Let’s talk about fears…..

I thought I’d make 2012 all about “facing my fears.” But, then I realized I had to move that up two months to November, 2011. So many personal things happened to me in that month that I never thought would happen, and as a result, I could put those in my “facing my fears category.”

One of the most important ones was getting FLYING TO THE LIGHT published. While getting a book published is an arduous task and always a dream of mine, it’s the scrutiny of your friends, families and people you respect who are going to read your book. There’s this sense of “not wanting to appear a fool or disappoint” or simply to “write a good book that people will enjoy.” We all have self consciousnesses and for me, getting something out there that was good would prove to me and others that all this time, these past twenty years trying to get published, was not tom-foolery. It was a real dream and something that I think I could really do and hold my head up high doing it.

The next conquering fear was taking my 1st Dan Black belt test in tae kwon do. You’re excited and nervous and the idea of simply remembering all those forms and techniques and performing them in front of your instructors and fellow students is daunting. Again, you don’t want your fears to overtake you. You want to do well, to impress, to accomplish. I used to tell my fellow peer that “what is the worst thing that happens? I fall to the floor in a puddle of shame?” Seriously, if I messed up, well, then I would simply stand back up and try again.

I’m luckily mature enough to know it’s ok for me to try and fail at things, but it’s not ok for me to hide behind my fears because I’m scared. I don’t want to live my life with a “coulda, woulda, shoulda” scenario. How sad that there are people who won’t even do something as easy as eating sushi, or petting a dog or riding a horse – anything out of their norm, because they’re scared.  My own little guy won’t eat icecream because he’s scared of how cold it is. Icecream? One of life’s greatest inventions and he’s scared. I don’t want to live like that, ever and I don’t want him to either. So we work on our fears, every day, a little bit at a time.

So, I’ve decided (well, still deciding, but we know I’ll most likely do it), to actually sign up and compete in my first tae kwon do tournement at the end of January. I’m going to do this super cool form and spar. (yes, I said spar). Let me tell you, sparring is not my forte. The thirteen year olds can kick me right in the head and there’s not a darn thing I’ve yet been able to do to stop them. And now, I’ll be competing with other black belts who are all older than me and higher belts! But, I’m going to try. What’s the worst thing that happens? A few bruises? A broken nose? I come in dead last? But at least I did it, I showed my children, and myself, that no matter how old you are, you can accomplish anything… and maybe I’ll even surprise myself and place in something.

Some other things on my possible docket? Skydiving? Ziplining? Chocolate covered grasshoppers? Target practic? (it’s the gun itself that is supremely scary to me). How about riding a horse without fear? Jumping off a high diving board in the pool? Learning to do a back flip? Maybe running the marathon.

So, I implore everyone to try to pick something that they’ve never done, something that maybe they even feared a little and give it a go. Life is too short. We run around this world once, so don’t let things pass you by.

Let me know what you decide to do and just maybe I’ll jump along and try it out with you!

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2 thoughts on “Let’s talk about fears…..

  1. Elyse you are so right life is so short we all need to conquer our fears no matter
    what the outcome. It is like I tell my children as long as you try your best that is all that matters. Life is meant to be enjoyed,so how can we enjoy when we are hiding behind our fears?

  2. Facing fear? I’ve always told myself — at the ripe age of 19 — to try anything at least once, if you enjoy or like it, you can do it again and if not, don’t do it again. Of course, I’ve backed down from a few things I wished I hadn’t and done things I wished I hadn’t but it was a great learning experience to make me who I am today. Now, on the brink of the ripe age of 65 I face my mortality on a daily basis and it is scary but I still move forward, and I am learning I should have tried some things much earlier in life. Right now my main fear is one of vanity folly — I fear that less than a year after I am gone, nobody will really remember me or even care — other than my wife and my sons. And I really fear leaving my wife alone. There are some things I still fear as I live and will face them as I approach them. I really don’t want to call them my ‘bucket list’ items but I wouldn’t mind skydiving but fear my heart wouldn’t survive the bungie jump. As I stated, the reality of mortailty has made me perhaps a wee bit smarter in my decisions of what I fear. But I will still dance like a fool at a wedding, be the embarrassment of my family when others are looking, play tea party and do silly things with my grandkids and still enjoy life to the fullest — all the while knowing fear is just around the corner — I smile in its face.

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