How To Get Over Fear – A Lesson On Canoeing

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Somtimes the only way to get over fear is to face it head on.  Only then will you realize that whatever worried you isn’t really that scary at all.

When Six Thirty-One first launched, it had no form.  For me, it was just a means to getting somewhere.  To realizing all of the things I wanted in my life, even though I wasn’t sure what that was.  And, I really had no idea where it was going.  But, it stood for something.

I don’t mean to sound cliche.  But, it did.

It was a last ditch effort to say Screw The System! that gave me hope that things could be better.  

As I am writing this I find myself sighing and shaking my head but I don’t have the words to express what that means.  It’s like, I’m so pissed that I wasted so much time trying to fit into a system that is clearly meant for someone else.  And all along all I had to do was exactly what I wanted to do all along.


I hate wasting time.

Yeah, yeah, I know.  It’s not “wasted”, I get it.  But seriously, sometimes figuring out what your path is, is a curse.  Because once you know, it’s so obvious.  But when you don’t you just struggle and struggle, like paddling upstream with one oar.  You’re flailing your arms a lot, but you just keep turning sideways and getting dumped in the icy cold water.  And the harder you paddle, the quicker you get dumped.


Choices Are Not Limited To Two Options – Find The Third

Eventually you’re going to have to choose.  And no, your choice is not limited to flailing around or succombing to the current.  Sometimes, you have to get out of the damn boat and walk.

Do you see what I mean?  

Walking is obvious…when you’re not already in the boat.  But when you’re in the boat, all you can do is think about keeping afloat.  And then, when you finally decide to jump ship and are truly faced with succombing to the current, it is suddenly obvious that you have to get to shore.  Not until you get there and recover from the treacherous sub-zero waters and thrashing current do you think of walking.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Most people thrash about, reacting to situations.  Things happen, they respond.  And most people never question the response.  But, the truth is that you can guide your response so that you are in a position of offense the next time something happens.

This takes a little bit of faith.  Because sometimes you know something is the right move, but you can’t see why.  

This is what happened to me.  As you know, I have been working to quit my day job for over a year.  

When I quit, it was a surprise.  But it wasn’t unplanned.  What I mean is, I knew quitting my job was only a matter of time.  So as all of the things I had put into place lined up, all that was needed was a catalyst.  The tipping point.

My employer was gracious enough to provide the perfect ammo.  And all I had to do was pull the trigger.

This is one of the situations I was talking about – where I could have continued to flail about reacting, or I could just get out of the boat.

I decided to just get out.

Prepare Before You Make A Choice And The World Rewards You

I had no idea when I started preparing how things would turn out with my employer.  But because I had prepared, I was able to react from a position of offense when something did happen.

For me, ‘preparing’ included a commitment to zero debt.  It also included emotional and physical healing – and a complete overhaul of the way I see the world.

I thought about the world I want to live in.  I thought about what I do and do not want to deal with every day.  I focused on increasing the things that bring me joy – and when it felt like nothing did I focused on removing the things that brought me sadness.

That was hard.  And it took a lot of flailing about.

But do you know what happened when I finally quit?

I was offered the chance to go to New York City and learn marketing techniques from online marketing expert Derek Halpern.


Seriously.  If that isn’t the world smiling at my decision to quit, I don’t know what is.  

All I had to do was stop fighting and get out of the boat.

Fear Will Eventually Try To Stop You

But now I’m faced with a dilemma.  I learned a ton of valuable things in NYC.  In fact, I was overwhelmed by the amount of value Derek provided – and if any of you have an interest in online marketing (online business owners, Etsy shop owners, side business owners, public figures, anyone else at all) I highly recommend you subscribe to the Social Triggers newsletter so that you can learn how social triggers affect your life, and how to use them to your advantage

But back to the dilemma.  Now that I  am rid of my job, and the world has responded by offering me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I have to do something.  I have to use the opportunity to create more opportunity.

And that is the hardest thing in the world to do because part of creating opportunity means risking failure.  And that is scary.

And fear makes us do stupid things.

Like subconsciously putting the brakes on our goals.  You might have experienced this before.  Everything is going along perfectly and suddenly you find yourself off track.  You have lost your willpower.  You have lost your motivation.  You have no way of getting the information you desperately need to finish a task.  You definitely don’t have enough money.  And, even if you did it’s probably a stupid idea anyway.

Hold up.  This is where fear takes control and you are faced with the same familiar struggle over and over again.

Fear makes us believe that because we don’t know how to do something we are unable to complete it.  But the truth is that when you don’t know how to do something,  you are able to create your own solution instead of relying on a pre-existing, possibly broken solution.

And when you do this in a way that lets you use your gifts, you function at your highest level.

Use Your Gifts To Bust Through Fear

Think you don’t have gifts?

Trust me.  You do.  Sometimes though, you might not recognize them as gifts though.

When I was in NYC I asked a few people to describe my qualities after only having known me for a few minutes.  (Sounds weird, I know.  But it’s part of an experiment I’m doing on myself…more on that at another time.)

Their answers were shocking.  Not because of what they said; in fact, they were quite accurate.  But, it was how they viewed those qualities that surprised me.

They said I had “good listening skills”, that I “cut to the core of the problem”, that I “don’t beat around the bush” or “suffer excuses”.  O ne girl noted that I was able to “see how people really are”.

But it was all positive.  As in, “you are really aware and that allows you to see things for how they really are and you use that to cut to the core of a problem so that issues are resolved quickly and easily” kind of way.

I don’t say this to brag.  But to draw comparison.

I have been told all of those things before – in fact I was told them several times in my old job.  I heard things like “your honesty causes a bad work environment” and “your unwillingness to accept that this is how things are will cause you trouble” and other equally charming phrases.

Over time I was made to believe these things were bad qualities.  Turns out, they’re not.  It’s just that I was thrashing about in a canoe, when I could have been walking on shore.

Once I got out of that boat, it was so obvious.


 Do you know someone who would like this article?  Share it with them clicking on your favorite social button below.  And if you’ve ever had a time when you felt like your canoe was out of control, comment below and tell what you did to get it straightened out.  I read every comment.