“Do one thing every day that scares you”. - Eleanor Roosevelt
We’ve all seen either these words exactly, or of similar flavor, on magnets in bookstores, greeting cards, motivational blogs (not even trying to be ironic!), etc… Usually, I absorb the words and they stick with me for a fleeting moment and then I move on with my day. These words of wisdom are rarely what trample through my thoughts as I’m facing a fear – and sadly these words have not been at the forefront of my mind as I plan and prepare for my life on a daily basis. Until now!
Over the past few weeks I’ve mulled over what my 2013 resolutions could/might be. In the past, I have personally been opposed to the resolution hype right on the first day of the year. Usually, my psyche is ready to take self inventory around April, so that’s when I annually resolve. However, this year I decided that there is absolutely no harm in making resolutions several times a year. Actually, self evaluating after short term goals seems more logical and attainable – leading to longer term goal success!
My initial thought was to do a small resolution every month, which I am going to do. However, after really pondering on all the areas in which I feel I could grow and improve, I decided to stick with a more general “phrase” to focus all my resolutions on – daily. When I looked at my list of resolutions there was a very noticeable theme at the base of each. FEAR. Fear has been holding me back. I’m already good at doing what I already do – that’s the easy part. I struggle with pushing my limits because I’m afraid of failure – large and small. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got”. Henry Ford was not only wise, he was right!
Easy part done. I made the commitment to face fear head on. My list (which is WAY too long to share) is peppered with various resolution topics. I’ll sing more – in public. I’ll apply to academia programs that I “believe” I can’t get into. I will run with runners who are faster and more experienced than me – even if I start by simply eating their dust.
I was approached by a long time local runner a few weeks ago while out on my run. He filled me in on a small group that runs every Friday morning at 5am. My initial reaction was flattery, but as I ran off into the distance the fear settled in. I have never run with another person (especially not a group) because I’m afraid I won’t be able to keep up. Then I’d have to admit that I couldn’t keep up – ego busted. I might have to walk – runners never walk, right?! (ha ha – when cars pass!). I might even have to admit to others that I have room to grow in my running – who am I kidding?! They already know this! The only thing left to fall back on was the excuse that this is “out of my comfort zone” and going to be physically difficult.
SO OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE I GO – TO WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS.
Yes. I still have to psyche myself up and resist the urge to crumble into the fear. The fear is still there, but I’m not going to let it define my choices anymore. My goal is not to become fearless – that’s impossible. My goal is to learn to control my fear and be free from it.
Friday morning (which is the day after I’m actually writing this), I am going to show up to run at 5am with a group of folks I do not know. I am going to run with folks who are faster than me. I am going to run with folks who will push me to be a better runner and a more versatile, humble person.
I’m not bringing a parachute with me either. No fake asthma attacks. No “it’s my time of the month”. No “I only slept a few hours last night”. I am going to own up to my performance no matter what it is and in turn, grow from it.
I am going to run with folks who will run with me to the land where the magic happens!