9/11 taught me one thing – fear. I use to love flying, in fact my stepfather flew small planes when I was in high school and I enjoyed taking off on weekend trips to Lake Placid. Once in the air, I felt free and content to be surrounded by blue skies and puffy white clouds. My feeling about flying changed as I watched the second airplane hit the World Trade Center Tower on 9/11 and later found out a dear friend and his family was aboard. For three years after that horrible day, I could not fly. I couldn’t look at planes. I didn’t want to know when anyone I knew was flying. Fear had seeped in my spirit.
So when I was planning this year’s Retreat looking for speakers and came across Joleene DesRosier’s inspiration to face fear by jumping out of an airplane, I knew I needed to have her speak. Not only because of my new fear of flying, but because I have been paralyzed at times, like most women entrepreneurs, taking huge risks along my business journey. Whether the risk was opening the door in the first place or learning to function after losing a well paying client or having to reorganize the enterprise to make more money, women business owners face fear.
It doesn’t have to take an enormous tragedy like 9/11 to produce fear sometimes it’s small decisions or quick lessons that stop us in our tracks. But we know the only way to survive and thrive is to push past fear every time we face it. I’ve done that many times since 9/11 flying once a year to my favorite place in the world, Sanibel Island. The last few times I’ve needed a morning mimosa to get me on the plane but I can tell you once I’m in the clouds again, I’m grateful to be on the plane and I’m extremely happy to be alive every time we land safely!
Today’s blog post is to encourage you to be brave and courageous in small and big ways anytime you face fear this month. I’ve learned the hardest part about fear is making the decision to do something that’s scary. Once you make up your mind and walk out, or jump out, the door, you free yourself from the crippling emotion fear produces. We become joyously fearless from that moment on.
I am really looking forward to Joleene’s inspiration on “Free Falling Through Fear to Grow” at next week’s Women TIES Retreat. I know her speech will help me see flying differently. I can’t wait because I am so ready to start soaring again, instead of being scared. How do you want to live life?