Friday, June 6, 2014

Fear, Courage and Cliff Diving

I’ve been struggling lately to find things to write about. I want my blog to have a personal touch, but I really don’t want it to be a “day in the life” type of blog. Really, my life is not that interesting!
The other day I saw a quote posted on Facebook. It was one of my favorite quotes. I love quotes. When I see a good one, I jot it down and save it to my favorite quotes file, a Word document that is now about five pages long. Did I say I love quotes?

I find so much wisdom and inspiration in the words of others. If I need a kick in the butt to pick myself up on a particularly difficult day, there’s a quote for that. If I need to encourage my college-aged daughter to go out and do what she loves, there’s a quote for that. If I need to remind my son that there is no easy path to success, there’s a quote for that.  If I need to lift up a friend who is feeling down or tell someone that I’m really glad they’re in my life, there’s a quote for that.

I thought it would be good to take some of my favorite quotes and write about what they mean to me and share a particular situation when I used that quote to help encourage someone.

When I originally started this blog, my intent was to accomplish two goals I had set for myself.

1.       Start writing
2.       Start giving back more

 My original plan, as I described in my my first blog post fell by the wayside, but I can say that this year I have definitely given more of my time to others. In fact, I do have some great plans in the works that will hopefully get others motivated to do the same. This leads me to the quote I will share today:

“Always do the things you fear the most. Courage is an acquired taste, like caviar."
– Erica Jong

As I mentioned, this past year I have really started to get more involved and for me, that has taken a lot of courage. To most people, I seem pretty outgoing, but there is an introvert inside of me just waiting to get out. I have had to work hard over the years to battle my inner introvert and for the most part, I have won the battle.

I wrote about my first step out of my comfort zone and into the giving back zone in my Just Show Up post. That day, I ignored my fear of getting out there and meeting new people and it was so worth it. That first meeting spawned my (and Taylor’s) involvement with Livy’s Hope Kids Crew and some great new friendships.

As I continued to work on my goal of giving of my time, I realized that other people might share my fear of going it alone. Wouldn’t it be much easier and surely more fun if we served as a group? That was evident when I gathered a group of friends to help me cook and serve a meal at Ronald McDonald House. That was definitely an undertaking I couldn’t do alone. As the day approached and I planned my menu, I was terrified that I would not be able to pull it off. That fear quickly disappeared as my friends started arriving and we worked together. Fear is best conquered in the company of friends.

Back to my plan to get others motivated to volunteer and how that plays into my quote. I have a vision to start a service organization to promote volunteerism through group activities. I’ve started taking small steps towards this goal but I really need to just jump in with both feet. I am about to navigate uncharted territory as far as my own personal experience and knowledge go and that scares me to death. But as the quote says, do the things you fear the most.

I shared this quote many years ago with my daughter Lauren on her first day of classes at Florida State University. Lauren inherited my inner introvert and was having a difficult time adjusting to her new life and being so far from home. I wanted to encourage her to get out, try new things, meet new people, and conquer her fears. Five years later, I’m proud to say that she has done just that. The homesick teenager that I left in tears has graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work and is halfway through her Masters of SW & Public Administration. She has spent her summers leading mission trips and is now interning with the Florida Emergency Management department. The thing she feared most was getting out and meeting people. Now she is speaking to government officials and CEO’s of non-profits. She is forging her own path to success, simply by getting out there and doing the things she feared the most.

Psychology Today says this about fear, “…exposing ourselves to our own personal demons is the best way to move past them”. I have many fears regarding my new project; fear that I have no idea what I’m doing, fear of rejection, fear of failure. I read a blog by Curtis Zimmerman called Jumping off the Cliff. In it he says that the first step in achieving your dream is to “jump off the cliff”, which means going for something even before you feel totally prepared. So I have to move forward and acquire that taste of courage. I am the first time cliff diver, looking over the ledge, scared to death but also excited to jump. I have to take that leap of faith. Here I go……Geronimo!

No comments:

Post a Comment