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Saturday, 3 May 2014

Fear and the Fearless

Thinking about the prompt of Fear, I searched my blog for posts I'd written already on fear. Nearly all of them were to do with the Torschlusspanik list. That list is pushing me into things that I'm a little apprehensive about. Yet I do them, and nearly all of them I'd do again, because I liked them. They were fun, and I realised I had nothing to fear in the first place.

So it's taken me awhile, but I'm learning that as Ralph Waldo Emerson said "Always do what you are afraid to do".

It's funny how as we age, or pretty much after the age of 10, we become so self-conscious of our inabilities, so scared of failure, or of hurting ourselves, beyond common sense and preservation.

I have a fear of flying. The irony is, I love to travel, so I have to do it. It is so noticeable, that strangers next to me on the plane open the conversation with "So, you're scared of flying?". I'm not sure exactly what I do, but I'm guessing I'm pale and agitated. It gets worse every year. It's not just mechanical failure that makes me scared. Well before September 11, I was casing the plane for terrorists and trouble makers (I also do the converse and check for who will beat up the 'baddies', being probably the only person relieved when sitting behind two Yakuza-looking guys...they wouldn't be putting up with anything!)

The worst thing is, I know one day it will stop me travelling. I dread that day, and I'll be fighting it with all I can but I know it will defeat me eventually. But until that day, I just have to endure the ten or so hours of mental trauma, to arrive in the other great countries on this planet.

So I say to you, write that book, keep working on your blog, enter that marathon, apply for that job, take up the hobby you've always wanted to try, move to that new town, do the thing that you want to do but your fears are getting the better of you. There may come a time when your fears win, but if you are reading this now, let me tell you, that time is not here yet. It's okay to be scared. It's okay to voice that fear. It's not okay to let that fear hold you back.

Just remember the flipside of fear is courage and "Courage is doing what you're afraid to do.  There can be no courage unless you're scared".  (Edward Vernon Rickenbacker)

Linking up for I Must Confess it's travelling roadshow.


13 comments:

  1. It's interesting that you say your fear will conquer you at some point. Do you think it really will? It's good that you keep travelling though, even though you find it hard. My husband has anxious tendencies about locking doors, and checking a million times. He's aware of his thought patterns and tendencies, and tries not to buy into them too much. Having not experienced anxiety myself, I have to try and understand what the experience is like for my daughter and my husband, and work with it as best I can. Thanks for linking in Lydia. Really fascinating to read this. x

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  2. I'm also terrified of flying and like you, have sucked it up over the years for the purpose of getting from A to somewhere-mighty-awesome, but also fear that one day I might no longer be able to suck it up.
    I'd not come across your Torschlusspanik list before either, what an eclectic and interesting list it is!

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  3. Fear and overthinking things holds me back all the time. I have made a pledge to myself at the start of the year to make an effort to not let it win and not be such a procrastinator. I am sick of looking back in hindsight and wishing I had just done it.

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  4. Fear stops me from doing a lot of things. It even stops me from talking about a lot of the things I am afraid of because I am afraid of being called ridiculous. It's a never ending cycle some days.

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  5. This is so true, we should not let fear stop us from doing things. Courage is the way to go. I probably jump in too fast and take too many risks but i don't have a lot of fear :)

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  6. Gosh with all the incidents with planes lately, I'm not keen to fly at the moment. Mind you I'm not keen on flying at the best of times.

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  7. I am TERRIFIED of having my wisdom teeth out. Two are impacted and my dentist insists they should come out but ... I'm bad enough going to the dentist, let alone having surgery ... esp as the first (and only) time I've had surgery I had a bad reaction to the general anaesethic and nearly died (2 years ago) ... no wonder I'm not keen!

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  8. I've never heard of the Torschlusspanik list, it sounds challenging but in a cool way. I know my fear (snakes) has held me back in some areas and it definitely shaped some of my decisions for my kids when they were little - I wouldn't let them go play at friends houses who lived on farms in summer - we always had the child come to our house, because I could be in control of backyard critters. As they've got older, I've had to just sit with my fear while they went out into the world. I still don't like it.

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  9. My fear is still holding me back. However it is something that I am working on.

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  10. Wow I never would have picked you as someone who is afraid of flying. I love this post, its message and yes I don't let fear hold me back. Sometimes I let my insecurities hold me back but I'm working on them! x

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  11. Love this post but I hope you do keep that fear at bay - would be a tragedy to not be able to continue to explore the wonders of the planet x

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  12. Yeah flying is getting to be a bit scary these days. Sigh. I hear what you're saying though and it's something I'm working on.

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  13. I love the quotes that you have used in this post! Certainly edging me on to face my fear! I hate the take off and landing of flying but the rest is all good...althought, given recent events it will be interesting to see how I go when I jet off to Vietnam in 49 days!

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