Life is an adventure. But sometimes it can be hard to take the first steps to make positive changes. I think we’ve all heard that phrase; ‘adventure begins at the end of your comfort zone’ by now. But it got me thinking, does adventure always have to be a grand, life-changing thing? Or can you make small steps, or have little adventures, that add together and bring about big change in your life? I think we can.
This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately. I think there’s a lot of pressure to have huge, life changing, instagramable moments that give you that grand epiphany moment. But when you start to analyse life through that lens it can get a little overwhelming. Because if you’re looking for THE BIG MOMENT it can be terrifying to make the first move.
It’s a familiar feeling. I have an amazing idea for something, I get enthused, I bore everyone to tears talking about it, and then…that little voice kicks in that tells me I can’t. I can’t do that amazing thing, because I’m not good enough, clever enough, ambitious enough. I stop the adventure before I’ve even taken the first steps. I don’t know about you but it seems so easy to focus on what I can’t do that often I forget that there’s a million things I can do!
Stop asking yourself ‘What If’
I’d say I’m a person who’s always been held back by little fears. The big ‘what if’ plays itself endlessly in my head every time I have to make decisions that could impact my life. What if I can’t do it? What if I’m wrong? Or, what if I choose this cheese toastie and it ends up being the worst thing I’ve ever done?
Big or small, those what if questions can end up taking a lot out of us if we’re not careful. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to look back on my life and think ‘What If I had just…’
And the strange thing about ‘what ifs’ is that they’re totally personal. Everyone’s are different.
What I mean by that is, the fears that hold you back are not the fears that hold others back. For example, I’m not afraid of sitting by myself in cafes and restaurants. In fact, I quite enjoy it, especially if I have a good book with me. But this fear is very real for some of my friends who have no problem with walking into a crowded room and striking up conversations.
There’s nothing holding me back
I’ve been thinking about what that means in relation to overcoming fears. Because ultimately, ‘what if’ is just one of the ways that fears manifest themselves. Was I always fine sitting by myself in cafes? Well, not at first, but then I got used to it. And then I started to enjoy it. But what if I’d never tried it because of what I thought would happen. I’d actually be missing out on something I enjoy. What if it’s the same with other fears?
Do you see what I’m trying to say? When you start small and gradually drill away at those fears soon enough they start to seem smaller.You see, the power of fear is the hold it has on you individually. If you spend to much time second guessing yourself you can start to forget that life is an adventure, not a chore.
Flip, Reverse It
So, what if, (see there it is again) we flip what if on its head. What if, instead of letting those pesky questions stop us from doing things we start using them as a way to get out there and do it. What if we made ‘what if’ positive? It could be pretty radical.
Let’s try it:
What if I fail?
Well, what if I succeed?
But what if I’m wrong?
What if you’re right?
Or, What if you’re wrong but you learn something from it?
What if I choose this cheese toastie and it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done?
What if I choose this cheese toastie and not only is it the best thing I’ve ever done but it ultimately is the best thing ever in the world? What if this cheese toastie is the stuff of legend and by not choosing it I’m missing out on my destiny?
Because cheese toasties though- how could they ever be wrong? Amirite?
Now I’m not advocating we all go and throw ourselves out of aeroplanes and try sky diving just to conquer a fear of heights. But I do think that if we start small we can gradually build up a positive outlook.
The final thing I want to say is: it’s not about saying I am held back by fear. It’s about saying I have fears but I don’t let them hold me back.
So, here’s to conquering our fears. Life is an Adventure! Let’s do it! We can climb that mountain.*googles* climbing Mount Everest.
OK, scratch that. We can climb that small hill that doesn’t require much physical exertion, because let’s be real the last time we did any exercise was last year after that silly new year’s resolution.
It’s all about baby steps people!
And cheese toasties…so. many. cheese. toasties.