Really, It Wasn’t You

Really, It Wasn’t You

I was in a café the other day, and four ladies were having coffee at the table next to me.  They were chatting merrily about social things, when a couple of them noticed a man they knew walking into the café.  The man took several steps in their direction, and suddenly pivoted around and walked out the door again. The ladies were aghast.  One by one, wide-eyed, they chimed in: “Did you see that?” “Do you think he saw us?” “He just turned around and walked away on us!” “What’s wrong with him?” “Maybe he didn’t think we saw him… or maybe he didn’t actually see us.” “Of course he saw us, how could he not have?” “I always knew there was something wrong with that guy.” “I heard his relationship is a total mess.” This went on for almost an hour where the ladies speculated, debated, conjectured, gossipped and bitched about the man who had apparently rejected their company.  After they had run out of verbal steam, they each sat back in their chair with a look of being perplexed, hurt and annoyed, each silently in their own thoughts percolating around the high drama of the recent event. As I watched this event unfold, I appreciated the show of how humans tend to react in the face of rejection.  But this is not the focus of my article.  I was inspired to write about this because I had been that man. I too had walked into a setting with so much fear of bumping into people I knew that I would avoid any unfortunate accidental encounter at all...
Facing The Thing That Scares You the Most

Facing The Thing That Scares You the Most

Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing ~ Unknown What about yourself makes you feel so ashamed, so scared, that you would go to any length to hide it? The one thing that you think you’ve succeed in forgetting, until it returns to haunt you again in some unsuspecting moment. I know it’s in you, because it’s in all of us; just under a different name. Maybe yours is called a childhood memory, or an affair that you are hoping will never re-surface, the guilt that won’t fade away, a compulsive habit that you are trying hard to control… Or maybe it’s your sexual identity or the gnawing sense of emptiness in your marriage. Whatever it is that you are running away from, you are not alone. You’re probably wondering how I am so sure. I’m sure because I ran away from it too. I am 36 years old and I spent the first 26 years of my life trying desperately to convince myself and my family that I was heterosexual. I was so scared of being gay, and so ashamed of my feelings, that I literally thought I must be a weirdo. The fact that I was raised in a culture where even thinking this was a huge sin, added to the shame and disgust I felt for myself. So what do you do when you are a first born in an Indian family and your mom is dead and everyone is looking to you to be the torch bearer of the family? You stuff it all in and get...
How to Breakthrough Ten Common Fears

How to Breakthrough Ten Common Fears

“Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win By fearing to attempt.” – William Shakespeare Fear can be defined as an anxious feeling, caused by our anticipation of imagined, stories, events and experiences. Most of our fears are about the future. When I took speech in college, I was excited and eager to learn. I’ve always been social and outgoing and I’ve lived a challenging and adventurous life. I thought my stories would interest and help others. I was ready to share. The first time I stood up in front of the class, I was anxious and nervous. After about five minutes, I couldn’t go on. In front of everyone, my voice cracked and I began to cry. I quickly returned to my seat. I thought I would die from embarrassment. I did not. I finished the class with a B and five years later, I wrote a book and joined Toastmasters. I learned how to be more confident, craft stories and hold the attention of an audience. I went on to speak professionally to large audiences. My specialty was happiness in the workplace. If I would have quit after that first speech, I would have never progressed. When we ignore and deny our fear, we become stuck in safety, misery, procrastination and predictability. The key is to name, understand and embrace fear and then take smart actions steps to overcome it. The only way out of fear is through it. 10 Fears and Steps to Resolve Them 1. Fear of intimacy You are afraid of commitment, allowing others to get close to...
How to Use Fear, Pain, and Sadness to Create Massive Fuel For Your Dream

How to Use Fear, Pain, and Sadness to Create Massive Fuel For Your Dream

It was hard. Really hard. I’ve seeing my mother cry 2 times in my lifetime… Now it’s 3. “I don’t want you to go.” I didn’t know what to say, how to respond, what to do. So I did nothing. She hugged me, tried to hold back her tears, her emotions. But I’d already seen it, felt it. Can a Dream Make You Cry? About 18 month ago I moved to Japan. I quit my job, left America, and stepped forward to follow a crazy dream: to become a ninja. You’d think the hardest part would have been the first time I stepped foot in the Land of the Rising Sun… I did too. Until now… The Pain and The Dream Go Hand in Hand. For the first time in a year and a half I was back in America. I connected with family and friends. It was amazing. I thought to myself: “No problem, I’ll hang out with friends and family then soon be back in Japan. Continue on with my dream. I won’t miss a step.” I couldn’t have been more wrong. I have dealt with language barriers, visa issues, cultural struggles, intense winter cold, doubts, fears and insecurity… I thought all the “hard parts” were in my past. Wrong again. To this moment, I still hear her words: “I don’t want you to go”. Use Your Fear, Pain, and Tears to Guide Your Next Steps I got off the plane, stepped foot in Japan and made it to my apartment. I have lived here for a year and a half. But everything felt strange, different, new....
How to Dream Bigger in Spite of Fear

How to Dream Bigger in Spite of Fear

In July of 2012, I decided I wasn’t dreaming big enough. I attended a conference full of people doing amazing things for themselves, for charity, for their families… And I felt an incredible sense of inadequacy. Inadequate because what I felt inside wasn’t matching the actions of my outsides, and all these amazing people I was meeting were showing me that it could be done. My heart was overflowing with emotion, compassion and eagerness; I was just so scared to harness it for fear of rejection or failure. In July, I decided to stop letting fear dictate my inaction, and instead, I began to let it fuel me to take more action. My big dream that I’ve been working to make a reality ever since is detailed at the bottom of this post. Please read on to check out how my refusal to listen to fear is going to fuel me as I gather charity donations across North America, and how you can help inspire hope into thousands of people who want to give up. But first, I want to help you overcome your own fears that are holding you back from achieving an epic reality. I think that we all get caught up in the fear of big dreams because when they fail, they hurt so much more than the smaller dreams. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been crushed and paralyzed by fear way more times than I have by rejection or unachieved dreams. I like to think of fear as an emotional recreation of Carrie’s mother. Remember that movie? Yeah, the one with all the...