19 March 2009

Overcoming the fear of "NO"

There is an old adage: nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Today I'm taking advice from the tarot cards more than giving it: The Knight of Swords definitely comes to mind.

The card is associated with the idea of "daring". The artwork often shows a knight or warrior of some kind on horseback, charging ahead.

And that is what I'm doing today. I'm trying to get over that classic fear of making a mistake or being told "NO"

But as FDR pointed out, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself". It isn't the "no" that is the problem. The problem is the fear of a "no" that hasn't happened yet. It isn't the rejection itself, it is the fear of it.

Another adage springs to mind: "He who hesitates is lost". Fear can let golden opportunities slip by forever - in many parts of life, career, romance - you name it.

All of these old sayings are easily wrapped up in the spirit of the knight of swords card.

It isn't a spirit of war, anger and conflict. Sword cards are often given these kinds of dark connotations. In today's world, they are something less bloody, a little more Dale Carnegie.

We by and large live in peace and safety. Here in the U.S. our food and water is in the majority safe. We aren't being bombed on a regular basis, and the ground isn't littered with land mines at every step. We are the fortunate ones. So the old, literalistic meanings of sword cards bringing bloody conflict just isn't as helpful.

The modern way to apply sword card is one of reasoned daring, calculated risk, and the courageous integrity of the warrior. 

If we conquer fear, act decisively, act intelligently and with courage - we will certainly have more success in life that if we sit quietly doing nothing. 

In relationships, this would hint at having the courage to open difficult, emotional topics, and actually engage in honest, full communication. Real heart to heart talks scare the metal pants right off many brave knights.

In careers, we are often afraid of losing jobs or 'failing' at projects. Here is where the daring of a sword carrying knight in shining armor is needed. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained" indeed. Generals and warriors weigh all options before going into battle. So this card isn't intended to imply impulsive or recklessness. You certainly wouldn't impulsively tell your boss off and risk losing the only job that supports you and your family. But the tone of this card is more like intelligent bravery - having the courage to put out a resume even in a downturning economy. It may signal the courage to keep going to a job, even one you don't like, until you find something better. Even more, it speaks of the courage to take the opportunity when that something better comes along, even if you are afraid of failure. That is the spirit of the knight of swords.

If the Knight of Swords speaks to you today, the key things to remember are:

This isn't a card of impulse or recklessness
It is a card of intelligent action without fear or anger.
"We have nothing to fear but fear itself" ~ Franklin D. Rosevelt (per www.archives.gov)
"Nothing ventured, nothing gained"
"He who hesitates is lost"

May your courage bring you happiness and abundance.

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