Sunday, September 16, 2007

Frozen By Fear!

"The Little Engine That Could" was a story that inspired many of us as children. The story tells of a small train that was faced with a steep climb up a very large hill. Halfway up the hill the little engine started to feel as though it was an impossible task. Fear set in.

"Will I make it?" the train wondered. "What if I don't? What if I run out of steam before I make it? What if I'm not equipped with a strong enough engine to handle this?"

The fear grew inside as his speed slowed with the climb. Soon he crawled to a stop. "I can't make it," he thought.

He was gripped with fear, paralyzed by it. Then things got even worse. He was now slipping backwards. His fear was now his reality. The top of the hill was out of his reach and he would never make it. As he slid backwards he yelled out, "I don't want to fail!"

Then something inside him changed. In truth he really did want to be on the top of the hill, not forever stuck at the bottom to live in its shadow. Fear was replaced with determination, drive, and a desire to make it to the top. With all he had in him he focused on summoning the power he needed to stop the backward slide.

And he did it! He was now holding his ground on the hill. His excitement deepened his determination. Up the hill he began moving, ever so slowly, pulling the weight of the entire train behind him. He looked up toward the top of the hill and held clear in his mind the vision of making it. He became even more determined and that made him feel stronger. His confidence grew and he picked up more speed. The train didn't feel so hard to pull now. He felt great strength within himself that he hadn't known before; strength he had never needed before now. As he neared the top of the hill he felt unstoppable. He knew he was going to make it!

He did it! The little ol' train made it to the top of the hill and congratulated himself. It felt great to be at the top. Filled with joy, confidence and a passion for life he looked down the tracks eager to continue his journey. He saw another hill - bigger than the last! A big smile came over his face; for he truly understood there is no end to the hills! This filled him with a deep sense of peace and humility. He then further realized that the journey and the destination are one and the same.

He wondered how was it that at the halfway point he felt so overcome with the task and yet it was in him to make it. He was strong enough. Could it have been that as his fears grew, his thoughts were consumed with the vision of not making it? Failure almost became his reality. It was when he changed his focus—alerted his perspective—that he felt powerful. In fact, it seemed the more he believed in himself the stronger he felt, and the easier the climb became. His new focus became his new reality!

He admired just how powerful his thoughts are and he never took them for granted again. He became aware of his thoughts and he used them to go places he always wanted to go!

Remember: You are the conductor of your own train on the tracks of life and you are strong enough to go places you want to go. Don't let a little hill stop you - choose the reality you wish to create, not the one you're afraid might occur. Soon enough you'll be able to say just like the little engine, "I know I can!"

Heather Walter is an Inner Balance Coach, Motivational Speaker and Writer located in Whitby, Ontario.

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