Every once in a while I get engaged in conversation with people who’ve seen some of my travel pics. Sometimes the subject of Fear comes up in either an ‘I cant believe you did that stupid thing’ or an ‘I wish I had the guts to do what you did’. I’m not even close to being a daredevil but I’m well aware of the narrative I’ve painted for myself on Instagram as perhaps a mild thrill seeker. Its this guy who jumps off of waterfalls, swings from bridges, zip lines through rainforests, pets snakes and stingrays, dives with sharks and takes snaps on what would seem like an unstable rock with a deathly 3000-foot drop! The only lie would be that any of this came easy for me, that I was fearless, that I wasn’t usually the most scared person in x or y scenario! Ask any of the persons on any of the excursions with me and they’ll tell you how much I cursed, sweat, paced back and forth or thought of backing out.
The truth is that I am a seeker of first times, new experiences, exotic locations and ever so often heart pumping adrenaline action intersects the road I’m traveling on. My point, even though it was a bit longwinded, is that if I can do it so can you! And people say that all the time but when the guy whose knees are literally buckling with each other finds the guts to go on the Tarzan swing then that means you can do it too. I don’t even mean in the literal ‘go jump off a bridge or climb the highest mountain’ way and I’d never promote danger or attempt to tell anyone what their limits are. Jumping off a bridge or climbing a mountain could just be metaphors for other everyday common things like public speeches, crippling social anxiety, flying in a plane, claustrophobia or being confrontational; all of which happen to be fears of mine!
To just jumble up and paraphrase a popular quote “You only can be brave in times when you’re afraid”. It’s a powerful simplistic message, and apologies if it seems like I’m preaching, but this post is just as much for me as it is for anyone else who may happen upon it. The thought continues that if you face your fears then you overcome or conquer them. Well yes…and no. Yes if you view facing and overcoming and conquering as one and the same. Or maybe you did face your fears and are no longer afraid of them. But in my experience even now when I sit and think about some of the things I’ve gotten up to I shudder at the thought of jumping onto KjeragBolten or diving in shark-infested waters! Funnily, I’m more afraid thinking of these scenarios than I was when I was actually doing them, which says just how psychological our fears really are. I don’t think the last jump I made will make me any less scared for any future jumps I may make. I just think it makes me more prepared, more courageous and more confident in saying we can all be braver than we give ourselves credit for.