Getting naked is a book title by Patrick Lencioni that I read a few years back. The premise of his book is about confronting the fears we have by acknowledging and announcing them so the fears lose power but we also have a vulnerability with others.

Since then, I have seen the benefit to ‘Getting naked’ in other areas of my life. Fear is not always irrational. Sometimes it is very real and can debilitate us in our work, relationships and life. Fear can stop us in our tracks. So, I have decided I will on occasion share some of my fears so they lose power in my life. Today is the first of many opportunities of sharing.

I have been married to my wife, Lanae for 24 years (as of July 2021). It has been an amazing journey of growth for both of us. A journey that has included bumps and laughter, hurt and triumph as we have grown together. She truly is my best friend and partner.

Which is why it was unsettling for me when this past fall I started to emotionally pull away from her a bit and that scared me. Our marriage was strong, business was good for both of us (she owns Mix Cosmetiques, a custom cosmetics shop) and our youngest was in her junior year of high school. We were preparing for a trip to Mexico in January and Hawaii in June (I know, first world problems).

After a time of reflection, I shared with Lanae my fear. We were going to Hawaii a month before our 25th anniversary, which seems like an amazing thing. I believe that too! Fear can be irrational though.

Here was my fear –

I remember as a young adult my parents going to Hawaii for their 25th anniversary and shortly thereafter separating and ultimately divorcing. The combination of Hawaii and our 25th anniversary had leveled a fear in my life that I couldn’t imagine. It was crippling. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go; but I really want to go…

What did I do? First, I took time for reflection. Once I had identified the source of the fear I shared it with Lanae because I trust her implicitly. Sharing fear reduces the grip it has. Then I had to let it go (que Frozen soundtrack).

I wish I could say it is always gone but there have been moments when the fear has come back and grabbed hold of me. I’m excited about visiting Hawaii but have a small sense of dread. Even writing this out has created a sense of anxiety in my life. 

My hope in writing this is to speak it to the world so it loses even more power in my life; but also my hope is you find hope in the simple steps I start with when it comes to fear – 1) Reflect to identify the source peeling the fear back like an onion. 2) Share it with someone you trust. This is hard because speaking it out loud can take an emotional toll. 3) Let go. This is easy to write, more difficult to do. I literally speak out loud or write down what I am letting go of.

What do you fear? 

And what do you do with it?