I don't know about you, but whenever I'm going through a fearful phase, I like to practice a little self-encouragement by binge-viewing inspiring videos until my quailing spirit resets to "kickass." Over the past several months, a few videos have risen to the top of my bookmarks list to become my "fearless six."
Some of the videos are viral and may be familiar to you; others aren't (but should be). Check them out and then tell me in the comments: What's the most fear-busting video YOU'VE ever seen -- and why?
FEAR-BUSTER NUMBER 1: "Thumbs Up for Rock and Roll!"
Every time I watch this video, my heart lifts and I get tears in my eyes. It makes me not only feel "happy of myself," but also that I'm equal to whatever task I'm dreading. Several months ago, when I was pounding the pavement for a new gig, I watched this video daily before I left the house. The ol' "just like riding a bike" metaphor really does apply to every life challenge, which is one reason this child's ridiculously encouraging shouts of wisdom hit home. Aren't we all just "kids trying to learn how to ride their bike"?
FEAR-BUSTER NUMBER 2: "Why I Skydive"
Full disclosure: The woman in this amazing video -- Jean Reilly -- is a good friend of mine. She has also been featured on The Huffington Post. Jean started skydiving in the fall of 2010, to celebrate getting her Master of Wine qualification. She instantly fell crazy in love with it. This video documents her 195th jump; she has now jumped 450 times and is working toward getting her first professional skydiving qualification. Though I didn't have the same reaction to skydiving Jean did ("Yep, don't ever need to do that again," was my take on it), I love this video because her joy positively radiates out of it. And joy, to me, means freedom from fear.
FEAR-BUSTER NUMBER 3: "Hamlet the Mini Pig -- Goes Down the Stairs"
Pigs are easy to anthropomorphize because they're so dang smart. It seems evident that little Hamlet is experiencing extreme anxiety at the thought of having to journey down the stairs on his stumpy little legs. Thankfully, his desire for oatmeal outweighs his fear, and he reaches his happy goal (very exuberantly, I might add). I love how his grunting becomes especially frantic mid-stairs, as if he's giving himself a piggy pep talk. It all begs the fear-busting question: What's your "oatmeal"?
FEAR-BUSTER NUMBER 4: "Jessica's 'Daily Affirmation'"
Talk about an attitude of gratitude! This little girl uses her words and her body to rock it out. "I can do anything good" is an affirmation we can all use. What -- and who -- do you like? Feel free to look into a mirror and emphatically recite your list, using hilarious arm motions and creative pluralization as needed. Trust me: It will leave no room for fear.
FEAR-BUSTER NUMBER 5: "May Be... The Most Inspiring Video Ever (Derek-Barcelona'92)"
This video from the 1992 Summer Olympics is the one to watch whenever you're experiencing fear of failure. It serves as a wonderful reminder that it's okay and even healthy to accept help during the tough times. To me, the power of this video lies mainly in its depiction of a father's loving support -- not in the fact that an injured runner pushed through the pain and kept going (top athletes are kind of programmed to do that). Definitely have a Kleenex on hand when you watch it, because it will get you. The Josh Groban song doesn't help. (Stupid Josh Groban and his stupid spirit-lifting music!)
FEAR-BUSTER NUMBER 6: "From Service Dog to SURFice Dog!"
Lest you give up on this one too soon, make sure you stick it out at least until 1:37, when the ominous "But..." appears onscreen. Do you ever worry about disappointing your parents, your boss, your partner? Are you tired of chasing a dream that doesn't fit you anymore? Do you constantly compare yourself to others... and come up short? If so, this video's for you. It will assuage your fear of other people's opinions and encourage you to joyfully dance to your own drumbeat (or joyfully chase your own birds, as the case may be).
All videos courtesy of YouTube.