Forward from Fear: Six Ways to Get into the Waters of Life Even When We Feel Afraid

Starting a new venture in life is much like entering the water to go for a swim. Some people tip-toe around the edges, some race in with vigour, others wade in slowly preparing themselves by gradually acclimatizing to the change.

toe-in-waterSadly, there are those who never get involved, who watch others having fun and wish they too had the courage to get into the water. We all know timid folks who live their whole lives on the edges.

My friend Marg learned how to swim in her fifties because she was tired of feeling afraid.  After overcoming that fear her courage was renewed enough to look at a new career: teaching. It couldn’t have been easy for a retired journalist to become a student again. She was turned down by the first university of her choice. So she applied again out of her home city, was accepted, gave up her apartment and moved into a boarding house close to her new school. After graduating she began applying for teaching positions. When she couldn’t find work in Ontario she applied to various provinces. Finally she settled in Manitoba where she made a difference in the lives of challenged, challenging students.

What can we learn from Marg about “Getting into the Waters of Life”?

  1. Decide you want a better life.
  2. Describe the life you want on paper.
  3. Switch from negative news and people to positive stories about heroes in everyday situations.
  4. Enlist a “buddy” to provide encouragement.
  5. Determine yourself to overcome your fears by taking action, one step at a time.

Marg started in the baby pool getting her head in the water. She learned to prepare herself for change by learning new skills, developing new habits, trying new foods and meeting new people. Most importantly, she persisted despite obstacles.

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