(Video above is our actual raw footage)
It was very clear, she was not going to miss this opportunity. Although she had not put her face underwater in more than 64 years, she leaped from the boat into a two-hundred-foot ocean.
Here we are in the middle of the gulf of California in Mexico. Imagine a blue so gorgeous it’s like swimming in glistening, azul-colored liquid. We are cruising along in a private chartered boat to explore the perfect snorkel spots when all the sudden we are surrounded by dolphins. In front of us, on both sides and behind, dolphins playing in the salty sea.
Our captain slows down and everyone starts scrambling for their gear. The guide jumps off, her husband and house guests (that’s me) jump off and she’s left in the boat alone with the Captain. She has a decision to make. Do I jump or do I let fear steal away this moment?
That is when she leaped.
Meanwhile I was practically crying at the site I’m seeing underwater. Dolphins twirling, swimming in pairs, sunlight gleaming through the clear water highlighting their dance. I’m engulfed in the experience.
Suddenly I thought, did Bonnie jump? My heart exploded when I spotted her. She did it! There she was taking in this unbelievable moment with snorkel mask on and full body and face in the water. Alone. Remember, Bonnie spent a lifetime fearful of putting her face in the water so she never did! Yet, today in this moment she felt the fear and did it anyway. It was no longer just a great quote to say, she embodied it.
It was a major breakthrough for her.
Bonnie had been working herself up all week to try and enjoy the snorkeling experience. Even the thought was terrifying but she wanted to overcome her fears. She wished she had practiced along the shore prior. And now, we are not near reefs nor islands to help her feel safe. We are in deep blue waters with wild dolphins. Bonnie decided to live in the moment and bypass the voices in her head.
If you are someone who deals with chronic fear, you know what a struggle it is. In our culture we love to say, “the struggle is real.” But I have learned, the fastest way to end something you’re struggling with is to make a decision. As Bonnie's Coach for the past two years, I have been by her side as she’s made many life changing decisions. From the way she shows up in her relationships, making a conscious effort to be less judgmental and more full of grace, to the food she puts in her body striving for better health. Those decisions matter.
Although Bonnie has lived her life in fear of many things; driving in the car at night, buying herself nice things, afraid of what people are thinking of her, she is a woman much more than her fears. When dancing, Bonnie loses herself in the rhythm. Her body moves with fluidity. It’s her thing that makes her feel alive. She’s incredibly generous and has a special place in her heart for youth. She can hunt down, execute and check off a To-Do list that would leave your head spinning. She’s run businesses and volunteered. Fear has been with her throughout these life endeavors.
When you have chronic fear, it becomes familiar. Habitual. You unconsciously make it part of your identity, even though you don't mean to. Perpetual thoughts of fear become normal. It then influences your body by producing anxiety, and, language patterns become repetitive. You unconsciously program yourself. “I’m afraid that…”, “I worry about…” or “If I could just get past my fear, I would..." You start to navigate life based on the fears in the back of your head. It becomes part of you, dictating your choices and taking up a bigger part of your mind than necessary.
There are communication fears like speaking up for yourself, or having a difficult conversation, to speaking in public. Intimacy fears like being afraid to love again after being deeply hurt. And then there are psychological fears like being afraid of darkness, flying or __________.
Whatever fear is stealing your joy, it doesn't have to.
Let’s get clear.
Fear is a normal function of the brain and nervous system. It's there to alert us to potential danger. But when it becomes emotionalized, habitual and wrapped into your identity it is overused. Anxiety, high cortisol levels and incessant judgmental thoughts are all symptoms of this underlying mechanism. This is what Bonnie's been working to overcome. She realized, her fears have been robbing her of peace of mind. Until now.
What is fear costing you?
DO THIS ONE THING
In my work as a Hypnotist and Performance Coach, you can imagine how much I deal with people’s fears and anxiety. There is one powerful thing I focus on instilling into all my clients subconscious minds. And that, is…Courage. Imagine…What if you went beyond all those small and big things you fear and lived out your dreams? Who would you be? What would you do with more courage?
When it comes to mindset and cultivating a mental space that is beneficial, the first step is freeing yourself from defeating thoughts. Think with courage instead of fear. Get clear on shifting the emotion you are resourcing. Courage is an empowering emotion whereas fear is disempowering.
Ask yourself, Am I willing to have more courage right now?
In my favorite book, Letting Go- a Pathway to Surrender, Author David Hawkins talks about the emotional scale. Courage is the emotion that bridges you from disempowered emotions of shame, guilt, apathy, fear and anger to high vibe emotions of willingness, reason, joy, love and peace.
How you emotionally feel will determine your action or non-action. Fear is an emotion that causes you to avoid action. So, it’s vital you mindfully choose a feeling that benefits and empowers you. Yes. Literally choose it. All the time. Repetitively. Your mind (brain, feelings, thoughts) is always in control and you are the director. If you know you have a choice, why would you ever choose to disempower yourself?
Bonnie often comes to me saying, “Let’s work on it.” Like all my clients, her motivation for change is continuously arising. Together, we then bravely disempower the monster by deconstructing the issue, and we go all the way to the subconscious. It’s remarkable. And so…
Here we are today, in the water, her head is down and she’s swimming. This breakthrough has now led to many other breakthroughs for Bonnie. It has become a true metaphor for life.
Be like Bonnie and you’ll discover more of what life has to offer you too.
De’Anna Nunez is a Board Certified Hypnotist, Trainer, Coach and Author that champions others to live life fully. She partners with teams and individuals applying her proprietary methods of Hypnosis and performance frameworks to create transformative results that brighten your life.