Do Something Scary
Everything is going well in Anita’s* life. Her kids are happy and healthy and keeping her busy driving them from one activity to another. Her home, marriage and job are all stable and fine. Even her puppy has grown up, calmed down and is less demanding. She’s busy, content, but a little bored.
We need to create challenge in our lives because we are meant to constantly grow and expand. If we don’t create it in reality, our minds will create drama and fear to keep us interested and on edge. Before I found life coaching, I could walk down the street and imagine myself being robbed, kidnapped, raped, or other horrible scenarios happening. This was stressful and unproductive but it certainly kept me awake and alert in my life! Today it’s easy to find drama and fear by watching the news or reading a Facebook or Twitter feed. This keeps us from getting bored but it, too, is stressful and unproductive.
If you want to feel truly alive and purposeful in your life, don’t just think about scary things, DO something that scares you.
I was listening to a podcast of Jim Koch, founder of Sam Adams beer talking about the difference between something being scary vs. something being dangerous. As a rock climber, Jim Koch was used to taking risks and facing fears. When people asked him about it, he would explain with all the safety measures in place, it’s not dangerous but it is scary. He used this same reasoning to leave his corporate job and start his own beer business. He wanted to do something scary, but not dangerous.
Perhaps having Trump as president is dangerous, but it isn’t scary because it’s not personal enough to you. Standing your ground with peace and unity with your argumentative relatives can be very scary, so learning to stay peaceful and open minded when others are not, might be an area where you can grow. Changing who you are and what you do is always a bit scary, but this is how we keep life exciting.
Think about things that are scary for YOU, but not dangerous. Sending your child to summer camp, trusting your teen to use snapchat wisely, or letting your 12 year old hangout downtown with friends, isn’t dangerous but it might be scary. When we do things that scare us, we grow and expand ourselves, making us feel a greater sense of mastery over our lives. When we THINK about scary things happening but avoid taking action, our lives shrink, making us feel more vulnerable and fearful.
Joining a direct selling company is scary, but not dangerous, and it would encourage you to grow and expand yourself, keeping life exciting. Joining a team for a sport you love to play, writing a book or selling art are all things that are scary, but allow for LOTS of growth, expansion and excitement. Have you thought about changing careers or going back to school? Owning your own business is the most lucrative form of therapy, making you face fears everyday. Taking a risk on yourself is super scary but makes you feel wide awake and excited about life.
How do you know if something is dangerous? Look at the “statistical probability” of something really bad happening. Texting while driving is dangerous, but not scary, so skip it all together. Teaching your teenager to drive on an uncrowded freeway on a sunny day with seat belts on, is scary, but statistically not dangerous. Letting your teenager drive on a two-lane road, in fog and pounding rain, with three friends in the car, increases the danger.
My son wants to go to college in England. This scares me to death. What if he hates it and wants to come home? What if he loves it and never comes home? What if he gets sick and needs his Mommy? What if terrorists attack while he’s riding the Underground? It feels scarier than going to college closer to home, but it’s hard to pretend that it’s dangerous.
I spent so many years thinking about scary things happening instead of doing scary things. Now I’m hooked on DOING scary things, even if they seem silly to others but are important to me. Hiring people on elance felt scary to me, buying a real estate investment property was scary, but my life feels ridiculously fun and free because I believe I can create whatever I want. What have you longed to do that you’ve been scared to? I’d love to know. Email Torie (at) LifeCoachingforParents (dot) com, or post it on my Facebook Page. Let’s face our fears together. If you want help overcoming your fears and taking a scary leap, sign up for a discovery life coaching session.
*name has been changed to protect the restless 🙂