Right, so just as I think I’m getting the hang of this self-trust, deep introspection, write from the heart thing, Mary Jaksch (how do you even pronounce that?) throws a curveball.
Emerson says: “Always do what you are afraid to do.” What is ‘too scary’ to write about? Try doing it now.
Wow. I thought I had it figured. We’d get these prompts and I’d dutifully write out what came to mind after reading the Emerson quote and the prompt. I liked it. It got me thinking about things I don’t normally think about. The quotes from Emerson are just plain dripping with inspiration that it’s hard not to feel good about the future.But this. This thing that tells me I’m supposed to write about something that scares me, I’m not sure what I’m really supposed to do with it. I’ll say I don’t understand it. See, I’m totally procrastinating.I’m not sure if I was taught this way or it was just what I saw around me in the world but airing out that stuff that scares you wasn’t something I did. I still try not to do it. I understand that it’s good to get things off your chest, but any time something comes up, I veer away. I shove it off. I ignore it. I pack it away deep down inside and hope it never comes back up again.It always does.I’m learning that hiding what you’re afraid of isn’t the best way to accomplish what you want to do. If something scares you, you have to get it out of the way or it’s going to turn into a scary beast lurking somewhere in your periphery all the time.Once you deal with something, it’s not scary any more. Once you start taking steps to slay above-mentioned beast, things become manageable. Yes, running headlong into a dragon’s lair with no training or weapons is scary. It’s also dumb and not a smart way to do things. You want to be prepared. You want some armor and a nice sword and maybe a few days of training with the best sword-wielding dudes you can find. But preparation can also be spelled procrastination.The most poignant example of having to deal with something scary I can think of right now is actually a situation I put myself into. I even paid for it. And I was scared out of my mind.Travelling around New Zealand, I was on activity overload. There was so much to see and do. Having spent Australia counting my pennies, I could afford to let loose a bit. I was going to bungy jump or sky dive. I thought about doing both but, looking back, I spent a little more than I should have so I’m glad I didn’t.Bungy jumping seemed easier than sky diving. Apparently it’s not.I booked the jump at the end of my 3 days in Queenstown. I should have booked it on the first. I spent my 3 days in Queenstown worrying about what jumping 134 meters was going to be like. My time came. I laid out in the best swan dive of my life and plummeted towards the 6 inches of water at the bottom of the gorge. My eyes bulged out of my head as I thought I was going to die. Then it was over.And I was fine.The instant I realized I was totally fine I felt a huge rush of relief. I was stoked that had just jumped 134 meters for my first bungy jump but it was more than that. I realized I hadn’t thought about anything past the jump for the last 3 days. Nothing. Natta. Zilch.I had also spent the last 3 days worrying about something that was absolutely incredible. Exhilarating down to the last meter of bungy cord. I couldn’t think of anything else other than the big beast that was ahead of me. I was terrified of it. But it came and went. My eyeballs were still in their sockets and I still had all my limbs. Nothing happened. I even had a bit of fun.Every time I am scared of something and then I conquer it, I make a mental note about that triumph. The next time something scary pops up in my way I check back to all those times that I took my little steps and learned what I needed to know and beat those scary beasts into a pulp so I can get over what I’m afraid of. It’s all about the baby steps and the little triumphs. It’s all about remembering those things when the going is rough.Great things can be scary but they wouldn’t be so great if any ol’ person could do them, right?Comments: Tell me what you’ve done lately that was scary and how you got over it. Was it as hard as you thought it was going to be?