I read this article one day that talked about how many of us prefer to stay in the comfort of fear rather than the discomfort of embarking on something we don’t know much about, trying something new, considering a new belief. We are all too familiar with that feeling we get when we are contemplating to try something knew, whether it be meeting new people, taking a trip someplace on your own, speaking in front of a crowd or even admitting that you know no longer believe in something you once did.
I recently moved to a new beach town called St. Simons Island in Georgia. This new town is considerably smaller than my home town of New York City and so, it has been quite an adaptation. I left my job, family, friends and a lifetime of comfort. Making that huge change, is actually not what really scared me. Ironically, my biggest fear has been something many would think is quite simple but for me, has posed a challenge.
I appreciate the comfort of familiarity, and when I am not so familiar with something, I will admit, I experience a slight internal panic. It’s not something I can’t control, or something that will hold me back, but nonetheless, it is quite there, lingering on my shoulder, no matter how much I try to ignore it.
Venturing on my new bike in my new town scares the crap out of me. It’s almost embarrassing to say that, but I know I am not alone. Some of the things I fear are rational like fearing that my instinct isn’t as precise relying on two wheels as it is relying on two feet. But others are really silly, like worrying about what other other people are thinking when they see me riding my back. Are they annoyed to have to stop and wait for me, do I look like a tourist? I also over think where I should cross the lanes, and wonder… will I piss someone off, will anyone have mercy on me and let me cross during rush hour, will someone steal my bike? Will someone do something spiteful to my bike since it’s lavender and certainly stands out? Let’s not even mention the fact that I am only going 2 miles in either direction, so, it’s not like I’m embarking on some great expedition. However, making my way to the beach last weekend proved a slight disaster and my boyfriend had to come retrieve me. To my credit, the route I took would have gotten me to the beach, but I did manage to add on 4 miles to the normally 2 mile ride.
So, this is my fear. A few days a week, I ride over to Starbucks and work from there for a change of scenery. Would it be easier to work from home where I have all the amenities I need and the comforts of feeling secure, of course!!! But would I be growing? Would I be challenging myself to loose that fear? Absolutely not.
The first few times I rallied myself to go out on my own, took lots of mental encouragement that started the week before. They were truly baby steps. I didn’t share this with anyone because quite honestly, it was an internal battle. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone because we have all have fears in life based on our conditioning as children. My fears are not the same as your fears, and sometimes others will discourage you from facing your fear. I don’t think they do it intentionally but they have their own fears and challenges and acknowledging your fears unlocks their fears and well, they may not be ready to face their fears. So, there response does not come across as supportive.
Once way to support your goals, is to decide that you no longer care what others think of you. Relinquishing that need, gives you tremendous freedom. There is this myth that we must work hard for happiness, that we must earn it. But I don’t necessarily believe that. I believe that we all deserve to be happy. Letting these fears that hold us back go, encourages us to have better days.
I love meeting new people and I am certainly not going to do it by staying home and not venturing out. I also love shooting pictures, and well, those pictures aren’t going to shoot themselves. 🙂
These fears come and go and some take longer to fade but have faith in yourself and don’t let the fear hold you back..simply proceed with caution, like I do 🙂
Above are a few pictures I took at sunset last weekend!