Everyone’s got one. Some seem more warranted than others. Like society totally gets fear of spiders, heights, things like that. But fear of random things…not so much. And if you have lots of fears, you’re basically considered a wuss. So that was me. The one who was afraid of everything. The one who was afraid of life.
I remember one of my therapists asking me to write down a list of all my fears onto a piece of paper and read them to her at our next session. Let’s just say one page wasn’t enough. I’ve spent my whole life afraid of making the wrong move. Or of doing something with irreversible consequences. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last few years, it’s that feeling stuck in that prison of indecision or fear of moving past my comfort zone is far worse than whatever might happen if I actually tried.
I once heard that the definition of courage is feeling scared but having the strength to push past that fear and do whatever it is you need to do anyway. So for the past few years, I’ve had one main goal: to slowly but surely overcome my fears, or rather, to feel afraid, but do things and live my life despite those fears. To be fair, I haven’t done anything too drastic, like jump out of an airplane or anything; but I cannot describe how exhilarating it is to just STOP THINKING and DO. Obviously, there’s the initial adrenaline rush, and that’s nice and all, but knowing that I can do almost anything I set my mind to, even if previously I hadn’t thought it was something I was capable of, is indescribable and unending.
The reason I’m thinking about this now, is because over the weekend, I took my son to a gymnastics themed birthday party. They had this pirate ship with platforms at different heights that you could jump from and land in a big blue foam pit below. Technically, it was a kids party, and I had no business joining them. But I knew it was something I would never typically do (because of my fear of heights), and logically, I knew it was safe. So I mustered up the courage, and decided I was doing it. I climbed the pirate ship and proceeded to have a (super embarrassing) panic attack for, what felt like, 30 minutes (it was probably more like 15) in front of all the other children and parents, I might add. But I wasn’t going to give up. I wasn’t going to get off that pirate ship until I jumped. A few hugs and kisses and a gentle push from my son later, and I did it. And it was incredible.
I’m all for thinking things through, but at a certain point, you just gotta jump. I would love to hear about some of the fears you’ve overcome in the comments below.