"The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it...you must do the thing you think you cannot do" Eleanor Roosevelt. (1960).You Learn by Living.
I have some fears I'm trying to face down. I love the outdoors and love to be active, yet I'm scared of falling or crashing (badly) when doing recreational activities. What if I trip over a chunk of ice while skating? What if we crash the snowmobile? What if the sled careens out of control and I'm launched in the air? What if I lose control of the snowboard and fly wildly down the mountain slope? I envision broken bones, knocking out teeth, a concussion, or even worse. These fears are not unjustified. When I was 21, I tried driving a snowmobile for the first time and crashed badly, resulting in broken bones. In the summer of 2020, I was hit by a car while riding my bike with my family. I'm fortunate to have been wearing a helmet, which may have saved my life.
There are plenty of reasons to be scared to try new things. But I do these things anyway.
I still don't like going too fast or feeling out of control, but it's also kind of exhilarating when you push beyond your comfort zone and make it through the other side. Now, I don't mean taking foolish risks, and I do believe in a healthy dose of respect for the things that can hurt you. I also believe in helmets (see above) & protective gear.
But being crippled by fear sucks the fun out of things.
So when my 17 year old son wanted to try snowboarding and my husband came home with 2 used boards from craigslist, I realized I really wanted to try it--as in, manage to stay upright and maybe carve some snow for a few seconds! 99% of the time, I fell. But that one percent when I didn't was exhilarating. I can't or won't forget that feeling.
I felt a mixture of fear and excitement when I decided to start this business. Should I invest my time and money, and possibly lose my shirt? I decided to forge ahead, even though the statistics show that small businesses like mine end up shutting down within just a few short years. And retail clothing? Even worse! Add the risk of trying to break into one of the most competitive online markets to those other factors, and I may as well been setting myself up for failure.
But what is failure, except the refusal of trying?
I started out by writing this as a journal entry, a reminder to my future self. A reminder that it's good to scare myself every now and then, and to never stop trying. I decided to share it here with you, also--because maybe you feel the same way. Maybe you want to try something, but are scared of what might happen.
Fear is natural, and it can protect us. It's when it starts to hold us back that it hurts us.
Again....being crippled by fear sucks the fun out of things.
I see now that this doesn't just apply to a fear of physical activities that make you worry about hurting yourself. It applies to many other things in life.
Join me in trying--just trying!--to live fearlessly.