Skip to main content

Not for the Faint of Heart

Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.  -Jim Morrison

We talk about the value of pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone yet simultaneously fight change tooth and nail. We hold onto relationships that are not fulfilling when we know we should move on. We stay in jobs that make us unhappy and complain. We dream of the life we want but don’t take the steps required to make it possible. Why do we cling to situations despite that they may not be in our best interest?

Moving on from the familiar, despite however dissatisfying, sets us onto a path full of questions and uncertainties. Is this the right decision? Will the outcome be positive? Will I be happy? Etc. We focus more on our concerns instead of the value in taking the leap itself. But opening ourselves to the unknown, and therefore vulnerability, is precisely what makes us stronger. Therein lies the victory regardless of the outcome.

Does an athlete become stronger by repeating the same workout? No. Does a relationship grow without putting ourselves on the line? Of course not. Do we learn only reading the same book over and over again? Absolutely not. So, how can we overcome fear by consistently avoiding what scares us?

A few years ago I cycled the Cabot Trail. Though I had ridden for years, I had never cycled terrain remotely similar and the mountains were daunting. Could I do it? What if I stalled on the ascents? What if I crashed on the descents? If I hadn't embraced the unknown and stuck to flats, I would never have progressed as a rider.

There are so many ways we can put ourselves out there depending on what defines our comfort zone. Does that mean riding a roller coaster or doing the CN Tower Edgewalk despite being fearful of heights? Does it mean making a speech in front of hundreds? Or does it mean telling someone you love them without the security of reciprocity? Maybe it means travelling to a foreign country on your own and where you don’t speak the language. The possibilities are endless.

Whatever that may be for you, the important thing is to take the risk because of your fear.  That is the mark of the truly courageous. There can be no courage unless you are scared. 

If in doubt, the real question to ask yourself is what if you stayed the same?


Popular posts from this blog

10 simple joys

Recently "Chewbacca Mom" reminded the world that life is about the "simple joys". Think about it - more of  life is about the everyday moments than the sexy milestones. Though I've written a lot here about gratitude, this got me reflecting yet again on the simple joys I am thankful for. This is my list right now, though in no way complete.
1. Snuggling under a cozy duvet 2. That first sip of freshly brewed coffee in the morning 3. Hugging my partner tightly 4. Smiling to strangers and getting smiles back 5. Taking in a beautiful skyline view 6. Mastering a new skill that was unknown to me 7. Being awakened by the chirping birds outside my window each morning 8. Watching a scary movie and jumping with fright (this is a guilty pleasure, I'll admit) 9. Grocery shopping with my partner (yes I know, weird but true - we are talking simple!) 10. Camping adventures (s'mores included ;))
What are your simple joys?

Be like Water

Life has been busier than usual of recent and it has kept me away from this blog longer than I would like. I mentioned this to my boyfriend the other day. He matter-of-factly reminded me that there is no schedule to which I must adhere. That there are no specific rules to follow, only those I set for myself.
He reminded me that it’s okay to take a break when time or inspiration may be lacking. And that lack of inspiration is not a permanent state.

Less is More

In October 2010 I was in Peru – a trip full of meaningful moments and encounters, many of which could not have been predicted.  For several days we stayed at a local family’s home in the Lake Titicaca area - a remote village with no running water or electricity.  Our hosts went out of their way to ensure our stay was comfortable, that we felt welcome, and were well fed.  We lacked for nothing despite the simplicity of our accommodations.