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Do something that scares you

We’ve all heard that quote from Eleanor Roosevelt – “Do something every day that scares you.” Quite honestly, there’s a lot that scares me. I wouldn’t consider myself a courageous nor a strong person. I have my  moments. Don’t we all? We find our strength when we need it.

As my kids have gotten older, it’s become more and more apparent I need to move beyond my own comfort zone, model who I want them to be.  That means getting out there, and doing things that are kinda scary. I started with the running thing. It’s a bit terrifying to register for, train for, and run a half marathon.  I wanted them to see me doing something that took commitment, that which was difficult, and was also scary. People watch marathons and half marathons. If I fall, they will see it. If I walk, people will know. And what if I can’t finish? Running, and running races in particular, has given me courage in other areas of my life.

I started practicing yoga again this year. Some days, the teacher will tell us to do something and I look at her and laugh, out loud. In my mind I’m thinking, “There’s no way in heck that’s going to happen.” She, if she says anything, says, “You can do this. I’ll be right here, and I’ll help you.” She doesn’t really let us so no, although she does accept our limits when we reach them. The success of a pose isn’t getting to the maximum, it’s getting to my  maximum. Yesterday, we worked on back bends. I started up, and felt fear holding me back (not to mention the fact my arms felt too weak to lift my upper body off the floor). She came over, counted to three, and pulled me up. Once I was there, I realized I had let fear take over. Why should someone be afraid of a back bend? I don’t know it was being upside down. I think I was more afraid of knowing my weakness, my limitations. I was afraid of failing, and that fear made me fail on my own. Then she pulled me up, and once there, I remembered the above quote. I found strength in holding that back bend, even though I hadn’t reached it completely on my own.

Strength doesn’t come in solitude. Strength comes in admitting weaknesses, asking for and accepting help, knowing our best isn’t always the definition we hold in our minds but it is still our best, and in honoring the moment of getting there.

There are a lot of things which scare me in this world, failing in front of the eyes of others  being one of them.  I’m learning to move past that, but that takes practice. Do something every day that scares you.

Yesterday, I ordered two multi-subject notebooks. It’s time to stop letting fear get in the way of my dreams. I have a new purple pen too, one that writes oh so smoothly. I have a story that has been rolling around my brain for over a year. Then there are two other writing projects in mind as well. Do something every day that scares you. This terrifies me. But I’m going to jump on in there.

What scares you? What dream have you let fear keep you from chasing?

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