Personal Power and Paper Tigers

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Fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. _ Amelia Earhart

There are very good reasons to be afraid of real tigers. I mean, have you seen the size of the paws on those bad boys? They could knock you silly without even extending their claws. And let’s not talk about their teeth!

However, not many of us come face to face with real tigers. Granted, there is a percentage of us who face physical danger each day, and fear is a required survival mechanism. Fortunately, this is not the case for most of us.

The problem arises when our ego thinks paper tigers are real tigers. In an attempt to protect us, our ego is actually holding back our personal power.

I am going to provide three examples of paper tigers of fear in my life. They range from baby paper tiger to mama paper tiger to full grown really angry male paper tiger. In all three cases, once I faced those fears I found I could indeed do anything I decided to.

Baby Paper Tiger

When I was taking university courses, I would be provided with a list of essay questions to choose from. I would go down the list and think “Yep, yep, easy, no freaking way, yep, no problem.” You know which one I always selected? The no freaking way essay topic.

Why? Because I was afraid of it. This meant I was going to do a really good job researching it, and forming my thoughts, to make sure I did not miss anything. Ultimately I always enjoyed the process and invariably got marks over eighty percent.

Mama Paper Tiger

When I started my business, I hired a business coach. Our seasons went really well until the day she said “Let’s talk about marketing.” No word of a lie, I burst into tears from the fear.

“Marketing! Are you kidding me? I can’t talk about myself! I can’t make people buy my products!”

Oh, my ego was in full protection mode coming up with all sorts of reasons why I couldn’t market my business. I was ready to close up shop right there and then to protect myself from this paper tiger.

Until I calmed down and I realized I did not need to talk about myself and I certainly did not need to make people do anything. I simply needed to talk about what I am passionate about, and do what I love the most, which is meeting new people and encouraging people to engage with each other.

Now I love the creative and innovative aspect of figuring out how to meet new people and build an awesome and vibrant community. It’s fun, yo!

Full Grown Really Angry Male Paper Tiger

Okay, here is the biggie! Staying in a toxic relationship in order to avoid facing a 700 pound tiger of fear bearing down on me.

Fear that I was not worthy of being loved. Fear that I would be single for the rest of my life. Fear that I could not financially survive on my own. Fear that I would not be able to unclog the kitchen sink. Fear of … well, you get the idea.

Sixteen years it took for me to look that tiger in eyes, but when I did it blew away in the wind. After all, a sheet of paper weighs .1 of an ounze not 700 pounds.

Now I am ROCKING my personal power. I can and am doing anything I decide to do.

Facing Your Paper Tigers

Physical danger aside, when a tiger of fear shows up in your life, take a deep breath and look it right in the eyes. Chances are really good that what you see there is the exact thing you need to address in order to OWN your personal power.

Then you can do anything you decide to do.

Book Recommendation

For more Silver & Grace approved books check out Eliza’s Recommendations.

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