TGIF- Facing Fear

Think. Grow. Inspire. Friday.

Hello, and thank you for reading my column! I am very excited to be a contributing writer to Everything Unscripted, and I look forward to sharing my insights with you.

I am a 52-year-old wife, mother of three grown children, mother in law to one, and “elected” mom to a bunch of others. I have been a stay at home mom, a working mom, and now self employed as a franchise owner of Sculpt Health and Wellness, Canada in Riverview, New Brunswick. I have a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, and have competed in 3 Body building shows in bikini. I feel that the range of life experiences that I have had will give me lots of inspiration for this weekly format.

As I read through Facebook posts every week about people grumbling about Mondays and wishing for “thank God it’s Friday”. I thought, “wouldn’t it be awesome if people lived lives that they were grateful for every day that they had?” So I decided to post things that might help people to change their outlook, and thus my version of tgiF was born!  When Ruth Ann asked me to write for her page, it seemed a perfect name for my blog.

My intention with these writings is to share my life experience and things I have learned along the way in the hope that it will be relevant, and help someone else to realize that they are not the only one going through a situation, or to help someone look at a situation in another way. I do not wish or expect you to take my opinion as your own, but to have a discussion and to share ideas. We are all wiser from shared experiences and stories.

So now that you know a bit about me, and my intention for this blog, let me share with you some insights I have had about the nature of fear. One of my favorite quotes is by Marianne Williamson.

 

When I first read this quote years ago, the truth of it struck very close to home. So much of my life was spent not doing things because I was afraid of not doing them perfectly, and how others would judge me because of my “imperfection”.  When I was watching my two youngest children in their Tae Kwon Do class, and especially at testing time, I realized that I wanted to have that experience for myself, to learn something new and to handle disappointment and challenges, so at age 40, I started classes. It was a huge step outside of my comfort zone, and I was going to stop before I got to the board breaking and sparring part, but somewhere along the way, I learned about the power I had inside me.

 

There were so many life changing moments for me in that journey from white belt to black belt. The first was that I was not “mom” in that space, I was the lower belt to my kids, and always would be. So after a few classes of me watching them from the back row, I realized that I was there to focus on what I was doing, not them. It was a great lesson for all of us about our roles and building our own strengths. Then there was the night when I was still a white belt and we finished the night with “no contact” sparring. Of course, as I really didn’t know what I was doing, I contacted with the other person, and my toes were bent back, and I was hopping around in pain. Then I did something that I never would have done before, I kept going, I kept moving. When I got home, the whole top of my foot was bruised, and I propped it up on a pillow and iced it, and was strangely proud of my first “sports related injury”. This was new territory for the geeky girl who grew up avoiding sports.

 

Just about everyone who starts off in martial arts is very timid when it comes to expressing oneself when you kick or punch, especially adults, and female adults even more so. I was no exception, but the class when I “found my yell” was amazing. It came from a place that I didn’t know I had in me, and it felt GOOD! By the time I got to my green belt test, I was learning to tap into that inner strength and I broke a board with my hand, first try! Then there was sparring… Not my favorite part of the process, but necessary as I continued on my journey to Black Belt. What I learned from sparring was that the ultimate goal was more important that the momentary discomfort, and that I can get through anything if I put my mind to it. Again, in the past, my fear would have stopped me from going forward, and I would have missed out the opportunity to do what only a small percentage of people have achieved, earn a Black Belt.

 

These have just been a few examples of how I faced up to fear, through Tae Kwon Do, and the lessons that I have learned have stayed with me, and have been used in many areas of my life. Sometimes they get forgotten, and I have to be reminded of my call to not play small, but I am lucky to have many people in my support network that I will give me a push in the right direction.

My challenge to you this week is to find something that you are “afraid” of and to take a look at where that fear comes from. Then take one step forward into that fear and share with us how that made you feel. All the best to you all this week. I look forward to hearing your comments and feedback. Until next time, think, grow, inspire, not only on Friday, but everyday!

~Michelle
1 comment
  1. Michelle, you are such an inspiration to me and to so many others! I enjoyed so much of my time working with you and am filled with fond memories of your love for others.

    Thank you for starting this blog. You have inspired me to get out there and push myself to do something for me. Focusing on being the best Mom I can be has made it so easy to avoid working on the best version of myself.

    I have no idea yet as to what I am going to do for myself, but the one thing I can promise is to actually be present and allow myself the opportunity and time to enjoy the person that I am.

    Thank you for being so brutally honest. Sometimes it takes reading another person’s struggle to remind you of what you need to do. This article resonates with me so much. I have finally allowed myself to be the best Mom I can be AND be the best possible version of myself.

    Good luck in all of your endeavors, Michelle!

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