Sunday, January 10, 2010

What are you going to do this year that really scares you?

This question was asked of me on Twitter recently, by my friend and fellow GS leader Sara. I am always in awe of Sara and how she can have a dozen things going on and still have time for more. She also does freelance writing all over the place, and she wrote a recent entry on her Mom-blog regarding taking risks. It's a very good read, as is all of her entries there. She's just amazing, and has a very logical yet fun-loving way of looking at life and raising her family.

Ok, now that I've probably made her blush good and red, back to the question at hand. I was a bit thrown off by the question when it was asked. See, I'm not a new year's resolution person. I need short-term goals, something I can see the end of. College didn't work because I didn't see any end in sight (among other more personal reasons). However, when I went and had my legal training, I was able to complete the 8 month program. It was tough, and right after I began I became pregnant, but I could see the end and for me it was realistic and attainable. So at the end of each year I can't just say "I'm going to lose weight and eat better this year." because I know (as most of us truly know) that it lasts about a month or two, then boom you are right back where you started in December, making the same old resolution to follow half-assed again.

As for doing something that scares you, that happens all the time. I travel by plane once or twice a year, and I am extremely frightened of air travel. I know, I know, it's not a rational fear yadda yadda yadda... but regardless it is still a fear and I face it every time I get on a plane. I'm nervous every time I put out a new podcast, because I know my views are extreme and many do not agree with them. I open myself up to some really mean people who don't know how to express disagreement in ways other than hurtful personal attacks. However, rather than shutting up and not speaking my mind, I continue. It doesn't get easier, I just learn to ignore it better. ;-) I also recently stepped out of my comfort zone by becoming a Girl Scout Leader. I absolutely HATE being in charge, so this was a big step for me after not doing any leading since my PTO days back in 2004-ish. That led to stepping out in another way, which was camping. I freaking hate being outdoors, unless it's a day hike and I have a place inside to go to after.

I'm not a dare-devil type. It's not a fear, it's just the simple fact that I have no interest. Sara and my other good friend Kimber recently went and did the trapeze. I didn't quite get the draw. My husband skis, and I feel so bad because I have absolutely no desire to do so. Same with rock climbing, which my younger daughter loves. I just prefer my feet on the ground.

Now I can see the argument that I don't try these things because I am a big chicken, and if I just let go and did it I'd become hooked and never want to stop. My answer to that is, why? I don't complain about not doing these things. I don't find myself wishing to do them. If I'm happy the way I am, why should I push myself by doing things I *don't* want to do? I grew up living in fear, and worked hard and took great risk for the life I have now. Having a comfort zone doesn't necessarily equate to living in fear.

I like less-extreme risks, which were also mentioned in Sara's blog post. I had toyed with the idea of participating in Pat's Run for several years, but was easily able to talk myself out of it for years. After reading Jon Krakauer's book about Pat Tillman this past fall, I was finally moved to the point of committing to participating. Kimber has been participating every year, so she was very willing to help me train. My goal is to run the whole thing- no walking. This will be a challenge to someone who has never seriously ran since Jr. High. Again, a short- term goal. I began training in November, and the run is in April. I've managed to stay focused and committed so far (thanks to having someone to train with). I'll let you know how it goes.

Perhaps achieving this goal will give me the confidence to do something else I've wanted to do- and that's speak at Ignite Phoenix. I have a dozen ideas to speak about, and it's the perfect setting. Five minutes of speaking, and you finish just before you get to the point of crying or passing out (kind of like Pat's Run). I'm good behind the mic, but being in front is something I'm just not as confident doing. Then there is Podcamp AZ- which is right up my alley. I can always speak there too, and would like to. I've been at the podcasting thing long enough that there has to be *something* I can offer to others, right? I get a personal test of my knowledge soon by speaking about podcasting to Sara's GS troop in a couple of weeks. This definitely qualifies under "scary", since tween girls are probably the most judgmental of any age group out there.

But for now, I will stick my toes in the water a little at a time, without any regret that I didn't just jump right in. I jump if needed, but I have nothing to prove to myself. If you're a go-getter, good for you, I will be right there to cheer you on. I choose to live in my comfort zone and step out when needed or moved enough to. And be perfectly happy that way too.

That's the bottom line anyway, right? Doing what makes you happy.

So do it.

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