I was talking with my adopted Grandma Denise a few months ago about her upcoming 94th birthday. “I’m going to jump out of a plane” she mentioned off-handedly as if it’s a normal occurrence for everyone, let alone someone in their 90’s.
Eleanor Roosevelt said “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
I can quote hundreds of people who said very similar things.
Doing scary things helps you grow because fear has power, but only when you listen to it. When you acknowledge what fear tells you to do BUT YOU DO THE OPPOSITE, you build courage.
Tim Ferriss said in his TED talk that fear is your friend and is an indicator. “Sometimes it shows you what you shouldn’t do. More often than not it shows you exactly what you should do.”
Getting uncomfortable, while not always fun, helps you learn how to handle the discomfort that we experience when confronting stressors. Face your fears and teach yourself that you CAN handle what life throws at you. The truth is that fear doesn’t really ever go away, nor should it, but a certain amount of fear can lead to growth and even high performance.
This doesn’t mean you have to jump out of an airplane. Fear can be as simple as trying a new food, public speaking, running a mile or taking a yoga class for the first time ever, carving out time for daily self-care, wearing white after Labor Day or applying for a new job. Start small with baby steps, these lead you to greater self-efficacy and ultimately gives you more momentum to continue growing and expanding.
The more you face fear down, the more control you have. You’ll still feel the fear, but you’ll look back on a life without regrets instead of ‘what-could’ve-been.”
So back to Denise jumping out of an airplane, we’ll I wasn’t going to let her go alone. Sure I didn’t eat or drink for 24 hours before the jump (too nervous, too afraid of what tossing the cookies would look like on video :o) but that’s a pretty small piece of uncomfortableness compared to the giant rush of free-falling out of a plane at 9,500 feet. I’ll forget about those pre-flight jitters, but I’ll never forget about Denise and I holding hands in the plane and hugging after our feet were safely on the ground.
I’m not sure what the next BIG fear-invoking adventure I’ll do (maybe something for her 95th??), but today I’m facing a baby fear in sharing this with all of you (why do you care? Should I have chosen a different photo? Does anyone really want to watch my 8 minute video–scroll below if you do want to see it— ??)
What scares you today?
Let’s do this!
We made it!!
*Special thanks to Bruce for editing the below video together for me!1