snakesWhat scares you most?

A few days ago I dreamed that I was in a long trench filled with snakes. Short, fat snakes with skin so white they were almost transparent. Long, skinny snakes so entwined they were a solid mass. When I tried to climb out, I realized the walls were covered in long, brown, slithering snakes. I shrieked and withdrew to the center of the trench. Then, in an act of determination, I ran forward and leapt over the side of the wall to the safety of high ground. As I leapt, I felt powerful. The leaves of a nearby shrub slapped me as I flew past. I remember turning and looking through the shrubs and into the trench with a feeling of satisfaction. I can still feel the smile that spread across my face and the thought that nothing could stop me — not even a pit full of snakes.

In spite of the nightmarish circumstances (and it was very frightening), I love that I succeeded in my escape. I love that I refused to become a victim of my circumstances. Reflecting on the dream gives me renewed faith in my ordinary reality and confidence that I will always make the best of any situation.

What about you? How do you approach challenging situations? Do you give in or do you become more determined than ever to overcome?

If you need a little confidence boost when it comes to challenges, try these five tips:

  1. Keep your eye on the prize. Whether it’s a first date with the dude or dudette of your dreams or getting a raise, focus on the intended outcome rather than what stands in between you and what you want. If you think about the gap, you allow feelings of self-doubt to cloud your vision. Keeping your eye on the prize gives you feelings of excitement and encouragement.
  2. Look for the good in everything. Most people are either glass half empty or glass half full. Which are you? If you are one of those people who always see the glass half full, you can see the good. You can see the possibilities. When life challenges you, be open to the possibilities. It’s not important that you know how to solve every challenge in the moment but rather that you are open to whatever solutions may present themselves. If you are a glass half-empty person, the possible solutions may pass you by without notice. Look for the good — be open to the possibilities!
  3. Ask yourself why and answer with total honesty. Want to hide? Ask yourself why. Want to run away? Ask yourself why. Think you aren’t good enough? Ask yourself why and don’t stop with the questions until you have all the answers. Why are you afraid? What do you have to loose? When did you first start feeling that way? What could you accomplish if you felt good enough, strong enough, proud enough? Understanding yourself is the first step to understanding everything around you.
  4. Assess your company. Good vibes stay, bad vibes should go away. If you are around positive people with good intentions, that positive energy rubs off on you. If you are around negative people with bad intentions, that negative energy brings you down. If your friends are downers, look for new ones that will be a positive, energetic influence. You’ll be amazed at the difference in your energy and mood. Letting go of what’s bad for you is not easy, but it’s one of the most life-changing actions you can take.
  5. Practice gratitude every day. Look for the miracles in every moment. Living life through a process of gratitude puts you in a different energetic field. Gratitude stems from all that is good — from love, respect and acknowledgement that every moment of life is a gift. Even experiences with challenging people give us the contrast in our life to help us better understand the relationships that we do want. Have an unappreciative boss? He or she is teaching you how to be a better boss to others! And that is worthy of gratitude!

Dreams are a reflection of our daily lives. All of us face challenges, many that frighten us. What’s more important than the challenges, however, is how we handle them. As for my dream, I would like to think that the daily Sheila is no different than the dreaming Sheila. Always willing to brace herself against the scary stuff and rise above the challenge!

Spooky snake photo found here.

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