I realised a while ago that I was letting fear hold me back. I had many ideas and new things I’d like to try, in all areas of my life, but I was afraid to give it a go. I wanted to make a conscious effort to put myself out there, meet new people, try new activities, do the things that scare me. Because having a vague sort of resolution doesn’t work very well for me, I decided to make this summer a time for fearlessness.
For me, this summer of living fearlessly means signing myself up for new courses, saying yes to things I would shy away from, taking a few more risks, and not letting fear determine my choices. I must say, so far it’s been going really well.
So, what have I been up to?
Last month, I ran my first ever 10K race. It was a local, low-key fun run and the route weaved through the beautiful countryside I am very familiar with. So I didn’t let my fear of finishing last stop me from participating and I did it! I felt strong and able, and even though it was slightly strange running with other people, I really enjoyed it. Having people cheer me on at various intervals felt great! (I kind of wish we did that for each other in everyday situations too.) By the time I ran the race, my goal was just to enjoy it and reach the finish line, I didn’t care if I came last. Just for the record, I finished somewhere in the middle and stayed on to cheer for everyone who crossed the finish line afterwards.
Rock climbing was something that often crossed my mind as an activity I would have liked to try but I was never brave enough to do it. I looked at descriptions of climbing courses online and that was as far as I got. Sure, I was worried about the very real possibility of injuring myself or falling to my death (far less likely to happen). But there were also silly concerns like “What if I’m too heavy for the ropes?”. I finally signed up for a novice climbing course and I’m so glad I did. After four hours of lessons so far, I love it! It’s just the right amount of challenging, it’s a great workout, and I’ve met some really awesome people. It’s even made me look forward to Mondays which is a minor miracle. Yay for being fearless!
Another small act of bravery was making a silly little video about my capsule wardrobe. You can watch it here! It was something I had been thinking about for a while but was always too shy and self-conscious to actually try. But instead of pushing it to the back of my mind, I found a way to make it work for me. I found a format that I was comfortable with, while still trying out something new and working on new skills. I actually enjoyed working on it and I plan to have a second filming session soon.
Finally, there are all those unplanned moments and opportunities. Living fearlessly means taking little risks, and choosing to do the little things that scare me everyday. I had great success with this new attitude at a party a couple of weeks ago. My impulse would be to just hang out with my boyfriend and the people I had already met before. But I gave myself a nudge and struck up a conversation with new people. I found myself chatting with a girl who also has countless pictures of random cats on he phone. A kindred spirit indeed!
A successful experiment
I must say I am surprised by how much happiness pushing past my fears has added to my every day. I’m excited for what else comes my way this summer! If you have something you’d like to try but are too scared, I would highly recommend taking a deep breath and maybe saying yes to it. And please do tell me how it went, I’d love to celebrate everyone’s moments of fearlessness this summer.