The Monster In The Dark

Do you remember as a child, waking in the middle of the night, scared and convinced there was a monster at the end of your bed?  Wow, it gives me shivers just writing that memory. We cry out in the night, mom rushes in, and the instant she turns on the light the monster disappears — and we see it was nothing more than our robe hanging on the bedpost.  As children, we begin realizing those shadows in the dark evaporate in the light and our fear fades away into obscurity. The problem is, once we’re adults, we discover that sometimes the monster that wakes us in the night is not so easily vanquished. It may not be 8’ tall and hairy with 9” claws and 5” fangs and a roar that shakes the earth — no, that kind of monster would almost be easier to handle.  Our monsters are deeper, more emotional, in our head, and they don’t evaporate in the light; it doesn’t just scare us because of the dark. It scares us because it can keep us in the dark, believing untruths, buying into an illogical fear that has become bigger than life. And it’s up to us to face it head-on.

I’m facing a monster myself these days, and it’s two-pronged. First, I’m looking at another year gone by, and facing the reality that I haven’t accomplished all I’ve wanted to by the time I thought I would. So few of us have, I realize, which makes this a familiar, if deeply uncomfortable, monster to face. Second, I’m looking at my work and the careful balance I’ve tried to keep in watching what I say publicly. When your business is your self, it can be tricky (and frightening) to say what you really think about something — the fear of getting pushback from my community has been too great.

But I think this is a year for change. What do you think? Any monsters you’re facing as 2019 looms? Let’s make a resolution together:

Let’s poke the monsters in the eyes. Let’s face them, no matter how frightening they are. We can run faster scared than they can mad, so what do we have to lose? 😉 Another year has gone by, and another one will be gone before we know it if we don’t step up.

I haven’t accomplished anywhere near what I thought I would by this age. I haven’t spoken as loudly or as courageously as I’ve often felt compelled to. But this year’s going to be different; I’m going to take some risks I’ve always felt too frightened to take. I’m going to poke my monster in the eye.

Would you like to join me? What monsters are you facing?  Are you ready to take them down?