the moment at hand.
I didn’t laugh once!
In fact, compliments and kind words from strangers abounded.
And I sit here today, I am again facing down doubt and fear.
I am heading to a blog conference this week.
I am going alone.
I know nobody.
It sounded like a good idea when I registered.
Now, I just feel out of my element.
In a recent email for the event I was asked to bring a Media Kit (I don’t even know what that is!) where I report my page views, social media numbers, and other statistics indicative of my blogging success.
And, frankly, if you are reading this, then I applaud you because my page views and social media numbers consist of you and my mom (if she isn’t busy).
Do I feel like a real blogger?
No, I don't. And I can not emphasize my perceived inadequacy enough.
Will I be the suckiest-one-in-the-room? I’m counting on it.
Will I go anyway and meet with other bloggers and affiliates knowing nothing about this business? Yes, I will.
Whatever happens will be perfect.
Whatever lessons await; I am ready.
All I have to do is show up.
Happily, hotels have LOTS of cereal. And room service.
And what about that gnudi recipe that seemed so hard and exotic?
Well, I dug in one night and I made it for my family. I’m not going to say it was flawless. The consistency was questionable, but it was pretty good and made it into our Family Favorites binder.
It only takes one little success at a time to build your confidence and make your life more fulfilling.
But you have to jump in and do it.
And when doubt and fear show up?
Let them ride shotgun.
They are the raw material for your courage and bravery.
Light & Peace,
The Busy Buddha
Talk Back to the Trio
How do you feel once you do something that scares you a little?
What helps you be brave?