I had woken up like every other morning and had gone about my day. One of my daily tasks had been to organize some clutter in my home office. While going through my books and papers I found a journal which I had used years back for personal development. I opened and scanned the learnings, notes, quotes and scrap pieces of paper bookmarking this and that. Then I found it. An old bucket list. It was filled with new countries I wanted to visit, things I wanted to jump out of, and ways I dreamed of pushing my body. And there it was, number 5, run a marathon. It was still there, years later, with no lined marked through it. In a matter of seconds without hesitating I was on google. ‘Best spring marathons in the GTA region’. 20 minutes later I pressed submit. Then I started to sweat, my heart rate sped up and I wanted to pee my pants. What the hell had I just done? Running a marathon had been on my bucket list for years. Like forever. But I had always talked myself out of it. I wanted to first run a 10k, then a few halfs, then have a baby, then clean the kitchen. Literally I made a ton of excuses why ‘not now’. But in this very moment I realized my fears were getting in the way of my goals and I needed to end this cycle.
Do you have fears that are holding you back? Are you unsure of how to get passed the scared and into the exciting? Here are a few tools that I find have helped me since this marathon booking day:
1. Ask yourself what’s the worse possible thing that can happen and then work backwards. Will something burn down? Will someone die? Will life be altered for the worse? Face the worse case and then brainstorm strategies to overcome these terrible things. If your house could burn down while trying that new recipe, do you have a fire extinguisher handy or 911 on speed dial? If your terrified of trying a new class and the worse thing that can happen is you hate it, then maybe ask if there is a free trial class before you commit. When I work backwards it usually calms my deep seeded scared shitless feelings.
2. Just do it. Don’t hesitate. Jump before you over analysis. I have learnt that if I finally decide to buy myself some new clothes I need to go directly to the store and purchase without shopping around. When I shop, I hum and ha and tell myself I don’t need to spend the money and before I know it I am still wearing my jeans with the holes in them for another six months. Big and small goals are the same as frugal shopping. Decide. Then Do (purchase, join, buy the groceries etc). The rest will just fall into place there after.
3. Solicit support. When I have an idea the first thing I do is call my husband. “Dear, I want to spend a month in Mexico starting my book.” His response is always an unfazed “Okay honey”. He is so use to my spontaneous ideas and plans. When I hear those two words and have someone’s support, my blood pressure decreases, my chest loosens and I take a deep breath knowing it can’t be that crazy of an idea after all.
4. Embrace the fear. Own it. Me: “Are you scared?” You: “So scared” Me: “Good” You: :O?? Being scared is the first step to awesomeness, so muster up the courage how ever you can and embrace all that is to come.
What’s on your bucket list that scares the bejeebers out of you? I bet just thinking about it gets your heart pounding as if it were to burst out of your chest. Let me ask you this: ten years from now when you look back and still see your bucket list without lines through, will you be disappointed? If you will be, maybe it’s time to put your big girl courage panties on, and face your fears head on? What do you think? Is it your time to experience the great, amazing things on the other side of fear?