Saturday, October 29, 2011

Facing Our Fears

The view from our airplane

My three sons are working toward earning their aviation merit badges with Boy Scouts. Last weekend we went to a tiny air park and each boy got to ride in a small propeller plane. The pilots let each boy take control of the airplane during their flight--an amazing opportunity.

One of my sons was nervous and wanted to back out. I gave the usual mommy speeches. It'll be fun. You have nothing to be afraid of. If you don't go for it, you'll regret it later.

Imagine my horror when he asked if I'd go with him. *gulp* I'm terrified of heights--I hate flying in big jet planes, and even face the door when I ride in a glass elevator. I couldn't figure out how to say no to my son, because I'd been cheering him on and urging him to conquer his fear.

I reluctantly agreed and sat in that small propeller plane behind my 11-year-old son. Once we were up in the air, I heard the pilot's terrifying words, "Garrett, you have the airplane." My son squealed with excitement as he took control. He did a great job, had the time of his life, and was so glad he went. As for me, I hope to never again fly in a small propeller plane for the rest of my life.

But I faced a fear head on, and that was no easy task (amazing what we'll do for our children, huh?). It reminded me how we writers face fears every day. Fear we're not good enough, fear of rejection, fear of ridicule, fear of stepping outside our comfort zones. But we do it, even though it isn't easy. No regrets, writer friends. No regrets.

If you're like me, and facing fears, here are some quotes that may help:

"You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith" -- Mary Manin Morrissey

"Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop." --Usman B. Asif

"There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them." --Andre Gide

"To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another." --Katherine Paterson

"I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear." --Rosa Parks

Whether it's writing related or not, what's your biggest fear? If you've faced your fears, how did you overcome them?

37 comments:

  1. You are the best mom ever! Thank goodness the fears we writers face aren't in propeller planes. ;) I'm not sure how I would do facing that!

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  2. Wow you're braver than I am! I'm glad your boys got the opportunity, though. One fear that I face quite often is arachnophobia (I know, how original). In the Forbidden Journey ride at Harry Potter world, there's a point where your car spins around and Aragog is right in front of you. I screamed so loud that the people at the entrance probably heard me!

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  3. "Fear is the mind-killer." a Bene Gesserit litany from the book DUNE by Frank Herbert.

    Congrats on facing your fear :)

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  4. I love the one about fear being a darkroom where negatives develop!!! LOL And good for you, facing your fears. Whew, I don't blame you for being wary or fearful--I don't like planes either, especially small ones!

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  5. I hate flying. I would've hesitated as well.
    But you did the right thing for your son. Actions speak louder than words.

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  6. My biggest fear is being in large crowds. One thing that has worked for me is to meet in smaller groups and work my way into larger groups. My attendance at a recent SCBWI retreat was a grand victory for me! (Of course writers are the best folks in the world - right? ^_^)

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  7. Good for you!!!

    I love those quotes. I'm not a really courageous person (which is probably why my MCs usually are!) My biggest real fear is for the safety/health/happiness of my kids. My biggest writing fear is probably letting people who know me know I'm writing. :)

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  8. Beautiful post. What an excellent mom you are, Julie!

    Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  9. What an amazing thing to do, go Julie! Love those quotes too. I'm not sure what I'm scared of right now, but I might be dressing in witches outfit and reading to my son's class tomorrow, so that's great practise for a school visit. I hope they say yes! Happy Halloween, Julie!

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  10. Thanks for the tip, Julie. I will always think before attempting to cheer my children into doing something... Wait! What? ;)
    Kidding.
    Thanks for posting.

    -Jimmy

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  11. The things we do for our kids!
    Well done you, I love your quotes.

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  12. Guys, I think I've learned to pause before opening my big mouth! Thanks for the fun comments.

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  13. Deal with fear? Good old N.L.P. - works for me every time. :0)

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  14. Love the quotes, Julie. And you're right: amazing what we'll do for those kids, seems even more so the older they get :)

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  15. Julie, Thank you for sharing the great day with your sons. You are a fantastic Mom! Now... next time, we must put you at the controls and you'll feel no fear.

    Funny thing... did you know that most pilots are afraid of heights? Yes. I am. I believe it's a control issue. Staring out at open space without control how to land, is very uncomfortable for those of us who like (need) to be in control.

    I love your words of wisdom about fear.

