Wild about Fear

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild by Cheryl Strayed (Photo credit: bubbletea1)

June has been a bust when it comes to reading. I finished/completed/happydancedover the completion of my 3rd year, saw the A that was posted and breathed a sigh of relief! I am not quite finished because the project I was working on still needs to be forwarded to the powers at be at my office. I could say – whatever I have my mark – but I am not that person. Sooooooo my reading for fun mission has taken a back seat. I also needed time to digest the last book I read. Have you ever read a book and loved it so much you actually missed the characters? That was me this week. I took quotes and excerpts from the book and let them roll around my thoughts for a while. What excited me about this book is the fact that what the author achieved is no less great than my Edmonton Tourist Journey. We have both come to the same place in our lives where this is now my reality,

Perhaps by now I’d come far enough that I had the guts to be afraid. – Cheryl Strayed

I suspect I was too naive to be afraid when I started this whole process. Chin was up and I defiantly kept moving forward. I kept goal setting and achieving and moving along. Then suddenly I hit a wall. I was no longer fearless. I started looking at things differently. People in my life who would ignite a bomb and that would leave me with what I thought I needed to do, strike or douse the fire. When actually, all I needed was to stand still and feel the fear. Fear isn’t something that needs to be conquered. It needs to be faced. When people strike out, having that inner calm to face it, absorb it, take the parts that I need and learn from it is growth. Climbing over the fear ( which is an important step in the process) is no longer needed to get past it. Evolved is the word I like to use.

Things I use to fear:

  1. People thinking I’m stupid.  I am not but now it doesn’t bother me if you think I am. I use to engage in conflict to prove I am not less than smart. I am secure and comfortable enough in my own skin. People can judge all they wish too and I could care less. I will educate if you are misinformed, but that is not the same as raging. forcing an opinion on someone is not sharing ideas. I have no use for that type of bully in my life. So I no longer fear people thinking I am stupid. I am smart enough to not engage nor bait the trolls.
  2. Sweat. Sweat meant hot, stinky smelly and hard breathing. It meant lungs hurting and muscles crying. Now it means hard work, feeling great, focus and clarity. Working out has changed my life. I can no longer envision a world without it. Setting large fitness goals is scary but the single most satisfying challenge I have ever faced.
  3. Fail. I use to be afraid of trying something new and failing. I realize failing means something different to me than it use to. If I set a goal and cannot reach it, that just means it wasn’t the right goal, I need to think of a different path to get to that goal or learn about why I couldn’t reach that goal. To fail means to be educated.

It is good to fear things. Standing in the middle of your fear and taking the strength from it rather than taking the anxiety is the key. I love fear in a way I never thought possible. I stand in front of it, I look it in the eye and respect it. I have no doubt I will learn from it. It still makes me shake but I no longer run from it, I run with it. I am about to do the scariest thing in my life so far.

Perhaps by now I’d come far enough that I had the guts to be afraid. – Cheryl Strayed

I have come far enough to have the guts to be afraid.

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About The Edmonton Tourist

One day I woke up and was decidedly unhappy about the way my life was heading. I decided I needed a change. When I travel I often take new risks, be flexible and am generally adventurous. So, I decided that I need to start being a Tourist in my Own life and not just on vacation. I am many things but the new role for me is Tourist.

15 thoughts on “Wild about Fear

  1. I think this is a great essay on fear! I realized this about fear a long time ago (and it freed me to do lots of amazing things when I was younger), but it took me until fairly recently to realize that it applies to sadness, too. Pretending won’t make it go away. Denial won’t make it go away. You have to just turn and face it and then move through it, until it’s behind you and you’re looking back at it over your shoulder.

    Sadness used to paralyze me — like fear, it would show up and it seemed like a towering presence that I cowered before and ran from. It was crippling at times, and the more I tried to deny it and “put on a good face” and carry on, the more gripping it became, until it finally settled into a nice, deep depression. Amazing how much better I do when I see it and take the time and energy and space to look at it and examine it fully and consider its purpose and reason in my life, before letting it go and moving on.

    Isn’t it terrible the shackles we place on ourselves? What might we be without the prisons of our own making?

    • Thank you! I really value your comments and thoughts :) I figured out sad before fear. The funny thing is – I realized all emotions are the same. You have to sit in them and feel them. Let them tag along with you, then you realize they aren’t there any more. If you ignore it or try to cover it, they are attention seekers and will hang around much longer.I wish I knew this sooner, but better late than never!!

  2. A great man once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Nice to see you’re no longer afraid of being afraid. I think that’s a very healthy attitude.

  3. Everyone has done such a wonderful job of articulating my thoughts, so let me just say thank you for a wonderful post. I have long been interested in my fears…where they came from, what they are doing, why are they here.

    Be encouraged!

    • How can I not be encouraged by such lovely comments! I’m embarking on a journey that includes fear. It makes my breathe skip, but I cannot possibly stay stagnant. I have felt stuck for so long, time to drag the fear with me as I go. Fear is obscure, I also am becoming I terested in them. I believe that is growth :)

  4. Robyn, you continue to inspire me.Loved our “walk by chat” this morning. I went out after school and purchased a ME journal. It says “Believe in Yourself” on the cover so I knew it was the one to buy. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to use it but when I do figure that out, I’ll be ready!
    We’ll talk more about Toastmasters and the benefits of this great organization. Whether your goal is to become a motivational speaker, a better listener or whether you just want to become more comfortable among people, Toastmasters can help guide you. The leadership component of TMs has helped me in so many ways, I believe learning to provide encouraging evaluations is but one way. I hope that when September is here, you have time on Tuesday evenings to join us.
    Until later…
    Arlene

    • keep your journal beside your bed. it works, trust me :) I’m kind of looking forward to hanging out with you toasties… this is one of those fear things I am working with ;)
      See you in the hall!

  5. Robyn,

    I’ve seen your gravatar on other blogs and I thought Edmonton Tourist likely had something to do with working in the travel industry. But I just read what it really means and I think that’s a really cool way to look at life!

    The issue of fear and failure are so interesting.

    Several years ago, I did something that I had previously been too scared to do. And while it wasn’t really a huge success, I came away from it with SO much more confidence. Just having the courage to confront our fear can make us a lot stronger even if the outcome of that particular event is not as good as we would like it to be. The ironic part is that we often fear things not going well and this actually happening may not even bother us as much as we think.

    Also, the only time I now view something as a failure is if I didn’t try. If I try and do my best, then I don’t see that as a failure. I’m OK with calling it a “non-success” or a stepping stone to success. But I usually grow and learn from the experience and I won’t view that as a failure.

    • Well I am happy you decided to pop by! I’m with you, I no longer look at things as pass or fail, it’s about the process of learning. I’ve come along way in thought process. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks :) I dropped into your blog on twitter….that is the kind of thing I’m looking for as I embark on a new direction in my life. Thanks Greg!

      • Thanks, Robyn.

        I also keep growing and learning. I used to think I had life figured out, but now I know there is always more that can be learned.

        Also, thanks for checking out my blog. I appreciate it!

  6. Pingback: Fifty Fifty Me: Wild « The Edmonton Tourist

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