I was waiting at the stop light at Granville & Broadway a while back and although I try not to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations, this time I couldn’t help but over hear. Two you girls, probably 20 something, were looking up towards the north shore mountains that had just received another dump of snow and this precipitated their conversation. They proceeded to banter back and forth about whether or not they skied/snowboarded; when the last time they went was etc. Each of them respectively had been up a mountain and snowboarded in the past however neither had been in probably the last four or five years. The first girl said she was too scared to try it again and the second girl commented that she just hadn’t done it for so long she didn’t think she’d ever do it again.
Now, first to clarify, I’m in no way passing judgment on these two, and if they never want to ski or snowboard for the rest of their lives that’s no problem and I would respect their decision. Their conversation, however, struck a cord within me because it’s reminded me of a similar conversation I have had with myself in the past. There have been things that I would love to do or to try, but, then there has been some reason that I made up in my mind about why I couldn’t or shouldn’t. So often it’s fear that holds people back, including me, and there’s a part of me that is so bothered by that. I have been deathly afraid of certain things in the past and therefore didn’t go through with them only to regret it later and beat myself up for not going for it. However, of late I’ve tried to take a different approach with myself. There is so much to experience in this world, so many things to do, places to see, people to meet; I don’t want to end up regretting not pushing myself through that fear.
I don’t want to get morbid on you, but, I made a realization a couple years ago after having a close family member pass away at a young age, that I don’t want to miss out on opportunities or experiences just because I am scared. The best book I ever read that addressed Fear was Susan Jeffer’s “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”. It’s very freeing when you begin to understand the emotion of fear and slowly stop allowing it from holding you back from doing things that you have a desire to do. As far as I know we only have one shot here and I set out each day to have the best time possible. I don’t deny that fear continues to pop up in my life, sometimes daily, but more and more I see it for what it is and I “feel the fear and do it anyways”.