Step 2 Face the bogeyman – Face your fears

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Overcome your obstacles and face your fears

Face your fears - Grown-up and have funIf I asked you “Are you afraid of fun?” What would you say? Most people look at me like I am crazy. Fun is fun – it’s a good thing so why would anyone be afraid to have a good time? That sounds like a logical answer, but the truth is, grown-ups are afraid to have fun and don’t even realize it. So get ready to face your fears!

As a child, fun was a way of life. Four year olds don’t worry that they might look silly, and they don’t avoid a good time because they are afraid of getting hurt. Kids just go out and enjoy themselves. Then, unfortunately, many of us become fun fearing adults. And if you don’t face your fears, then fun slowly begins to fade away.

There are so many benefits to fun, and it is such a positive force in life, you would think that fun would easily become part of our daily lives. Unfortunately the opposite is true. As we grow up, we become timid and fearful, and eventually we forget how to have pure childlike fun.

It is hard to face your fears if you don’t realize they exist.

If I asked you to put on a silly hat and skip down the street, would you do it? Probably not. Why? Because grown-ups don’t act silly, carefree, or goofy. Grown-ups don’t skip. They suppress the giggles and avoid the silliness because grown-ups are afraid of what other people might think.

What other reason could there be? Skipping isn’t a bad thing. It doesn’t hurt anyone. In fact, a little bounce in your step actually feels pretty of good – as long as no one is watching. And as for jumping for joy, forget about it. Adults don’t openly express the joy they feel with a happy little jaunt down the street. Pure joy and total fun aren’t a huge part of the grown-up world because we let our fears and insecurities get in the way. Something happens as we age and adults start to fear, or at least avoid playful situations. We resist a good time, and make excuses not to play. We let the boogeyman win, and sitting on the sidelines becomes a new way of life.

Chapter 6 of Grown-ups Don’t Skip Have FUN Be Happy Enjoy Life helps you face your fears and conquer the obstacles that make fun harder to find. And in one lesson Susan ask you to keep an open mind and think about fear from a very simple, childlike perspective. To her, fears are literally images in your head – figments of your imagination. They are nothing more than boogeymen. Yet when you mix imagination with emotion it can become terrifying. Too often adults turn this combination into real problems. They imagine all of the reasons they can’t do something and focus on the negative “what ifs,” instead of the unlimited potential and creativity. With the influences of adult reality, grown-ups turn dreams into fears and images of the future into monsters. These images are truly frightening because we created them.

“Imagination is an incredibly powerful force;  for both the positive and the negative”

This chapter goes on to explain the four main reasons it is hard to face our fears, and it also contains Susan’s favorite lesson about the scary jelly bean.

On to Step 3 Find the wow