Experiencing fear and doing it anyway.
I used to partake in thrill rides. Roller coasters, crazy spinny-things, towers that send you into a free-fall drop. I loved them. But I was also terrified!!!
My husband would get the biggest kick out of me on these rides. We’d get in the ride vehicle and start making our way to the top. I was nervous, but okay. The higher we got, however, the more fear I felt. I wondered why the heck I ever got on the ride. I would start chanting, “Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God…”
The only thing to break me from my chant was the death-plunge to earth. At that point I would just scream like a baby! And when it was over, I would usually laugh with joy and say, “that was AMAZING!”
I think in metaphors a lot, so of course I can see how this is totally like my life. I want good things. I want to enjoy life. I want to feel joy of accomplishing things. I have hopes and set goals. I want the thrill that comes at the end of the ride!
I take the first step toward a goal, like stepping onto a thrill ride. I think, I can totally do this. Then I strap in and start to second guess if I should do it. Then we start to move forward and wonder if I can do it. I ascend slowly and the chance of falling starts to seem real. A gap is forming between where I am going and the “safety” of not getting on the ride, not going for my goal. I feel it coming. I am doubting myself and my choices and my terrified inner-self starts chanting “Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God…”
When we are on a physical ride, we are strapped in, so once we start, we have no option to back out. But in life and in our goals, nothing outside of ourselves is strapping us in. It is far too easy to take an escape route, to get off the ride, to abandon the goal.
I begin to feel the vibrations of fear, I start my internal chant, the doubt creeps in. I want to get off the ride and walk away.
“Hey Diana! Go grab a chai tea latte, get under the covers, and binge-watch Poldark.” (If you haven’t seen it yet, Poldark is amazing. Go watch it! You’re welcome.)
Great idea brain! I can do that. I have done that. But you know what? That takes me to the same place every time—right back to the beginning, where I am looking at my un-accomplished goal. I stand in the starting gate, but this time I know I already failed. Then I embody my doubt and think, “this goal is for someone else, not me. Leave it to the them.”
That is NOT what I want anymore. How about you?
Now, I have decided that hiding and living on the sidelines isn’t how I want to show up in life. Lately, I’ve been strapping myself in for the ride. I know fear will come. It always does. Fear is a normal human experience when we push the brain into new territory. But, if I leave myself an out, I will exit the ride before I even get going. Instead, I acknowledge my fear. I decide ahead of time, no longer will I deny the world of my gifts and contribution.
My husband challenged me when I wanted to get off the scary ride of starting my life coaching career. He said, “But if you stop now, imagine all the women that need your insight and will not get it.” Oh man. That hit me hard. Quitting doesn’t just let me down; it would have deprived my many clients too! The ones who I have watched grow and face their own fears. They saw that I moved forward even when I was scared, and they learned they could do it too. And guess what—you can do it too!
Come on and do it with me. Take a deep breath and strap in. You and me… we will press on. And when we feel afraid, chant with me if you like.
“Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God”
And speaking of God, he is the source of courage and faith. Faith in him and faith in who he made us to be in his image. He made us to shine!
No more exiting the amazing ride of life, my friend. Time to live it. Time to be you. Time to be me. Time to share ourselves with the world. Look out, here we come!
If you like this post, check out my article about perseverance, I Can Do It.
Commitment and action replace fear.