Do What Scares You The Most That is The Only Way To Control Fear
“Fearless means having fears but jumping anyway.” ~ Taylor Swift
A few weeks ago, I received an invite from a friend who was planning to take the day to explore and wanted to know if I wanted to join him. I responded yes without any hesitation because it’s one of my favorite friends in Austin and I am always up for a chance to explore – especially in this amazing city.
I had no intentions to blog about this day since we went to Jacob’s Well and Hamilton Pool, two places I had already been to and written about. Since my most recent experience at Jacob’s Well contrasted with my previous visit, I felt it was worth another round.
When we arrived to the well, the conditions were different than how I remembered them. Due to the high temps, almost everyone was lining up to jump off of the rock and into the water. Right away my friend said, “We are jumping!” and I was just as excited . . . until I actually reached the top.
It really wasn’t so much the height that scared the crap out of me. Instead, it was the fact that there was a rock protruding out pretty far beneath the highest point. You absolutely needed to clear it when you jumped and that was the scary part for me.
I really wanted to jump. But each time I got up there, my mind started racing. (Yes, I made multiple attempts and chickened out more than once!) I had every worst case scenario go through my mind: What if I can’t jump out far enough and I hit the rock? What if I jump out too far and I hit the edge of the swimming hole?
Everyone down below was encouraging me to jump and each time I went back down without jumping, I have to admit I felt pretty embarrassed. “Who are you?” I asked myself. I always considered myself to be pretty adventurous and for the most part, fearless. Why was I all of a sudden letting this fear get the best of me and prevent me from having fun?
I walked back up to the top and made the decision to not give this another thought. “Just do it, jump, it will be fun,” I told myself. But of course, as I approached the end, the scary thoughts crept back into my head – and I chickened out again. Two hours passed and our time was almost up (the new summer regulations only allow you 2 hours at the springs). As much fun as we had, I knew there was no way in hell I could leave this swimming hole without jumping off of that damn rock. It would have honestly driven me crazy.
As we were about to leave for the day, my friend was heading back to collect our belongings. Without giving myself another moment to doubt myself or my decisions, I quickly walked up to the cliff and took a plunge in. NO REGRETS! The adrenaline rush was amazing. The water was so so cold. But most importantly, I felt so proud of myself that I had finally taken the leap. Well, maybe I do have one regret: I only wish I had done it sooner so I could have experienced that thrill more than once for the day!
I felt compelled to share this story with you because I feel like this experience relates to life. Each and every one of us want to take a LEAP into SOMETHING. It could be a new career or maybe it is time to put yourself back out there and start dating after a breakup. Maybe it’s a new city or a skill you’ve always wanted to master. From time to time, we all let fear (of the unknown, of getting hurt, or making the wrong choice) get into our heads. What if we fail? What if we don’t like it? In the case of the jump, what if I hit the rock and hurt myself?
I leave you with this. Absolutely nothing is guaranteed in this lifetime. There is a chance that you might not like everything that you set out to do. If you choose to live an adventurous life, you might get a bruise or break a bone. You might end up having a bad experience as a result of your life choices. But guess what? Nothing (and I mean NOTHING) is worse than the feeling of regret. When you get a chance, take it. When you step out on to the end of the cliff of life, I encourage you to take the plunge. Make a splash. Your only regret is that you didn’t not take a risk sooner!