1. Fear doesn’t go away after you’ve done something once.
I bungee jumped for the first time 3 weeks ago in San Gil, Colombia. The most intense rush of my life. I was scared. Very scared. The worst part was walking that plank. The other worst part was looking down and having to jump off the ledge.
I did it (albeit with some help of the worker pushing me off ledge as I tipped over) and it was awesome.
It was teeth grinding scary with a violent rush of blood. It was an out of control, loss of all control kind of feeling, in which I can’t describe during those 3 seconds that feel like an hour as I plunged down and bounced back up like a $25 cent bouncy ball your mom bought you at the grocery store in 1992.
Yes it was awesome. However, people have asked me if I want to do it again, or if I wanted to go again as soon as I finished? And the answer is no. I was scared to do it a second time.
This was evident again when I went Paragliding today in Medellin, CO. I thought I would be “ok” and not afraid after I “conquered” bungee. Well, as I got to the top of the hill, on top of the mountain, and looked out at the vast, beautiful valley of brick houses and building in Medellin; and as I saw how high and fast those parachute/paragliders were going, I was afraid once again.
Utterly, utterly afraid.
It made me think of other things I’ve done in my life that I was afraid of. Asking for something you want can be scary. Telling someone no can be scary. These things can be scary over and over again. No matter how many times you have done it.
Public speaking came to mind for me. I’ve spoke in front of crowds over 40 times and presented. And each time I’ve spoke, hours and minutes before I start to get very nervous. That fear didn’t dissipate after the first few times. It lingered. It loitered. It lasted.
Fear will never go away.
You can’t set fire to it and watch the ashes blow away in the wind. Even if you have the powerful blow torch of experience in your hand; fear will remain. It’s knowing that, accepting and surrendering to that.
It’s not about destroying fear. It’s about taming the fear. It’s about acting, in spite of the fear.
Feel the fear, and being ok with it. Be ok with being scared.
You’re going to be scared any way.
To Be Continued…Thing 2