Face the monster in your mind, and ask him for a gift.

This is a saying that guides and inspires me. Let’s look at it a bit more closely.

First, fear is in your mind. What you fear is your monster and no one else’s. I’m not saying the things you fear aren’t real, but your reactions to the things you fear are uniquely your own.

Face your fear. Understand what makes you afraid and why. Poke at it. See what you can do about it. I used to be so afraid of heights I would get woozy standing on a chair to change a light bulb. Nonetheless, I managed to work up the courage to jump off a cliff into a lagoon in Mexico (there was no alcohol involved!). I’m never going to be a height-loving person, but I no longer let the fear manage me. I’ll get up that ladder or cross that suspension bridge and I carry on. Light bulbs get changed in my house now!

Ask the monster for a gift. When you face your fear, when you just do that thing that you dread – whether it’s facing a fear of heights or spiders or clowns, having an uncomfortable confrontation, giving a speech, saying I love you, changing jobs – that act itself is a gift, regardless of the results. You free yourself from fear’s shackles and become instantly more powerful.

Always ask the monster for your gift.

If I had a coat of arms and motto, this would be it. But I don’t, so instead, I made myself a dinner plate.

If I had a coat of arms and motto, this would be it. But I don’t, so instead I made myself a dinner plate.