Live a Happier Life by Overcoming Fears
Overcoming fears wasn’t the goal of my recent holiday to visit family, but when the opportunity to conquer fear arose, I decided to hop on that pony and ride!
I come from a long line of horse people.
My grandfather, a rancher reputed to be a horse-whisperer, was the first non-native to lead the Calgary Stampede Parade. My grandmother was the first female rider to compete in the Stampede.
I have one sister who owns 13 horses, and one who owns the beauty I’m pictured with.
Then there’s me.
I appreciate horses, but after a few horse-related scares in my life, in particular a traumatic event 15 years ago, I never thought I’d get back on one again. I was afraid to get close enough to pat a horse, let alone ride! It didn’t especially impact my life though, so while I know the value of overcoming fears, I wasn’t inspired to tackle this one.
While visiting my sister, I couldn’t help admire how the lovely painted colt I’d met on my last visit had grown into a beautiful pony. Alison has owned him since he was 4 months. She’s also a Reiki Master, so Kona has been around that energy his whole life, and is so gentle and loving, she plans to train him to be a therapy pony.
Kona was exceedingly friendly, sniffing my neck and face like a puppy, nuzzling affectionately. I was cautious, but enjoyed his attention. He followed close behind while we toured the property on foot, and he was just so sweet and gentle, all my fears melted away. Besides, being a pony he was a little smaller than the horses I’d been on, which I liked!
I found myself telling my sister how I missed riding. Suddenly I had the urge to climb on
and ride him bareback! I decided to act on that impulse while I had the nerve. Alison went to get reins for me to hold — I used that time to really connect with Kona, who has the most soulful eyes I’ve ever seen on a horse. I told him that I was still nervous, but that I trusted him.
I summoned all my courage – determined conquering fear was worth my discomfort – and minutes later I was perched on Kona’s back, with my sister holding the lead.
One small step for pony, one giant leap for woman. I felt so brave! It felt wonderful to literally take my fears by the reins.
Riding Kona bareback was a lovely experience, one of the highlights of my holiday – but it almost didn’t happen – only through overcoming fears was I able to enjoy it.
Not saying I’m going to run out and buy a pony of my own (must admit, the thought crossed my mind!) but I felt infinitely more free. And proud of myself for stepping out of my box.
Comfort zones can be very confining. This fact was really brought home to me during this visit, when I observed how fearful my elderly mother has become of activities most of us would consider ‘normal’. Things like going to a big box store for drugstore supplies, using a bank card, or calling a cab to go downtown. Basically, doing anything that was not part of her long-established comfortable routine.
The big beautiful home she once shared with my father has become a prison. A beautiful one she doesn’t want to leave, but a prison nonetheless. Her very comfortable comfort zone limits her greatly. One by one, her fears have overtaken her, limiting her, crippling her; clearly demonstrating how important overcoming fears is – and what can happen when you don’t. I like this acronym for fear — False Evidence Appearing Real.
When I’m afraid to do something, I don’t accept it at face value. I ask myself what I’m really afraid of – what’s the worst that can happen? Usually it’s so unlikely this will occur, it makes me realize how foolish the fear is, so I go ahead and do it. Or take baby steps toward the real thing.
Feeling fear is natural. That doesn’t mean we should give in to it. It’s a great big beautiful world, but that doesn’t mean much if you’re afraid to go out and enjoy all it has to offer. So I encourage you to do whatever frightens you. Take that job outside your home. Get on that plane. Do public speaking. Get on that pony! Do whatever you have to do to keep your world expanding – keep overcoming fears, whatever they are – you’ll be so glad you did.
Love & Light, Alexandria