EVERY TIME we travel, (we’re leaving for Bali in 2 weeks) without fail, people ask us, “is it safe?” Is it safe to travel to Mexico? Is it safe to go to Bali? Is it safe to sail here or there? My answer is pretty much the same, I think it’s as safe as anywhere. (keeping in mind we’re not traveling to hot zones and when we were in Nigeria years ago, we had military protection). For me though, there are worse things than not feeling safe. I can feel safe here at home but I can also feel stuck, feel bored, feel like life is getting away from me, feel like I’m wasting precious time. Overcoming fear is necessary if you want to achieve your dreams and live a big life.
Each day I try to not shy away from being a little scared; sometimes going to a social mixer where I may not know anyone, maybe complimenting a stranger or writing a blog post about something personal. Getting out of my comfort zone helps me become a well-rounded person and what scares me might not necessarily scare someone else. But I like to challenge myself, I like to see if I can do hard things.
In 1999 I climbed Mount Shasta.
In 2000 I slept alone in the woods (on purpose).
In 2000 I started my photography studio.
In 2003 I traveled to Nigeria.
In 2004 I climbed Mt. Whitney.
In 2009 I sailed through the Bermuda Triangle.
In 2011 I joined a roller derby team (go Sacred!)
In 2012 I swam with sharks.
In 2014 I held a snake.
In 2016 I will jump out of a plane… OMG NOOO!
“Do shit that scares you”… or practice fear. For whatever reason, it’s my mantra. Why I adopted this one out of all the mantras in the world, I don’t know. I actually never wanted to climb a mountain, I didn’t want to sail through the triangle or swim in ‘shark attack alley’ and I DEFINITELY didn’t want to hold a snake, but I do know this, when I do things that scare me, my life gets bigger; my comfort zone expands and I grow as a person. I learn I can do scary things.
Yes, I’ve cried multiple times in my life followed by, “I don’t want to die!” However, I didn’t die coming down Mt. Shasta’s ice shoots, I didn’t die circling in a tiny plane in a storm over Belize, I didn’t mysteriously disappear in the Bermuda triangle, I wasn’t eaten by a shark (they were harmless Nurse sharks but STILL) and I wasn’t run over by a logging truck riding my tandem bike down the coast with my husband. That gives me conviction and it gives me the knowledge, I can climb a mountain, I can sail, I can ride a bike and BE OKAY. In return, I get confidence, joy and a zest for life that just couldn’t occur if I was sitting in my safe little Roseville bubble.
I’m compelled to write this because if you’re not already, I want you to force yourself out of your comfort zone, do things you’ve never imagined yourself doing. Start the business, talk to the stranger, travel to the distant land, and jump out of that plane! You’ll never learn more about yourself as you do when you let yourself get uncomfortable. You get to learn how strong you are, you get to see yourself as a person that can do hard things. Don’t wait for the perfect time, or the windfall of cash. Do little things everyday that scare the shit out of you and you’ll see the times you are terrified are the times you grow. I’d love to hear what you already do that scares you or what you plan to do! I came across a great quote… “If you’re scared to death, you’re doing it right.”
Thank you Jeremiah Miller for snapping this photo of me with the thing I fear most and even though we were there capturing you doing shit that scares YOU… you made me do it too! haha