Unchained by Sara Stansberry
It was an idyllic crisp and clear winter day in Central Florida – perfect for a road trip.
I was driving my daughter back to school after Christmas break. We were only a few hours in, but six cups of coffee and a gas gauge that was headed toward E meant a pit stop was in order. I pulled off of I 95 onto an exit that lead to a small and swanky beach town where I knew the facilities would be acceptable; the coffee hot.
My daughter was mushed up in a pile of blankets and sleeping in the passenger seat of the car. The dog was in the back looking equally content so I pumped the gas, locked the doors and headed inside the busy mart.
Upon my return, I found a man standing next to my car, attempting to peer into its windows. Both my daughter and my dog are beautiful and majestic creatures – I can understand why someone would want to look at them. But yeah - I don’t think so.
The physical distance between us consisted of about 30 yards and a handful of people scurrying to and fro – I quickly shifted my sunglasses to the top of my head and stared straight at this guy. We made eye contact and I gave him a look – I actually said the words in my head, ‘buddy, you so much as lay one finger on that car and I promise, I will absolutely kick your ass all the way from here to that curb.’
Immediately, he stepped away and moved on. One glance behind my car showed another man pumping gas into a luxury sedan. I have no idea what those guys were doing, but I’m pretty sure they were up to no good.
I unlocked the doors, got inside, and realized something – I was not afraid.
There has always been an element of fearlessness about me to some degree – but not in all situations.
Fearlessness is not foolishness – in fact, I’m extremely careful to know and understand the boundaries of my physical safety. I travel quite a bit and have personal rules and plans in place to help keep me safe when I do. When meeting a person I don’t know well (for either business or pleasure), all the information I have on that someone is sent to a friend at home along with details of the meeting. I don’t go to ATMs or gas stations after dark. I’m smart about these things and take them seriously.
Fearlessness isn’t about being tough either – I’ve tried that approach– it sometimes works for a bit, but it won’t take you all the way. The ability to be fearless is more about owning your own power.
To own your own power, you have to know who you are and what you want.
So many of us give our power away - we let others define us. Don’t fall into that trap – never fall into that trap for you might never escape. Don’t ever let your self-worth be dependent on someone else’s opinion of you.
Instead, think about the motivation of your choices. The ability to assess the situation at hand, determine the risks, look uncertainty in the eye and go for it – or not. (Sometimes inaction is a bold choice.) Just be sure that choice aligns with what you’re looking to accomplish and not the fear of what might go wrong or what you might lose.
Once you get this down, boldness and confidence spill out into all the other areas of your life. It just can’t be helped…
Stay true to you, be fearless, and make it great…