I'm a fan of doing scary things.
In fact, last week I decided to have a whole weekend of doing scary things. On Friday I took my mobile sound system and went to a busy town centre and played loud music and tried to get people to dance with me.
On Saturday I jumped off the 5m diving board at the swimming pool.
And on Sunday I recorded a video of myself to send to a woman I much admire to ask her if I could speak at a conference she is organising.
They were all scary in different ways.
I've danced in public so many times that it holds no fear for me, but what I was scared of was "getting told off" and "getting in trouble". I knew I wasn't really allowed to play loud music and dance in the town centre and I was pretty sure I was going to get shutdown (which I did) but I still wanted to do it. I had amazing fun and a bunch of kids danced with me and people really enjoyed watching. Security did come after about twenty minutes, but they were lovely about it, and sorry that they had to stop me. And then the Customer Experience Manager came to see me and asked me if I would contact him so that he could hire me to come and do something officially. WOW!
The upshot? Lots of fun had. Didn't get in any trouble. Got an official invitation to come back and do it again.
Jumping off the high dive was scary in a very different way. I was scared I was going to hurt myself. Scared I would somehow hit the water in a way that hurt. It didn't look that bad from the ground but when I was standing up there it felt like it was a mile high.
I went to the edge and walked back from it at least six times.
I couldn't do it.
I climbed back down, stopping half-way to jump off the 3m board. That was easy.
Once I was in the pool I was hit by a horrible sense of regret. I felt terrible for having bailed on doing the one thing I had come there to do.
Fear had been the boss of me.
So back up I went. This time I didn't hesitate. I just went to the edge and jumped. Feeling that I had failed and bailed was far worse than what could happen if I jumped.
And the exhilaration of having done it? Ah.mazing!
Dear Fear, you are NOT the boss of me!
Making the video. Well, that was scary in yet another way. This time I would face my own judgement about myself on "film" - how I looked, how I sounded, what I said, the way I said it. And, I might not get a response - or not the the response I would like. I might face 'rejection'.
I vowed I would do only one take and send whatever I recorded.
And that's what I did. Except that the video wouldn't send. I tried every which way to make it go, but it would not. So I did a much shorter, second take, and before I could think twice, I hit send and off it went.
I haven't had a reply.
It doesn't matter even one tiny little bit.
What matters is that I did it!
I did it!! I did the thing that I really wanted to do ... make a video! I want to make lots more so that I can create online courses so making and sending that first video was a big step in catching a new dream.
Doing scary things does not require you to not be scared. Doing scary things requires you to be scared, but "get on the horse anyway." That's courage. So says John Wayne. I agree.
Someone I love once told me that I know no fear. That's not true. I do feel fear. But I choose not to let it be the boss of me. And I make that choice again and again because there are so many things I want to do that I have never done before and every new thing comes with its own kind of scary. Some big, some small.
My best advice is to do the scary things that you want to do.
Not doing them, and regretting it is a far, far worse a fate.
Doing things you want to, even though they're scary, will leave you feeling amazing and proud of yourself.
And every scary thing you do will make you and your life bigger and better.
You're braver than you think.
BIG love and BIG courage
I'm a fan of doing scary things.