    To me, fear is something that I have to conquer, never run from. I find it... I go after it. We square off. We become friends. Once I faced it straight on, I knwow I can survive anything. (yes, I jumped off a cliff into the water 25 feet below to conquer my fear of heights. It helped.)

    On a side note: I've never been afraid of monsters under my bed because I heard that the monsters in the closet eat them when they come out. :)

    Thanks for a great post. For being courageous for your kids. And for encouraging your son to take controls and fly. I hope you told him girls do this stuff...it's easy and fun. :)

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  16. Good for you that you urged your son to face fear and did it with him. I like all your quotes about fear. I used to be afraid of flying, but then overcame it by flying repeatedly. I think when you do what you fear it takes away the power of fear.

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  17. I just signed up for a hot air balloon ride - I'm a heights nut. My biggest fear is harm coming to my children. Everything else falls way below that. I hope you took pictures of the plane ride!

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  18. Great post! The MC in my WIP is scared of heights and flying (and it plays a large role in the plot). I'm not scared of heights but I do hate flying in airplanes so I would have been terrified in that propeller plane too! Good for you for facing your fear to support your son. :)

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  19. Great quotes. My fear of worms is so lame, but that's pretty much it. I don't know why they freak me out. I tend to think of fear as a healthy body response to make you think twice. It is completely normal to be afraid of being in a plane, since humans were not meant to be that high up. I'm not scared of flying but I know lots of people who are. Great post.

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  20. Wow, that sounds like fun! Easy for me to say; if you'd been talking about bungee jumping or something I'd have run for the hills. Those fears of mine don't hurt anyone; but every once in a while I'm put in situations where I have to face my fear of public speaking. I've never overcome it, though...
    Love the Katherine Paterson quote!

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  21. Julie, I love these quotes! Thanks for the reminders! Fear is an enemy that wants to rob us of our joy. There are still plenty that I'm working on overcoming! You are an inspiration!

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  22. Wow! You faced your fear head on! Good on you. I love all those quotes.

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  23. Way to go Julie. It sounds like it turned out to be a wonderful experience for your sons!

    I loved the quotes. The one by Rosa Parks got my attention the most. I'll be thinking about it all week. Thank you.

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  24. WOW, Julie. I'm not really afraid of flying, or heights, but THAT would have freaked me out big time. LOL. Good on you for facing that fear!

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  25. Good for you, for being there for your son. I probably would have done the same and been just as terrified. My husband used to be a pilot, so I see aviation badges in our future as well. *biting fingers*

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  26. I fear completing NaNo! I don't know if it can be done. Well, by me, at least.

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  27. You're so brave! T hat would scary but what an experience!

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  28. a powerful post - i enjoyed how you shared so much about a personal situation. this was good not only for you but for your son - modeling for him to face his fears and do the thing that scares him. he will be thanking you for this later in his life. way to go, mom ♡

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  29. hmm... I used to be afraid of those big, giant cockroaches. Til one was headed at my daughter and I ran up and smashed it... :D LOL! Yay for you and overcoming your fear of flying. Here's to no fear. I love the negatives/darkroom quote. :o) <3

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  30. A. I've done that! We had a friend in college who flew and he let my then boyfriend now hubby and I take a turn. Eek. Never did it again, but it was fun! B. I LOVE that quote by Rosa Parks. You are awesome.

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  31. What an amazing experience for your son, and for you. Way to face those fears.

    One of my most exciting-- and scary-- times of life was when I went to Ghana. I went alone, and spent 4 hard and amazing months there. I did a lot of facing my fears out there. Now, whenever something comes up that is hard or scares me, I remind myself that I can do hard things. After all, I've done them before.

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  32. Good for you, Julie!

    I don't know if this is a fear, but I hate talking on the phone. My first job, though, was as a customer care phone rep at a mobile phone company. Talk about Ugggghhh!

    Amy :)

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  33. Love, love, love that quote about fear being a darkroom where negatives develop - so true!

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  34. I am ever so impressed that you crawled into that plane. I am terrified of heights, too, and can't imagine the sinking feeling in your gut as you faced that fear. What a wonderful lesson for all of your sons.

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  35. Wow - brave you! I LOVE the Katherine Paterson quote. Makes me love her all that much more.

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  36. Wow, I didn't know the Boy Scouts could get a merit badge for something like that.

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