The thing I hate most about myself isn’t my awkward, flower-shaped belly button. It isn’t even the weird pattern of pox-like dark spots across my body. What I hate, I mean really hate, is the fact I’m chicken shit. I walk through life terrified of everything to the point that it paralyzes me.
There are good days. Sometimes I suspend fear long enough to actually click buy on a Groupon vacation. In the past, I’ve been bold enough to say “I love you” first to a guy because I felt like it. Hell, the younger me never would’ve applied for a job that required me to stand in front of a crowd of people and pretend I know things. But those things happened. I did that shit.
I find that more often than not, there are scared days. And getting through them is a matter of tricking myself, shutting down all thoughts, or, quite simply, failing. My soul says, “Go out in the world and be great!” and my mind says, “Whoa there partner. Don’t you need to think through this?”
And think I do. Deciding whether to do anything that requires traveling more than five miles or that isn’t immediately sanctioned by an authority figure is followed by a period of intense thought. “Is this a good idea?” “Is it safe?” “Will I have fun?” “What if they say ‘no?'” “Maybe what I’m currently doing isn’t so bad?” My comfort zone is calling me, begging me to stay put.
As kids, we’re raised to believe that voice is protecting us. And it is. We don’t cross the street without looking both ways, we don’t talk to the strangers, and we definitely don’t stay out past curfew drinking underage. (At least I didn’t!)
But how about now – years later as I take full responsibility for my life and endeavor to milk every second? I’m feeling like it’s time to let that fear thing go.
It’s literally a fun-sucker. All the most fun things in life require a little risk, a little faith. Think stock market returns, year-long vacations, marriage proposals, and super-short haircuts. How will I ever get to them reminding myself that safer is better?
Sometimes I think about my favorite celebrities. They’re talented, but that’s not what I’m most in awe of. I’m amazed that they have this voice in their heads that tells them to just go for it. Skip that sleep. Skip college. Quit that job. Demand millions of dollars from the record label. Spend that money on your career. Pray that people come to your shows. Switch your style up. Hope that money comes back. That’s fearless as hell to me. I want to be more like them.
So let’s all practice this together:
I am comfortable with fear.
Fear and I are friends.
I won’t let fear stop me from living.
If I don’t like the outcome, it’s never too late to change it.
The biggest mistake you can make is not living at all.
This post is dedicated to each of my friends that dare me to “just do it.”