Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You
“Fear is a Four-Letter Word!”
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I love the title of this lesson which is to “Do one thing every day that scares you.” This is such an empowering quote by what is thought to be said by none other than Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt! She was a very smart chick for her day and someone that I respect being the modern feminist that I am.
Fear is a four-letter word, much like the bad swear words we aren’t supposed to say when we were kids, you know the ones I am funking talking about here a-hole, right! Just testing you! 😉
When I was a very naive and impressionable young girl, I used to be extremely afraid of lightning and thunderstorms. Of course, the very loud storms would happen at night when my family and I were all supposed to be asleep.
Whenever a storm would happen, I’d sneak into my parent’s room to ask if I could sleep with them. By the time, I was around ten years young, they stopped letting me so, I had to look at my other options. My brother Ryan (who is 14 months older than me) was one of them but man did he let me have it. When I’d ask to come sleep with him already armed with my pillow in hand and a sad expression on my tear-filled face.
I’d explain that Mom and Dad wouldn’t let me sleep with them and I didn’t want to sleep in my bed all alone. I was too scared to sleep alone, so my brother Ryan tried to bribe me. He’d say “What are you going to give me?” I’d list of a few things of value to him that I thought were reasonable, like a few dollars that I had worked hard for and saved up and he’d say “Oh, no that’s not good enough, how about your globe or your binoculars?” I’d gotten these as gifts and thought that they were very valuable, so I was shocked even at that age that he’d ask me for such precious items when I was at my most vulnerable state. He was ruthless!
After I agreed to give him one of my prized possessions, I then started to try to crawl into his bed and he immediately he’d say, “No, you can’t sleep with me in my bed, you can sleep on the floor!” I would think to myself ‘Wow, really?!’
I’d finally relent and give in out of desperation and end up giving him both items and then would go and I’d sleep on the floor of his room. I did this just a few times, but I quickly learned after that, that it really wasn’t worth giving away my treasured valuables just to be able to sleep on the floor in his room. I quickly wised up and told my parents what he’d done one day and got my items back. Shithead!
After tattling on him there was no way in hell that he’d ever again let me sleep anywhere in his room again. Man, he was a hard-ass.
Ironically, when my brother Ryan grew up, he went to law school to become an attorney but didn’t take his bar exam or go into practice after graduating. Instead, today he is a very successful businessman where he is completely self-made and has a business where he is a custom home builder, contractor and he and his wife have a vacation rental business as well. Go Ryan! I see now that you were honing your negotiating skills when we were kids. I’m glad it all paid off for you! Butthead 😘
Thankfully, as a kid I got over my fears by eventually facing them. I think that it’s a very good thing to work on your fears, no matter what they may be.
I used to be scared of lots of stuff and very fearful over a few too many things. It was to the extreme (part of my problem with my OCD tendencies) and some of my fears took me to a breaking point where they affected my daily life and interfered with relationships that I had and some I still have with people I love. One day, I decided that I’d had enough and was going to work on my fears until I came to peace with them and came to a point where they didn’t freak me out or control me. I used to avoid a lot of what I feared, like going to the dentist or flying.
A few years ago, I told myself that I didn’t need to ever see a dentist again, so I avoided going to one for 2 years. Even a simple teeth cleaning appointment was out of question. How silly is that! Then, my son needed to go see the dentist, so I booked us both to get our teeth cleaned on the same day. I was nervous as hell going into the appointment but was trying to be brave for my son. He brought his best friend at the time, Jake with us to the dentist office. As, I trembled with anxiety in the dentist chair, I made it through the ordeal.
A month later, I went back and go get some work done, it was still painful and difficult and I told myself that I didn’t want to go but I still I pushed myself and made sure that I showed up. After this, I ended up going back to see the dentist often to try to take care of issues and it got more manageable and easier for me. Today, I can go get a tooth extracted while awake and only having numbing shots or a root canal done and my level of anxiety out of 10 is around a 2 to 3, meaning that my stress level is very low. Imagine that!
Plus, when I got on my anti-depressant (which kinda makes me feel numb emotionally at times, let’s just say it took the edge off) and taking an anxiety/panic medicine helps me even more so I can do the things I need to do. I started taking them 4-5 years ago, before that my anxiety was off the charts for simple things that I was afraid of, like going to the dentist or flying so I used to avoid them altogether because of how they made me feel, but that wasn’t a good solution. I’m happy I figured out a way to get past these fears and look at me taking medication as one of the best decisions I could have made to have a good level of self-care and quality of life.
As far as my fear of flying, let me tell you a pretty awesome experience I had. One empowering night, as I was laying in bed, I told myself that I was completely tired and done with being afraid to fly. I booked a flight that left a few days later and got my ass on that plane and faced my fear. Then I did it again a week later, then a few months later and now I don’t mind flying so much, in fact I try to find things to look forward to about it. I’m confident that one day, I’ll love flying again completely!
I eased my way into exposing myself to this fear and fought back against my false thoughts surrounding my fear of flying.
Like my Dad told me awhile back, he said “You can’t escape your problems when you move someplace new, they follow you.” My rebuttal to this is this, “At least the weather and scenery could be better and easier to deal with than staying someplace that no longer challenges or interests me.” You shouldn’t be bored or afraid of change and for heaven’s sake I would never wish this even on someone that I hate: to live an unexamined life that you hate or feel trapped and bored.
F.E.A.R = False Evident Appearing Real. You need to challenge your fears and do the opposite of what your brain tells you to do, most times, especially if your fears are holding you back in life, love or business.
I know when I’ve had a very good day, it’s when I did at least one thing that scared the crap out of me……..and I still did it! For me it was the dentist, flying and even public speaking. It’s perfectly natural and ok to be nervous or hesitant about something, especially if it’s new to you but the key is to do it anyway! This is coming from someone who has panic and anxiety issues. If I can do stuff that I’m afraid of, you sure-as-hell can too, honestly!
Don’t let yourself live in a protective bubble and shield yourself from the things that make you afraid or fearful. I used to be the poster child for this and I thought that I was being smart and protecting myself from harm, but really what I was doing was limiting myself and missing out on things that would make me a better person.
Try to do things that scare your every single day because you will never grow and become faster, smarter and better if you give into your fears and become stagnant, plus you will miss out on things that I promise you’ll look back on in years to come and tell yourself that you are so happy that you decided to do that which scared you.