The other night my six-year-old walked into my room and said: “There is a monster in my closet.” “Where is it?” I asked. “I don’t know,” he said, “but it’s there, I can feel it.”

Two days later, while in Canada, an individual approached me after my talk pulling me aside, “I’m terrified, I don’t dare go for this promotion, I am sure I won’t get it.” Five minutes later, another individual approached me and said, “Dr. Bray, I have a new boss, and we aren’t getting along. I’m scared I’m going to lose my job.”

We all have monsters in our closets, whether we are six years old or sixty.

Monsters can be bad choices, bad experiences, fears, insecurities, malevolent people in our lives. Monsters come in all shapes and all sizes; they haunt us, hiding in the shadows, letting us know they are always there. We can feel them.

Is that why we keep so busy? Always running around from one inconsequential thing to another, never stopping for a moment of stillness to reflect on who we are, where our lives are going, and who we want to be. I understand that some monsters are scary enough that we will keep running and doing anything to avoid looking at the monster in the face.

It might be time to decide to stop running away, stop ignoring that monster that has been in your mind for the last 20 years. Is it time to face the monster and go to battle? For some of us, that might even be a war that will last awhile. That’s okay; you are doing what needs to be done. Like my six-year-old, you can’t really sleep until you take care of it. Because you can always feel it is there.

I took Crew to his room and told him to wait a minute. I went into the room, closed his door, and proceeded to make a ruckus. I threw some toys against the wall; I made a lot of fighting noises and put some water on my face to look like I just fought a hard battle. I opened up the door and proclaimed, “This room is clean! Monster free!” “Was it a big one?” Crew asked. “No,” I said, “it was a small one; it just seemed bigger than it was. And you don’t need to worry about any more monsters because I scared that one so bad it will go tell the rest of the monsters not to mess with us.”

Ever thought maybe your monster is smaller than it seems and might be easier to conquer than you think? Good luck taking on your monster.

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