First of all, thank you SO MUCH for the notes of encouragement and positive feedback you sent along in response to yesterday’s email. Your responses affirmed it was the right decision, when I had no idea how it would be received.
As I hit send I had that, “Now I’ve really gone and done it…” and the accompanying butterflies in my stomach. Do you ever get that feeling? I get it most often right after I take a leap into something that has a promise of possibility for awesomeness and a promise of possibility for disappointment or shame. And it always means uncomfortableness.
Believe it or not, I’m feeling it again right now. Last week I was asked to paddle with a crew for one of the hardest races (the goal is to complete it in 7 hours…you get that that means paddling for at least 7 hours right?). When I responded that I was honored, but simply didn’t have the budget for it this year they said they’d cover the costs. As humbling as it was to both admit I didn’t have the resources and then to accept them to join in this amazing race I was stoked to be part of the crew.
And then I saw the cost and the training schedule this morning. WTH am I thinking?!? They are footing this much of a bill for me to join them? And the training is at this level? The uncomfortableness and the butterflies in the stomach REALLY set in. They are taking this seriously, can I live up to it? Am I ready to rise to the occasion? Am I even capable of rising to the occasion? What if I fail? What if it wasn’t all I thought it would be? What if it’s a miserable 7-8 hours on the water? What if I succeed?
If I’m honest, whenever I feel the butterflies of uncomfortableness these are the types of questions running through my mind (well maybe not the one about time on the water 😉 ). This is where the real decision comes. I can either:
- Be uncomfortable and face the fears of failure and success
- Retreat to my comfortable space and find a reason to quit
I don’t know about you, but since losing my child I’ve had a kind of crazy, unexpected blessing. It’s much easier for me to be uncomfortable and face fears. It used to be this unconscious thought, “Why not? I’ve already lost it all, what do I have to lose?!?” mentality. Fortunately, I’ve used that mentality with more positive and healthy choices than destructive ones.
Over the years it’s also shifted to a much more conscious one that also has the benefit of seeing the rewards of facing the fears that have come with stretching myself. I can’t even count how many blessings I have in my life because of every time I chose to be uncomfortable and face fears both small and large. Are you exercising this muscle? Have you tried it with anything small, maybe even picking up the phone to reconnect with someone you’ve lost touch with, but has been on your mind? I encourage you to JUST DO IT! Sure, it may be a flop, but we both know you’ve faced much worse and you’re still here. You’re still alive. And you still have a full life to live.
Peace and aloha,
PS I promise paddling season is almost over and you won’t hear about it for another five months!