Kim Hudson: Let go of what is holding us back

At some point during the last two months or so of 2014 I made a conscious decision that 2015 was going to be different for me. I wasn’t going to make any New Year resolutions — knowing I’d only forget about them by February.

Hudson.Col.MugI decided instead to make 2015 my year of no fear.

Sounds a little funny doesn’t it?

But I’ve come to understand that I’ve spent the majority of my life making decisions based on fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, fear of failure and fear of ridicule have lived in my brain for too long. I didn’t even realize fear was having this influence over me, you know?

I didn’t consciously feel afraid. But the messages inside my head were speaking loud and clear. The doubt that questioned my ability; the feeling that I wouldn’t succeed; the inability to step out of my comfort zone – they are all products of fear.

This type of fear isn’t something we like to talk about. Fear equates to weakness in our culture. Let’s be honest, weakness isn’t something we strive for. But do you know what the opposite of fear is?

It’s courage. It’s being brave.

Everyone wants to be courageous and brave. But no one displays courage or bravery without first facing their fears. If we want to be more courageous we have to admit to our fears and work through them. We have to let go of what is holding us back and be willing to be vulnerable.

I’ve taken a big step this week toward being courageous. As you read this I am 1,410 miles away from home where 78 percent of the population lives on $2 or less a day. I am in Haiti – on my very first mission trip. I am sure I will have stories to share – but as I am writing this one day before I leave, I am full of fear.

But my fear does not dampen my excitement. I don’t feel courageous – I feel good. I know that sounds simple, silly even, but it really sums it up for me. I feel good knowing I’ll be able to help others on this trip. I feel good that I worked through the fears that were holding me back. I feel good that the temperatures will be warm – I am ready for warm. I feel good that I get to share this experience with you.

I know I will face many fears this week. We all will.

Going to Haiti is a pretty extreme way to find courage – believe me, I know. But we are presented with opportunities to be courageous every day. Like when we stand up for what we believe in and teach our children to do the same, or when we try something new – even if we fail.

Fear is paralyzing but courage is liberating.

In the words of author Brené Brown, “Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver.”

Contact Kim Hudson at tkhudson@comcast.net.

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