Veterans Day

What Have You Got to be Scared Of?

Today — Veterans Day — we  honor the brave warriors who have served the United States and especially those who died defending our freedom. These veterans were no doubt scared as they went into battle but they persevered because of their duty to their country and themselves. I salute them and thank them for helping to make the world a safer place.

Are You Scared to Move On?

In thinking of these brave men and women, who faced real adversity they knew could cost them their lives, I’d like to ask you the question I’ve been asking myself, “What are you scared of?” I think many of us are scared of not measuring up. The earth is whirling around the sun too fast for us. New technologies are making us fret about our lives and our livelihoods.

But are our fears life-threatening? Not likely. I’m not alone when I wonder what’s next in life. Am I really doing what I want to do? Do I have the skills and the will to step up to the bat and take a big swing at the ball?

There are so many choices, we become immobilized. We’re scared to keep running in place but more scared to break out of the pack. When I talk to many of my peers they tell me they feel life has left them behind.

The Internet and social media scare them and they feel like dinosaurs, about to become extinct. I feel for them but if they want to change their lives they’ve got to take the really hard steps.

Develop Mental Toughness

What is the worst that could happen if you pushed beyond your comfort zone and did what your heart is telling you you’re meant to do? You might stumble, but you could get back up and try again. It takes mental toughness to overcome your fears.

Do you think our veterans were born to fight? Of course not. They fell back on their training, faced the enemy and discovered untapped sources of strength.

The enemy too often is ourselves.

We fret about all the bad things that could happen if we tried something new instead of anticipating the joy of discovery and accomplishment. I gaze back in wonder at the early settlers in my country, who didn’t fly west in first-class comfort to plant their stakes in the ground.

Just think of how brave they were to begin their journeys in covered wagons that offered little protection from the elements: no electricity, no running water, no sanitary facilities, and facing a hostile environment. They were the true pioneers. I envy their courage as I admire the brave warriors who have served their country. So, let me ask again:

What are you scared of?

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  1. Thought provoking post Jeannette. I am not ‘scared’ but there is an element of feeling left behind if you choose not to keep up with technology. Everything appears to be moving fast and it is a struggle to keep up, if you want to of course! At work changing technology means news systems, more training and you cannot choose to ‘sit out’. I want to remain current and relevant so I push myself even when it is out of my comfort zone.

    Approaching my mid 40’s whilst I still have a spring in my step, I am not as agile as the graduates half my age who are steaming into workplaces. Most are optimistic, eager to learn, have time on their side, less responsibilities and the freedom to network after work while I have to rush home to collect my children.

    • Phoenicia — No doubt as a working mother, it’s even more difficult to keep up with the latest technologies. But what these youngsters don’t have is the wisdom that comes with experience, as you have.

  2. Jeannette, what an insightful post.
    I went for blood work this morning and used a QR code to check in. Next to me was a gentleman in his 80s using the iPad system to sign in. I was impressed with his patience as he typed through the steps. That led me to think of how my dad embraced technology when he retired from building railroad cars at age 61. His learning was amazing.

    Our veterans… I am an emotional wreck when I read stories by them (Robert Leckie, Jerry Yellin, so many others). They may have had fear, but what lessons they are in overcoming it.

    I used to self-sabotage because I was afraid of being successful, now I’m fearful of it not happening despite my hard work!

    Much to think about in this article.

    • RoseMary — thanks for sharing your experience in the doctor’s office. You’re never too old to learn. Pulling for you to succeed big time!