They say that on the other side of fear is everything you want (aka growth and opportunities). Would you agree?
Last Saturday, I took a wonderful walk in the park North of Montreal, where nature is still half-wild (because coyotes live there and we have personally seen one!!!), half-humanized, and you get the taste of hiking on the river bend of an island without leaving the city. What I loved most about this walk was that it was completely unplanned and improvised. We just wanted to explore the paths coming our way, and so we went. At one moment, my husband tells me that we are very close to the northern dam and that he’d like to take us there. Happily agreeing and seeing our daughter sprint like the most enthusiastic toddler on Earth, off we went to watch the majestic river transform into a waterfall.
When we got to the place, I couldn’t believe my eyes of the beauty that appeared in front of me! Two things popped in front of my eyes that made me fall in love with that place: 1) The countless seagulls lined up on the dam edge to rest or catch some fish (very much like the “Finding Nemo” scene at the end when they all go “Mine, mine, mine, mine” chasing Nemo’s father and Dory ), and; 2) A wooden bridge over the dam at a height that made my head spin and my guts nauseous.
The bridge was not the typical one that gives you just a nice view of the surroundings and a background for pictures, but it was the kind to give you space to think and feel inspired. It had this little part that was see-through and, underneath us, we could see the river water falling down the dam in a soft shoo-ing sound. The best feeling ever! And the most terrifying sight, too!
There’s one thing you should know about me – I’m completely and utterly afraid of heights! Terrified to the actual sitting down on the bridge to feel grounded just to be able to enjoy the water. Only this time around, I wanted to try something different. And so I stood up from the floor, I went to the see-through part of the bridge, looked down, felt like holding to anything around for the dear of life, and let fear populate my entire body. It was the most uncomfortable and scary feeling that made the back of my head tickle and my body tense. Any tiny vibration from other people’s footsteps on the bridge only created horror images in my mind and, thus, magnified the discomfort I felt. Yet, I decided to embrace the fear. And I liked it.
You might be wondering by now what does this have to do with growth and opportunities. But that exact moment that brought a fear bigger than the universe made me realize how important it is to feel afraid before finding serenity. In distress, your brain starts processing the information at a completely different level and you start acting more on your instinctive courage than comfort. Eventually, the discomfort you feel gets you out of your usual cocoon and drives you to accomplish much more than if you were in your usual calm, unbothered state. You seek chances. You see opportunities in everything around you. You jump on board with everything and you feel an insatiable motivation to do what you plan to. You awake an adventurous side that you kind of forgot existed in you. You change (Change – How We Process It).
Fear is a feeling that is part of our humanity. Based on fear we know if we must continue doing something or not. It also plays a curfew point in life and gives us a clear indication that if we overcome it – either a wonderful thing is about to happen to us, or something entirely stupid. The latter, of course, is part of the journey so I wouldn’t steer clear of it all the time. We are the ones to decide if we want to embrace fear and take that leap of faith or let it dominate us and crawl up and do nothing until somebody finds us. To me, the answer is quite obvious.
Rather than live your life and always wonder “What if…”, choose to act on your intuition and go for “Why not!?”. Believe me, you will only have to gain from this experience. Because, in the worst case scenario, you’ll end up with a life lesson that will most definitely grow you into the person you were actually aiming to become! It will also open up paths to you that in the end will prove better than the ones you previously hoped to unfold before you.
So, my dear readers, let’s not be afraid together, but dare to be bold and see what life has to offer!