Do you know that moment between asleep and awake when you are not sure if what is going on is real or a dream?
When if it’s good you’re desperately hanging on to it like a film’s hero hanging on to the edge of the mountain for dear life so they can save the world because you don’t want this massive pile of good feelings and excitement to disappear like smoke on a cloudless night?
Or it’s bad you are urgently trying to push yourself into reality to escape the monsters and nasty emotions you are facing in your nightmare?
You know that moment? Well I just had that moment. For me I leapt awake (quite literally) scaring the tiny made my Jim Henson dog who leapt out of the bed too with a look at me that said “Sorry I thought we were sleeping?”
Had their really being a spider up my nose?
I’d felt it’s wiggling legs with it’s little fibrous hairs on its legs irritating the cilia (posh word for nose hair) up my nose. For anyone that’s a dream that they’d wake fast from, but for me years ago it would have been enough to send me emigrating from my bedroom for weeks.
Because years ago I had a phobia so severe I tried to jump out of a moving car to escape a spider.
My phobia was that severe that it impacted on every waking hour of my life. It was confidence damaging, embarrassing and made me feel weak, worthless and literally depressed. It was a chicken or egg situation that nearly killed me.
Yet tonight’s spider up my nose has as much to do with you as it does me,
Because that fear that I had years ago had been so severe it had wrecked my life and with talking therapies and the skills I still use on my own clients I learnt to not just deal with my fear but to overcome it, and since then every comfort zone and every fear has been dealt with fast so I can get on with what ever I want to achieve.
Okay so I’m never going to be a lover or spiders I’m afraid (apart from the giant one (was it Aragog?) in Harry Potter that wasn’t overly desperate to eat Harry, not that this gave Harry’s side kcik Ron much comfort with his own fear of them!) I can control what I think and the same is true for us all.
Although I don’t’ mind admitting that as I write this 20 minutes ago I did for a brief spark of a moment feel some fear ripple through my body that reminded me of how fearful I’d been years ago, and that is a cautionary tale to us all.
You see you may have managed to achieve a massive personal goal, maybe you’ve stopped smoking, or lost weight, or taking up 5K runs. In your persona life you may have overcome your fear of public speaking or of standing up for what you believe. Scarily your successes can get washed away just like my ability to deal with the fear I had of spiders if you stop paying attention.
It’s a dangerous time for any human that feels fearless. Trust me I know. With fear you always want to treat fear like you treat the sea. Even if you love it, and now have so much fun doing this thing, still show it respect. Because as life boat man and my merchant navy grandad used to say “the day you disrespect the sea is the day you are in trouble.” The same is true with our fears.
Respect that you had them. Always always remind yourself of how you fixed that fear, how you fought that fear, and what enabled you to stay that way. And never be scared to go back and check that you have won your personal battle with that fear.
Fears (real, rational, bizarre, embarrassing) are all there to damage your success. When you respect the fear and know what it had meant to you, you can ensure it stays away for life.
I’ve seen too many people at times of stress, illness or when personally challenging times or adversity hits their life revert to fears that haven’t attacked them for years, because they had assumed it had gone and that it would stay gone. Just like the person that decides to get fit, if they take a year off from the gym, it could be like starting all over again with a body that had reverted to floppy arms and weak muscles.
Or the business owner that changes the structure of the working day only to revert to procrastination and unfinished to do lists because they fears were slowly sneaking back into their minds and impacting on their results and success levels.
So when I feel a spider up my nose, (real or imagined) for a split second my brain had forgotten what I’d taught it about spiders. Mandie (I reminded myself) We don’t look at every nook of wood and fear it’s a spider, we don’t steer clear or offers from friends who live in big rambling medieval farm houses (because have you seen the size of farm house spiders!)
For just a spark of a thought there had been that automatic pathway in my little grey matter that made me jump but then I remembered that spiders aren’t daft. As Bill Shear a biology professor at Hampden Sydney college in Virginia and former president of the American Arachnological Society said “spiders regard us much like they’d regard a big rock,” and “a sleeping person is not something a spider will willingly approach.” Apparently even asleep we vibrate and make noises and our noises aren’t dusty dark places full of potential lunch, so rest well in bed tonight and remember never turn your back on your fears.
Face them and fight them. The day you stop doing this, is the day it could creep back into your life!
And just like spiders up your nose, you don’t want that!
If you are interested to learn more about fears my book Fight the fear” looks at the 12 biggest fears that impact on success and so far to date I’ve been able to fix every clients fear, with public speaking fears being overcome in just 1 session, so I’d be happy to help you too. Fear in the right place can save our lives, in the wrong place, it can destroy it – learn to know the difference.