Five years ago, a friend of mine asked all her friends to dare her to do things she had not done yet which she would try to achieve before she turned 30. I stirred her up to skydive. She took the challenge but summoned me to do the the same. She was to execute the challenge on her birthday and we would do this in Taupo Tandem Skydiving.
I pushed that to the back burner because it would be a few months before the scheduled date. The crux of the matter was I was excited however as the day was drawing near, I was literally sweating bullets. There was a silent distress behind the brave face I was fronting but I could not throw myself in towel! On the day of the challenge, I felt nauseous and I could not breath that as if someone was quashing my life’s hub into pieces. I was hot and bothered with bated breath.
And then I jumped (of course with a tandem master)… and fell freely for a minute fifteen thousand feet in the air. There was a huge stomach drop sensation but it would be the best stomach drop sensation that I’ve ever felt. More than a year later, I did it again.
Later on, when I saw how Will Smith recounted his own experience of jumping off a cramped little plane with so much excitement and enthusiasm, I thought “sure you hit that on the button”.
Many people have many fears. Fear of change. Fear of talking to other people. Fear of taking risks. Fear of failure. Fear of being judged. Fear of expressing their own ideas and feelings. Fear of rejection. Fear of saying NO. Fear of getting out of the comfort zone. Fear of letting go. Fear of the unknown and the list can go on. We experience fear every so often. This is understandable as it can also be untenable.
These fears are holding us back to experience things that are beautiful and delightful. They keep us to stay in places where we are unhappy. They inhibit us from recognizing opportunities that are waving at us, presenting itself in full view. They make us come up with multitudes of excuses why we keep the jobs we hate, why we stay with people who treat us in a way that are not acceptable to us, why we hold ourselves in silence even when we know that we have the solutions to problems, we have the reasons and we can be right. These fears painfully refrain us from expressing even our simplest ideas because we focus on what other people think about us, we dread their critical oppositions, we let our worthless anxiety overwhelm us. Fears force us to say yes to favors most times even at the expense of our health, our finances, our precious time and our general well-being because we are simply afraid of the consequences of saying NO! Fears hinder us to speak our truth. We’re stuck!
However, rarely do we realize that it only takes one jump to break ourselves free from the bondage of fear. That we can do better in life only if we try. Take risks. Be brave to face, correct and learn from our failures. Stop analyzing things too much to avoid being paralyzed. Take opportunities. Better yet, create opportunities. Cut off making excuses and get out of the long-kept box because there is a greater environment where we can move outside and forward. Speak our mind with respect even if we think not everyone would agree. Expect that some would bash us with utter rudeness and cruelty but we have to learn how not to be fazed by them. They can be family members, they can be friends or just random people. They too have terrible fears of their own, that is certain. Sometimes say no and discover how freeing and disentangling it feels. Leave the job we hate. I know, this is easier than done. One can say how foolish it is to do such if there are mortgage and bills to pay, little children to look after, relatives who have to be helped, etc etc. There can be gazillion of reasons to stick to a dreadful job and painstakingly put up with a horrible boss but if we only take one step forward, we will see in full light of the day that there is something better outside that workplace doors.
Similar to the pre-leap-off-the-plane scenario, the thoughts of fear can make us feel like there are butterflies in the stomach, it is scary. That’s undeniable. Generally, we are worried of the consequences of being bold and brave. We are not used to it. Worry and reluctance will try to push its way to our brains.
However like skydiving, one leap will steer us to a moment of sheer happiness and pure joy, to numerous better options and greater encounters, to a more worthy experiences and life improvement. One leap will give the chance to take on the face of freedom. It is not always easy neither it is always difficult.
On the other side of fear there is always iron in the fire. For all that, every time we vanquish fear, we get a better view of a better life.