Outswimming Fear

Click on the video and watch the Gentoo Penguin before reading this post. Watch at least the last 3 ½ minutes. Something amazing and very surprising happens.

This video completely enthralled me. I found myself clapping, laughing, and feeling admiration for the little Penguin. It didn’t give in or give up. It continued to outmaneuver the Orcas and remained out of their reach. The instinct to survive was strong. I saw deeper lessons to be learned from this brave little bird of the Antarctic.

What can we learn from this amazing bird? Fear, tenacity, surrender, and trust come immediately to mind. I see the Orcas as a metaphor for our fear-based thoughts. They can be relentless and swim circles in our mind, bully us, and constantly nip at our heals, they prevent us from moving beyond our comfort zone, from pursuing our dreams, from expanding our horizons, from believing in ourselves long enough to try new things. Insert of your own list here.

We believe what the negative fear based thoughts say and may become so focused and preoccupied on eluding them that our perceptions shrink, and so does our world.

What is the greater fear for the Penguin, the Orcas chasing it for their afternoon snack or the humans in the zodiac? I am in awe of this little creature’s ability to override two distinct fears—that of the Orcas and also the humans. This little Penguin let go and out swam its fear. The zodiac and humans literally became a lifeboat for the Penguin. What fears are holding you back from living the life you envision for yourself?

The penguin also has tenacity. Even when surrounded by many Orcas, it continued to zig and zag and out swam them. As we learn how our own fear based thoughts inhibit our forward movement and growth we must be patient while we learn how to identify and change them. This can take time, first to recognize when they are present, what triggers them, and then change them. We must be tenacious in our commitment to ourselves and our peace of mind. We must not give in to them or give up!

Our little friend swam towards the zodiac a couple of times before it actually jumped into it. This seemed like a test run at surrendering. How often do we do the same? How often do we circle closer and closer to a dream, a goal, or a desire for change that fills us with fear, before we surrender and take that leap of faith? How many times must we revisit the issue before we are able to surrender to the change?

Something in the Penguin shifted, almost as if a different instinct overrode the fear, enabling it to leap into the zodiac. This leap was a leap into the unknown; a leap of faith, of trust. It remained in the zodiac for quite some time observing the people with what looked like curiosity. This trust saved its life. How might this apply to your life? If we have done our due diligence, have “checked everything out,” surrender, leap into the unknown, and trust we will be okay, perhaps life might just surprise and support us.

Running across this video was a treat. Our little Gentoo Penguin is a wonderful teacher on fear, tenacity, surrender, and trust. If we allow ourselves to lean into, gain insight, and grow, they can allow our world to expand, sometimes in the most unexpected ways.

Are you ready to take a first step, a leap of faith, and lean into the changes circling your own life?

At Full Circle Wellness we help individuals identify challenges, transform unhealthy habits, thought patterns, and achieve insight for successful growth, and change. We are devoted to empowering individuals, to help them realize their potential, manifest their goals and dreams, to live a fulfilled whole-hearted life.

Liisa Gavlick, M.A.
© 8/2009, 9/2016 Liisa Gavlick, M.A. -Full Circle Wellness. All Rights Reserved

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