Category Archives: Big Scary Monster Series
Good morning all you beautiful, unique handprint souls! As part of my Big Scary Monster Series, I’m honored to present to you this amazing guest post from my dear friend Val from Balancing Val. Enjoy!
From a young age, I have always been a bit weird about the green stuff.
Whenever I had any, I saved it. Whenever I spent money on myself, I felt
guilty. I always had this overwhelming belief that I needed to save as
much as I can in case something bad happened. Over the years this belief
developed into a full blown fear. I’m not even sure how this all happened
seeing as how my family always had enough and us 4 kids had a great
childhood, but it did.
As I got older and had my first jobs and bills, things got even more out of
control by staying too IN control if that makes sense.
Sure, there were positives to it. I developed amazing credit at an earlyage and everything was payed on time. But the negative was that I really ONLY spent money on necessities. The rare times that I would spend on myself for pleasure sent me into a vicious cycle of guilt that had me scrimping up the pieces all over again in an uncomfortable restrictive state.
For this reason, it was hard for me to stand up for myself when it came to
taking jobs I didnt really want. Sure, the safest jobs paid the bills and
let me be financially stable, but its not good to be mentally
unstable at a job that isnt nourishing your core. Last year I
decided to take a leap of faith, follow my true passion and go to culinary
school in NYC to become a natural foods chef. Of the many fears that arose, you better believe that money was the scariest. This is the first time in my life
where the future is not certian. The first time in my life where I must
depend on ME and my own dreams to pay a large sum of money
that I borrowed to afford me this opportunity.
The combination of this all prompted me to start scrimping, and come up with a plan so I can save enough for when that “bad” thing happens. In my new found
confidence that came with following my passion, I realized that I couldnt
continue being so scared and something had to change.
So, I started exploring my fear by digging down in the depths of
uncomfortable beliefs and found that I treat money the way I treat myself.
- I never feel like I am enough
- I need to hide my purpose/gifts in case I fail
- I am insecure
As I work on these beliefs, I am noticing that fears are slowly taking a
better turn. I am worrying less about the future and I
now only spend money on what I believe in. I have a crazy exciting
road ahead of me and the only way to make it easier is if I start truly
embracing the things that hold me back, even if its a big scary monster.
Thanks so much Val! Don’t forget to submit your posts for the Big Scary Monster series, link to posts on your own blog or leave your thoughts in the comments! I’ll include links to all submissions in a roundup post at the end of each month for the duration of the series.
Let’s start off with this pearl of wisdom:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Williamson (emphasis my own)
I think one of the saddest things in the world is to see potential go to waste. We all have missions in life, gifts we have to offer the world, but many of us shrink back instead of rising to the calling.
Well, we’re scared. Scared that we won’t make it, that no one wants what we have to give, that we have nothing original to offer, or we’re just afraid of taking the risks that come with being great.
On the other hand, a lot of us are unconsciously terrified of actually succeeding. We’re afraid to be seen, or to have the openness required to become truly inspiring. We’re afraid that by breaking social norms or class restrictions that we’re “getting above ourselves”, somehow betraying our own.
In our society with it’s Puritanical ethics, we feel that acknowledging our gifts and potential, we’re being prideful or that by taking the time to develop those gifts, we’re being selfish. We’re making others uncomfortable. We feel that by stepping into our greatness, we are somehow wrong.
No wonder we’re so terrified of our own light.
And it’s totally ok to be afraid. Give your big scary monster a hug and tell him this:
- It is my responsibility as a human being to share my light with the world.
- Taking the time and space to develop my gifts and realize my purpose isn’t selfish. Not reaching out to those who need me, hiding my gifts, not leaving my handprint on this world…now that would be selfish.
- Pride and confidence in my abilities are not the same thing.
- Everyone has a purpose, and so do I.
- I can succeed. I will succeed.
So I thought I’d kick off the Big Scary Monster series with some tips on how to actually make friends with our big scary fears. Embracing our fear can seem like a weird thing to do, because aren’t fears something to be conquered?
Remember, fear is how our minds protect us from things that could potentially hurt us. What would happen if we weren’t afraid of anything? We wouldn’t last long, that’s for sure. We’d all be jumping off cliffs and quitting our day jobs before we even have a business plan or a book proposal.
On the other hands, my favorite quote about fear says it all:
“Fear is just excitement with the brakes on.” –Jessica Mullen
We feel fear when we’re about to do something amazing, but potentially unsafe, stepping into the unknown. Whether we’re launching a new business, sending our creations into the world to be looked at, trying a new dance class or just learning to feel our emotions without eating them, we feel fear because we’re moving into an unknown space, and our Big Scary Monster is there to protect us.
Here’s a few tips for giving that monster a big hug and then passing through him:
- Recognize your monster: Understand that he’s only there to take care of you. Thank him for doing so and move on.
- Ask him what he’s protecting you from: Vulnerability, rejection, physical injury, uncomfortable emotions. What are you really afraid of? Of marketing your jewelry line, or of opening yourself to rejection?
- Develop a solid base of self-love: Though this can take years, I find that it’s the best cushion for taking a big leap. If you fail, do something stupid, totally screw up, you still love yourself and know of your own worth, whether your book gets published or not, whether you stuff down your emotions with a package of Oreos or not. Give yourself a hug and know you’re ok.
- Baby steps: Instead of showing your monster who’s boss and launching a massive marketing campaign for your knitwear line in one day, take baby steps. Create a blog or webpage. Set up a Twitter or Facebook account. Get on Etsy. No need to do all that in one day and then travel the country promoting yourself, just stretch a little here and there until the previously unknown becomes familiar territory.
We all have big, scary monsters inside of us, or at least that’s how we feel while we’re experiencing them. These monsters are our fears.
I’ve been writing about fear a lot lately (because I’ve been encountering it a lot, good sign) so I decided to start a series called My Big, Scary Monster and I’d like to invite you to join as well! Write about your fears in the comments, write a post about your Big Scary Monster on your own blog and link back to me. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to email me a post and I can post it on Handprint Soul.
I won’t have a set schedule for this series, I’ll just let your entries trickle in and I’ll write about my own monsters as I encounter them.
The goal of this series is to talk about and face our Big Scary Monsters and ultimately make friends with them, because monsters need friends too.
I don’t believe that fears are things to be avoided, squashed down, ignored, or even conquered. Our minds are designed to protect us and fear is one of the tools it uses to do that. Fear prevents us from stepping into the unknown and being vulnerable. If you feel fear, GOOD! That means you have a fully-functional brain that is serving you well. These are friendly monsters that are just trying to take care of you.
Sometimes, fear can hold us back from what we need to do, and this is when we need to pass through our fears, just like passing through a metal detector in an airport, or through beads hanging in a doorway. You don’t have to blow up the metal detector or tear down the beads, simply walk through them.
- Accept your fear
- Embrace your fear
- Understand your fear
- Pass through your fear
- Grow and be Great
So I’d like to invite you all to join me in the series to write about our Big Scary Monsters, and I’ll include all the posts, links and comments I receive in a round-up post at the end of the month, so this is also a good opportunity to promote your blog if you have one!