Two Week Travels | California
Tips & Tricks | Learning to Fish

Ramblings | Overcoming Fear

It's been a long time since I've been scared in the outdoors. As you spend more time in nature, you learn it. You become intimately familiar with it. The rustling of leaves at night, the unknown sounds, the dark - you have spent so much time with it, that it is no longer unknown. Fear of the unknown is a powerful thing. It's something that I find myself facing as I think about one of our next trips. Our first backpacking trip. I'm not sure why it is causing me so much anxiety. We aren't going anywhere terribly remote. I'm fairly certain we will probably have cell service the entire time should something happen. But for some reason, I am scared.

Doing something new is scary. Getting out of your comfort zone is scary. But let's be honest with ourselves, most of things that we are anxious or scared about (public speaking, a nerve-wracking meeting at work, etc) just about always end up being okay. And when it has passed, you breathe a huge sigh of relief. It's over. I did it. That wasn't so bad.

How to get to the point where you can just do it? I wish I had an easy answer. For everyone it will be different. I think in general, removing as much of the 'unknown' as possible can help. This is one reason why I research my trips in detail. I'm an anxious person by nature and equipping myself with knowledge gives me some semblance of control (and I like to be in control). Don't let your imagination run away with you. I often (like, way too often) find myself worrying about murderers and dying and terrible things happening. It's a problem, I'm working on it. I often have to reel my thoughts back in and convince myself to be more realistic. Sometimes it's as simple as finding something else to focus my thoughts on. Meditation, singing, etc.

Ultimately, I have found that the best way out is through. Facing your fears can be SUCH an empowering thing. That saying "Do something every day that scares you" is popular for a reason. While I don't know that I would like to spend every day in a state of anxiety, I do think that the most growth happens by facing the thing you're afraid of - the hard conversation you have to have, the spider, the outdoors. Whatever that thing is for you. You don't have to jump into the deep end right away. If you need to slowly desensitize yourself, do it. There is no 'right' way to do this. You have to do what works for you. If you're scared of getting outside, start small. Start in a group. Start close by. Start in a cabin. You don't have to enjoy nature in the same way anyone else does. Find what you enjoy and are comfortable with and keep building upon yourself, pushing yourself a little farther each time.

Starting this business was scary. Putting yourself out there is scary. Doing the thing you've always wanted to do but have been too scared to do is, well, SCARY. But damn, it is empowering. I've always loved writing but never thought I was good enough to do it seriously. Or maybe I just was too scared to be judged. But I finally realized... I want to do this for ME, not for anyone else. So... here we are! 

Take the plunge. Do the thing. You only live once, don't let fear get in your way.


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