“Do one thing everyday that scares you.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
“Fear is not something to be conquered or eliminated — or even tackled, for that matter” writes Harriet Lerner, author of The Dance of Fear. “Instead, we may need to pay close attention to its message.”
Another passage from The Dance of Fear states, “We may believe that anxiety and fear don’t concern us because we avoid experiencing them. We may keep the scope of our lives narrow and familiar, opting for sameness and safety. We may not even know that we are scared of success, failure, rejection, criticism, conflict, competition, intimacy, or adventure, because we rarely test the limits of our competence and creativity. We avoid anxiety by avoiding risk and change. Our challenge: To be willing to become more anxious, via embracing new situations and stepping more fully into our lives.”
The message I take from this passage is that we can’t outrun our fears. We can’t vacuum them up and throw them away. Fear is part of being human. It is more about what we do with our fears. Do we let them control us? Do we sit in the chair tapping our toes when we really want to cut loose and dance? Do we stay in a daily rut instead of signing up for that class, pursuing that dream job, starting our own business, moving cross country or asking a certain someone out on a date?
What if we embrace our fears and do it anyway? What if we say to ourselves every morning “This may be my last day living. What do I want to accomplish? What do I want to do with these precious 24 hours?”
I have found that taking a risk and doing something that is out of my comfort zone can reignite my creativity, my zest for life and inspire me to new heights. After tandem skydiving I felt incredibly alive and walked on clouds for days. When I boarded a plane to go study in France for a year I was honestly scared, but I was also thrilled to be doing something incredibly different and challenging.
Share an experience that required you to overcome a fear?
Is there something you want to do right now that is daring and risky?
Commit to doing one thing this week that scares you and share what that one thing is going to be!
Activity ~ Visualize that you are no longer afraid. Make a list of things the new FEARLESS you would do. Here are a few ideas:
Go to a hot springs with some girlfriends and dive in the water naked.
Take dancing lessons.
Tell the truth to your family about being molested as a child.
Really belt out a song on karaoke night while sober.
Apologize and try to heal a relationship.
Tell the people who mean the most to you that you love them, while staring them in the eyes.
Ride your bike without any hands.
Take a trip by yourself.
Stand up for yourself when someone is rude.
Apply for your dream job.
Ride in a car, the windows down, your hair flying and your feet hanging out the passenger window.