I am going to let you in on a little secret….
I am a big fat chicken.
If you and I are together in a terrifying situation, chances are you are going to sacrifice me so that you can survive. That is just how annoying I can be.
Being dramatic by nature, I tend to overreact to EVERYTHING. Once when my sister passed out during the benediction of our church service, I instantly started screaming, “HELP! SHE IS DYING!” Of course my sister was not dying, and my mother, who is the calmest person on the planet, was horrified by the attention we received.
It is just who I am. Sometimes my emotions are just a wee bit Overwhelming, and I just have to react.
Fear is probably one of the biggest causes to make me overreact. It also has kept me from doing a 1000 things I have always wanted to do. For so many years, I have stayed huddled up in the comfort of my house, on my couch, with only my dog and my 90210 dvds for company. Life was happening around me, but I was too scared to participate.
Scared of failure.
Scared of rejection.
Scared of being alone.
Scared of getting injured.
Scared of wasting time.
Scared of making a mistake.
See… a Big fat CHICKEN.
But a year ago, I decided that the time had come.
Inspired by a quote from one of my favorite artist Georgia O’Keeffe, I decided the time had come to pull up my big girl pants and start living life.
That was me in a nutshell…terrified every moment…however, I had let my fear stop me from doing anything and everything. It was now time to face those fears.
Hiking has been something I love my whole life, but I hadn’t done much of. I felt I was not athletic enough, fast enough, and I didn’t have many friends who wanted to do the kind of hiking I wanted to do. But last year I decided I would give it another go, and see where I came out.
Starting out, I made a couple of friends join me. How could I possibly do this ALONE?????? Having them tag along was the perfect excuse, because if they couldn’t go, I couldn’t go, and that was ok right?
I was setting myself up for failure once again. Allowing my fear of being alone to use my friends as a really sad and pathetic excuse. About a month into the journey it happened….I planned a hike that my two trusty friends couldn’t join on.
What was I going to do? Reschedule? Quit all together? Spend the day with Little Debbie, Brandon, and Dylan????
I thought of Georgia O’Keeffe.
I wasn’t going to let my fear of going alone stop me.
So I did it. On March 25th of last year I hiked 11 miles all by myself, up one of the hardest trails I had ever done.
It was hard and brutal. There were many tears, and lots of begging God to let me live. But it was also the most thrilling, humbling, and phenomenal day of my life. Me, who is scared of everything, climbed 2000 feet, in 11 miles, by myself. To me, I might as well have just climbed Mt. Everest.
It was on that day, I realized, exactly what Georgia was talking about. I am always going to be scared. Always, but those fears are not a cause for me to shut down and quit. They are an obstacle I simply must climb over or walk around to get to the most amazing views.
By no means I am I over my over dramatic tendencies, but now when I meet a challenge, I simply pull my pants up a little tighter, fix my eyes on the destination and barrel on ahead.
Being afraid doesn’t make you or I weak. In fact, it is just the opposite. When we accomplish something despite our worries, fears, and doubts, we prove just how strong we truly are. Going scared make us way more courageous then going fully confident.
Over the past year I have done things I NEVER thought I could do. I have hiked almost 500 miles, hiked alone, met some kindred spirits, hiked under the stars, slept under them too, climbed off trail in the snow, and checked off a whole list of goals.
Don’t let your fears and anxieties keep you from living life. When things get overwhelming, just remember that sometimes, you just nee do to take a deep breath, fix your eyes on the prize, and go scared.