If I told you that facing your fears is an amazing experience, what would you say? Here’s the truth of it – it can be down right terrifying! But can ultimately lead to a more fulfilling and adventurous life. I’ve been thinking about this topic over the past month or so and wanted to share what I’ve been experiencing. Some may say I’m a bit introspective and they are correct!
So, the fear of riding my motorcycle first developed about a year and a half ago. To set the scene, it was a beautiful fall day and Adam was teaching me the basics of motorcycle riding in an empty parking lot. I was excited, nervous and filled with anticipation. While taking a slow turn I had a little wobble and panicked! Instead of staying calm and just continuing to ease through the turn, I gunned the engine, lost control and dropped the bike. (I’m sure there’s an analogy here too!) While I wasn’t physically hurt, the bike did have a few minor injuries. Obviously I was a bit shook up and didn’t get back on the bike that day, or the entire year afterwards.
After that experience I told myself that I was just nervous to try again because I was scared of dropping the bike and hurting myself or damaging the bike. Every time Adam tried to get me back on the bike I would make up an excuse (“it’s too cold/hot outside”, “I have a lot of work to do”, etc.). It wasn’t until I took a minute to examine what my fear really was that I decided to face it. You see, I wasn’t scared of dropping the bike, I was afraid of failing. I was scared to make an attempt and drop the ball. Afraid that I would get excited again and then not have the courage to follow through. And of course the idea of friends seeing me fail only strengthened my fear. My insecurities kept me from so many adventures!
After realizing that there was a deeper reason that I refused to try again, I made a decision to face my fears. So I enrolled in a new riders class. To be surrounded by strangers from all walks of life that were in the same stage as me was incredibly liberating. I wasn’t thinking of failing but proving myself. And I did!
Since then, Adam and our good friends have enjoyed many of incredible adventures. Here is one of the excursions we had last weekend. A drive up to the mountains, Hells Kitchen, Cooks Corner (these are biker hangouts – and incredible for people watching!). After facing my fear of failure I am able to feel the rush of success. While I am still new to riding, I no longer feel insecure about making a mistake. It’s all a part of the journey. This realization carries over into all aspects of life, personal and professional. So remember to question yourself. What fears are holding you back from so much joy? What is the real reason you won’t try something new? If there is a fear of failure – maybe you should put your big girl shoes on and give it a try! We each have the power to make life an adventure so go out there and do it!
Photo Credit: Adam Queen & a rock (for the selfie)