Fear is generally what holds us back from trying. The fear of embarrassment, fear of losing, fear of getting hurt (physically or emotionally), fear of failing…and so on.
You’re probably well acquainted with the Vancouver based, globally popular brand that ‘creates components for people to live a long, healthy and fun life’? That same company came up with a manifesto that can be found on most of their reusable/ recyclable shopping bags. For years I’ve read their manifesto and in particular the line that reads “do one thing a day that scares you”. But for the last nine years I really haven’t done much beyond thinking about it, except having two home births, does that count?
What do they really mean by “do one thing a day that scares you”, anyway? It finally dawned on me – what the fear was that I could generate each day. It only became clear to me when I started focusing on myself again.
A few years ago a friend invited me to join a weekly women’s soccer group (mostly for mom’s). I was nervous to go, since the last time I had played soccer was in sixth grade (I was only put on the team because I was a sprinter) and was never instructed on how to play the game properly. So I took a deep breath and swallowed my fear and showed up. For that hour and a half, I forgot I was a mom and wife. It was just me, running, kicking, missing shots, getting winded and having the best time! The reward of that experience dimmed the ogre of fear a little that day. And each time I want to try something new, where the ogre of fear surfaces for air, and the worry of embarrassment and failure lurk, the rewards from trying give me courage.
I used to wonder how I could find something to do each day that scared me – wouldn’t I run out of things? Apparently I haven’t. Each day brings with it an entirely new arrangement of possibilities. Isn’t that great? From something as inconsequential as overcoming a moment of shyness to attempting to swim the butterfly stroke in front of a deck-full of onlookers, pushing myself through another grueling Tabata of Burpees or starting a blog!
Now I look for challenges. It’s like I’ve created a ‘sub-category’ of scare challenges.
It’s as though through the simplicity of attempting to meet a challenge comes the training to deal with fear.
Fear: I can take you on.