Facing Fears

Sometimes, I get scared. Ok, if I’m being honest, I’m in fear more than fifty percent of the time. I’ve always been this way, quick to think about the what ifs, or preoccupied with all the bad things that can transpire out of any situation. As you can imagine, THIS IS an uncomfortable space to be in, and at times can lead me down a path that doesn’t serve me well. I have this special person in my life who looks at the world through completely different eyes. He sees everything as pure and opportunistic, with this all-knowing that it’s going to work out. Being around an individual like this is inspiring, and it has helped me re-evaluate my own self views, take chances, and quiet that pesky voice that often times screams, “you can’t.”

This past week, I embarked on a journey that tested every core of my being; backpacking through parts of the Grand Canyon. I am a total nature lover, and hike often, but this experience was on a whole other level. Without hesitation, I said yes, and with no expectations started a 25 mile roundtrip hike into the desert. As I descended 2,000 feet, I could hear that little voice in my head, the one filled with self-doubt, questioning my capabilities, and for a brief moment, I entertained her. At this rate, it was going to be a long trek. However, even in times of fear, I know it’s irrational, and when I’m able to identify the source, I can easily pull myself out of the space where limiting beliefs lie. I decided to make an internal course correction, becoming my own cheerleader and focusing on positive affirmations. Kind, loving and supportive thoughts to remind myself that I am capable of anything I put my heart and mind to.

The rest of the hike flew by, even after taking a break to attend to some scrapes and bruises from a surprising fall that took the wind out of me, and ripped my favorite North Face Jacket (gold-plated problems, am I right?!). My mentality quickly changed, and I felt more confident, capable and alive than I have in a long time. It’s easy to shift our perspectives, and yet we’re often more comfortable staying in the problem. For me, that’s a scary place to be in, because it stunts my emotional growth, puts strain on certain relationships, and effects my overall wellbeing.

Deciding to believe in myself was the game changer. There were many moments when I was challenged both mentally and physically, but I trusted myself and the people around me. One person in particular, who literally held my hand, and reminded me that I can do this! Seeing the level of competence that exists within this individual, and the way in which he believes in me, was hard to ignore. How can I continue to doubt what I am capable of when looking at myself through his eyes?

I think we all need someone who sees our value, especially in times when we slip and begin to fall into that trap of fear. For me, having someone in my corner, gives me the courage to brush myself off and keep going, despite how many what ifs may present themselves. Together, we can do hard things.

I am incredibly humbled by this experience, and grateful for the beauty of the unknown. Most importantly, I am in awe of what my mind and body is capable of; pure resilience. The greatest lessons come from facing our fears, and moving through each and every road block, whether real or imagined. I pushed myself hard this past week, and I feel braver and more badass as a result. Personal growth is possible, if we can set aside our egos, and self-doubt long enough to watch the miracles happen. Here’s to taking chances, and letting go of limiting beliefs; finding that place within that despite knowing fear, allows us to take the first step.