We go through life wondering if we are ready for the moments life will bring to us. Many of those moments we experience in similar ways and chances are, we have all been afraid before. The situations are not relevant, but we all know the feelings are very real and very much the same.
When I was little, “fear” could have been my middle name.
I brought it practically with me wherever I went. We never ventured very far together – seeing as my comfort zone was not very big then. If I became a little afraid, I retreated. Never to try again later. I learned to not like feeling afraid so I did whatever I could to not feel that way.
As I got older and was married and raising our boys, my fear was less self-centered and more about trying to keep them safe. They wore every protective device every made at the time and even as they got older, I still had certain rules they needed to follow. Keep three boys together at places like the grocery store and zoo required certain rules, but when my oldest got to be 12 years old and he was still holding onto the cart, I was sure he could let go and not get lost.
“Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.” – Ambrose Redmoon
I never learned to balance between keeping myself safe and still allowing myself to be adventurous and in doing, I missed out on some really good things. Things I wish I could have done a little differently — said “yes” to a few more opportunities maybe.
I was the careful and cautious girl. My lack of being fully engaged in life showed. It showed for several years.
If there was even the slightest risk of something going wrong (which happens with everything), then I shied away from it. No one needed to put me in a bubble — I did that myself.
Challenges were something to run from, not go out and find. Who does that? And if you found yourself in a “predicament” then you just figured it out as you went along. You didn’t have time to be afraid.
Then, came the day when I had to stop being afraid. In some ways, I couldn’t tell you when that day was, but in other ways, I could tell you about a few of the things that, when strung together, gave me this sense of empowerment when trying something new and different. And when I stopped to look around, fear wasn’t there anymore. I didn’t recall telling it not to come with me on this next adventure.
That’s when it hit me…
Fear and excitement use the same emotion — one is negative and the other is positive and you can’t have both, so when I was excited about something I was doing, there was no room for fear.
Ultimately, I had made a choice.
A choice to live inspired.
A choice to be present in the moment.
A choice to be ready…for whatever opportunities life was going to bring my way and even if it was new and somewhat daring, I wasn’t going to surrender to my fear again.
Sometimes, we tell ourselves, “I’m not ready” and we run and hide. But maybe what we really are saying is, “I’m a little afraid.”
One of the best books I have ever read that started me breaking out of my shell is, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Barbara Sher. In it, she highlights one very important fact — that we all have fear and we give it more power when we succumb to it instead of taking just one more step to conquer it.
Fear counts on us not being ready…of us running away…of us accepting weakness…of us surrendering to it forever.
It doesn’t believe we have the grit…the guts…the courage…the strength to over come it. And many times, it is right.
But not with this girl. Not today.
You may not feel ready. You may feel scared. You may be so nervous you want to puke and you might feel a little faint. (Honestly, I get it — if you only knew how much I might be feeling this in just a few short hours.)
But you also know you can’t chicken out now.
You’ve come too far to run.
You’ve tasted just a small piece of that adrenaline rush and you want more.
And some days, for reasons you may not even realize yet, you just have to jump and as you do, maybe yell, “GERONIMO!”
There is something about doing the scary and maybe even a little dangerous…something that most people wouldn’t choose to do once in their lifetimes and having the greatest sense of being alive you have ever been. You go in with no expectations and you just know you have to “throw your hands up” and “love the ride.”
And when you think you aren’t ready…you aren’t sure…I would tell you one thing…
you are more ready than you have ever been!
Michelle A. Homme 2016 ©