Do you remember being scared of monsters under your bed a when you were a child? What did your parents do to alleviate your fears? Did they look under the bed, behind the dresser and in the closet? Did they ask you to help them look or did they do it for you? Did they give you control of the situation with some “Monster Spray” or a flashlight so you could scare away the monsters if they came back? Did they tell you to call for them if you got scared, again?
Many children experience fear, especially in the dark and at bedtime. Disney Studios realized this theme and created the movie “Monsters, Inc.” to help explain the situation so children would see that it is just a job the monsters do but that they aren’t really scary all the time. It’s just an act.
What are the “monsters” in your life today? What scares you? Do you face your monsters armed with “Monster Spray”? Or do you hide under the covers hoping they’ll go away? At various points throughout our lives, we must recognize our monsters and decide how we are going to deal with them. If we don’t decide how we are going to deal with them, they will surely deal with us. How much control do you want over your fears? Hiding from them only allows them to linger, waiting for the opportunity to pounce on you, taking your breath away and making your heart race. The only way to effectively deal with them is to pull back the covers, face them and take control of the situation with your Monster Spray!
So what is the magic formula in monster spray, you may be wondering? How does it work? Although you will find variations in the recipe, there are some basic ingredients. The first ingredient is courage. Without courage, how can we ever face our monsters? Dig deep, it’s there, just as it was with the “Cowardly Lion” in the Wizard of Oz. He had to act tough until he realized he had the courage all along.
The second ingredient is faith, knowing that everything will work out as it is supposed to. It may not be in your time or in the way in which you envision it to work out, but it will work out and you will go on.
The third ingredient is strength. You must believe in your strength and your ability to handle challenges. After all, you have been handling challenges your whole life and here you are! If you weren’t strong enough, you would have been defeated long before now and the monsters would have eaten you.
The fourth ingredient is wisdom. Listen to your wise self which will direct you toward a monster-free zone. Your life has been a series of experiences which have taught you about monsters and how to handle them. Trust your instincts to guide you.
Finally, remember the most important ingredient is love. Love yourself enough to face your monsters so you can move on with your life and your goals. Love is the antidote to fear. It also doesn’t hurt to learn to love your monsters for they are your teachers and you can learn much from them. They may even end up being your friends, like Mike and Sully. Every time you face one, you become stronger, wiser, more courageous, and stronger in your faith that it will all work out. Then you become living proof that this is so.
In this season of scary monsters, choose to face them armed with your Monster Spray and a hearty laugh. Nothing scares monsters more than laughter.
This article was posted in the Coach's Corner of the ASTD Newsletter for October 2014. You can reach Kolleen through this website, Linked In, Facebook or by calling her at (402) 499-5547. She offers workshops, small groups and individual life coaching on a variety of topics to help you create the life you dream of but haven't been able to achieve.