So, I thought I was pretty brave and quite adventurous, until I decided to go on a simple, low risk, easy Rainforest Tour while we were in Costa Rica recently. Heck, I must have some tough skin; I’m an entrepreneur taking huge risks in my business this year, I play ice hockey, I’ve even done Facebook Lives…I’ve conquered huge fears in my life, so this should be no big deal, right?! But it was. As soon as we got into the van with the tour guide and our fellow “tourists” – an older couple from Pittsburgh – I could feel my throat tighten and my tummy get queasy. Yes, I do occasionally get car sick and we were sitting in the second row of the van, but that should be okay. As we began to drive away from the safety and security of our all-inclusive resort, my mind started going wild. “What if something happens?” “What if we get hurt?” “What will happen to our kids?” [mind you, the kids were safely back in the U.S., at home with Nana and Papa]
After a few minutes of this craziness going on in my head I started asking myself “why all this anxiety?” (silently, of course, so my husband and the others in the van wouldn’t think I’m crazy.) This was going to be a fun outing, a fun day, with fun people, getting to know an amazingly beautiful country.
After calling my irrational, sh*t-talker mind on the carpet and really questioning the validity of these fears, I realized something. Fear can come at us at anytime, for any reason and in totally unexpected ways. We never really conquer it. I thought I’d made huge strides this year in conquering fears and stepping into my dreams, despite the fear yelling in my ears at all times. But now, here I am, on vacation with my husband doing fun stuff and the fear comes back. This is nuts!
Even after I called out my fears, questioned their validity, and went about enjoying the day, I could feel it lurking just below the surface. But in spite of it I went ahead and dove into enjoying every adventure the day offered – although I had to keep talking myself into it all day. The only thing I opted out on was the termite eating…because, yuck! Seriously, the older couple from Pittsburgh gobbled up termites when one of our tour guides dug out a finger full of termites from a tree. My husband and I politely passed. ;)
So, today I encourage you to listen in on the thoughts you’re having and be vigilant in acknowledging your fears…but stepping into your dreams and all the adventures that await you – despite the fear – because the payoff will be monumental!
For me, the payoff for ‘doing it scared’ that day meant I got the thrill of swimming in a waterfall, tasting local coffee, seeing snakes, monkeys, sloths, exotic frogs, bugs; enjoying amazing views from a volcano and a traditional Costa Rican meal; walking 3 super-scary suspension bridges, eating roadside food, getting to know the beautiful landscape and people of Costa Rica, and hearing the inspiring entrepreneurial dream of our tour guide. It was such a rewarding day!
So, ask yourself today, “what dream am I not stepping into because I’m allowing fear to control me?” Acknowledge it and then change your thoughts, which will in turn change how you feel and act. Put simply, just do it scared!
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