2019 is my year of saying yes to things that scare me.
Don’t worry. I am not a masochist. There will be no parachuting out of airplanes or climbing Mt. Everest.
I am talking about trying a new activity, challenging my thinking, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone when the occasion arises. My goal is to do something at least once a week that makes me think, causes me to grow, and helps me to learn about myself and the world around me.
As a Health and Life Coach I have supported many people in their journeys to be their best selves. This often requires making decisions that we find scary and taking a leap. I want to live this out loud and write about what comes of it. I am hoping to inspire my clients by reminding them (and myself!) that we can do hard things.
I am not one to shy away from a challenge. I have climbed Half Dome, run marathons, created a career from scratch as a Health and Life Coach, facilitated retreats, taught myself how to build websites, and use and understand social media for marketing a business.
I admire people – especially those of us in mid-life – who jump at the chance to challenge themselves. I know women who have sought out opportunities that would scare the heck out of me. They have figured out how to run multi-million dollar businesses while raising kids and caring for elderly parents, produce podcasts that have become wildly popular, author books, speak at huge conventions or walked solo for hundreds of miles in a foreign country.
There is one woman in my neighborhood who always had the dream of becoming a stand up comedienne and decided to go for it! She performs locally now in various comedy clubs. That takes guts!
Last year I decided I wanted to walk the Camino de Santiago and headed out last September to walk the Camino Frances, a 500-mile trek through France and Spain. This was one of the more bold risks I have ever taken.
I spent about six months planning and preparing for this epic adventure. I headed out on the trail only to pull the plug after two days.
The details of my failed Camino are not as important as what I learned through the experience. It was one of the first times in my life that I failed to complete something. And through that failure there was plenty of reflection.
My biggest takeaway was that despite the outcome – I grew! I am a changed person for having had the chance to fail. The outcome was not what I had planned, but every single thing that happened provided me with the chance to learn.
I learned that I could maintain composure in the face of difficulty. I was resourceful in a foreign country, problem solving every step of the way. Google translate became my best friend. But the biggest sign of growth for me personally was that I decided to call it quits! A decade ago I would have pushed ahead, but I decided in this circumstance that the greatest act of self-care for myself was to come home. I have no regrets about either the trip or the decision to leave the Camino.
I am seeking more Camino type opportunities this year. Moments in which I feel fear and do it anyway. I know those moments provide me with the greatest opportunities for growth and at 52 I am all in for exploring the edges of my comfort zone.
I invite you to join me on this adventure by considering your own comfort zones and ways in which you can challenge yourselves.
Do you have something you have always wanted to try but stopped yourself due to fear? Do you have things that have scared you since you were a child that you’ve never been able to overcome or get on top of?
I assure you that no one is immune to fear. Every single person in this universe has desires that have laid dormant due to feeling afraid. I do not know a single person who does not struggle with feeling scared in some way or other when making certain decisions in their lives.
Let’s see what happens when we face those fears. I guarantee you will grow as a person no matter the outcome. And with that growth comes the chance to experience life on another level. And that is something none of us want to miss.
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