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Coaches Corner: Facing your fears

I am so excited to be here as I will be sharing nuggets of inspiration, stories, and encouragement. There will also be opportunities for you, our readers, to ask me anything...

My name is Ellie West, as a Certified Personal Empowerment Coach, I am passionate about serving, inspiring, and encouraging others and connecting heart to heart. I am very grateful to live here in my native state.

How do you face your fears? The fear of the unknown-the fear of failure-the fear of dying-the fear of the future or the fear of rejection. There are many more fears but we are only born with two... two innate fears that are common to all humans regardless of the society in which they were born and raised...the fear of loud noises and the fear of falling.

I have personally learned over the course of the last several years to face my fears head-on. When we face our fears immediately it helps to not let that particular fear root in our minds and heart. If you allow fear to take root it will paralyze you and halt any breakthroughs that may become. When we have breakthroughs we are strengthening our faith, and building confidence that will allow us to move forward. If you do not give up you will win the battle and experience breakthroughs.

I have a fear of heights and just recently took my granddaughter skiing. Before we even got on the chair lift my granddaughter said to me, "Nana, I'm afraid of heights." I told her that we would be fine and mentioned to her my little secret..."I have a fear of heights, too." With that, we took our first ride together on the chair lift to get to the top of the mountain. Shortly after boarding, the chair lift stopped dead in its track...what seemed like an eternity only lasted a few minutes. We were snuggled in with each other, both of us tightly holding on to either side of the chair. I now had an opportunity to not only face my fear but to help my granddaughter face hers, as well. Being completely transparent and honest with her and also talking to myself, I said, "we do not have anything to be afraid of, let's say a little prayer and ask God to protect us." I encouraged her to not look down but to look straight ahead, take some deep breaths and say out loud..."I am not afraid." The chair started again and we moved for only a short distance before the chair stopped again! It was another couple of minutes but I knew I had to be courageous to not allow her to see my fear. As I was looking at her, she was looking straight ahead, I said "let's take some deep breaths and say out loud, "I am not afraid." We had just one more shortstop before we finally made it to the top of the mountain for our first run.

After lunch, we head to the chair lift and ride it to the top. I am not sure why, but the chair stopped again. I asked, "how are you doing?" She smiled and said, "I'm not afraid anymore."She had a mindset shift and we both began to feel more comfortable and thoroughly enjoyed our day of skiing. We had a breakthrough in conquering our fear of heights. When you get that sick feeling in your gut like I did when the chair lift stopped, you feel as though you want to get off, run or hide but instead, we need to do just the opposite...face our fears.

In the book of Mark, Jesus calms the storm. It is a beautifully illustrated example, regardless of our circumstances or who we are with, that we can still create fear in our hearts. Suddenly, as they were crossing the lake, a ferocious storm arose, with violent winds and waves that were crashing into the boat until it was nearly swamped. But Jesus was calmly sleeping... The disciples shook him awake saying, "Teacher, don't you care that we are all about to die!" The disciples still feared for their lives. Jesus calmly said to them, "Why are you so afraid? Haven't you learned to trust yet?" Storms often bring out our spiritual condition.

In reality, when we run from things that create fear in us, we are moving towards our fear and not away from it. There will be times when we have to confront our fears and step outside of our comfort zones or we relinquish our future. Our greatest need is not for the storm to end but to have a breakthrough from the fear in the midst of the storm. The only way to reach for a life that is intended for you is to sail through the scary rough waters and stand strong in the storms you face.

You may follow me on my Public Facebook page: @coachelliewest If you would like additional information on 1:1 coaching sessions please contact me at www. coachinghearttoheart

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