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“Feel the fear and do it anyway” ~Susan Jeffers
Here’s a little of how I try to push aside fear to enjoy life as much as I can.
Feel the fear and do it anyway is one of my favourite books and one of my favourite quotes to tell myself. It was one of my very first self help books I read and it encompasses a lot of things I already do.
I think people look at me and the way I live my life and the crazy things I do, and they think I’m fearless. I get called brave and strong all the time. Honestly it’s not about being brave or fearless . It’s learning how to overcome and little bit of why it’s worth overcoming them. Truth is I don’t feel brave or fearless at all. I do get scared, in fact I get terrified. But I know that fear holds us back. All great things really are on the other side of fear.
I was sat at the airport recently waiting for the first leg of my flight to India. Let me tell you I was so scared. I had wound myself up so much about missing my connecting flight that I just wanted to be back home. When I realised my flight was taking off nearly an hour late. I was even more panicked. I was terrified of being so far from home and in a country so different to my own. Even though I had been before. I had convinced myself that 2 hours wasn’t enough time to self transfer and that I was going to be stuck in Bengalore with no way of getting to Goa. Other people and even travel agents had told me you needed at least 5 hours to self transfer. So my fears all seemed reasonable!! But do you know what, after weeks of worrying if I’d made the right choice with these cheap flights, after a 9 hour flight of trying to sleep and meditate my fears away. I got to Bengalore and did the self transfer and made it on to my flight to Goa with absolutely no drama. So do not let other people’s perspective or even your own from past experience dictate your fears. It wasn’t even my first time travelling so I know I could of figured everything out, called the travel agents, booked new flights. I could of figured it all out yet I was still scared.I think I quite like over coming my fears. It feels quite empowering.
When I was on the radio before the Headway awards people kept asking if I was scared. I wasn’t because I’ve been on the radio before. I knew if I said something stupid it would just make a funny story. So when I was confiding in my friend Brooke (author of the amazing blog Brain Injury Brooke ) recently that yes I was a little nervous about my trip to India. He told me “just enjoy it. It will be a good story whatever”.He reminded me of exactly who I am. One thing I’ve always reminded myself is that I want to be a cool old lady when I’m in my 90’s with many stories to tell. To me even brain surgery was just another story to tell.
Fear is not there to hold us back but simply to remind us that great things are worth taking a risk for. Like risking a 2 hour transfer so you can get to India and fulfil your dreams of becoming a yoga teacher. Because do you know what, I survived it all, despite my fears and I am still here telling the stories.
What’s holding you back? Is it fear? Why not try and do something you are scared of today? Once you overcome the small fears the big fears seem to get less scary. Maybe only slightly less scary. But they seem like hills rather than mountains.
Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway is a great read and will help you step into that fear. Available here