So, you’ve got this idea of something you want in life. Maybe it’s to be a book author, or a traveler, or complete a bucket list. I don’t know what it is. I also didn’t know that many people are afraid of going after their dreams. They’re afraid of failure, of their inexperience, or judgment and probably a multitude of other things that I can’t even imagine. This post is for the confident adventurers & the fearful crowd.
I’ve forever been the one who jumps right in and does what I don’t know how to do. I think a common term might be, “Fake it til you make it.” Except there’s nothing fake about seeing your goals out there like a buoy on the water and taking any and every step you can to reach them… Maybe you don’t have a jet ski that you can just hop on and zoom right out there, or even a row boat. You might just have to settle for a pool noodle or start collecting branches to build a raft on the shore. Others will just jump in and start wading through the shallow waters, looking for things as they go that will aid them in reaching the buoy – they find driftwood, they find boaters willing to give them a ride for part of the way, someone may throw them a flotation device and they might just swim all the way out there on their own.
But, some… they will stand on the shore asking questions. How far away is that buoy? How could I ever paddle that far, much less swim? What if there’s a hole in my boat and I sink? I don’t know how to paddle a boat… what if people watch me row and laugh at me? How can I possibly find enough wood to build a raft? What if people think my raft sucks? When will I get there, what if it’s too late? How? What if? When? While I certainly believe that asking questions is an excellent thing to do, sometimes the answers to questions are only going to be answered by the experience.
When I ask my 10 year old any experience-related question before we set off to do something new, he always has the same answer for me. Before he rode his first roller coaster, I asked him, “Do you think it will be scary?” He answers, “Maybe. I have to do it and find out.” When I ask him if he thinks he will like something, he answers, “Maybe. I have to do it and find out.” It has made tailoring our activities toward him somewhat difficult. But, I realize….. he doesn’t care what the activity is. He wants to try it all.. he accepts everything as a new experience and doesn’t apply much of the past to something new. He welcomes everything with it’s own unique thrills or disappointments. He’s not afraid to be disappointed by an experience. It’s all part of life and at his young age, he has mastered something that I hope he never forgets.
If it’s something you want to experience, just do it & discover.
There are so many people, I am realizing, who can’t do the things they want most in life because of some obstacle in their way – whether real or imagined. They’re so afraid for themselves their fear may even come across as if they are also trying to discourage you. For an explorer, for an adventurer, there’s nothing more insulting and revolting than someone trying to discourage us from going after the experiences we want in life. It’s a cardinal sin. When confronted with discouraging attitudes and remarks, a genuine life adventurer will buck like a wild stallion and possibly kick somebody in the head…. multiple times.
But, I’ve been presented with the idea, through experience and a gentle quote I read this morning (to the right); that maybe I’m misinterpreting what’s happening. And if what I think is true, I don’t want to walk right around the fearful and head toward my destiny without so much as even trying to take their hand. Now, I’m sure this isn’t always the case, use your better judgment. But, maybe these discouraging remarks and attitudes & those times when it seems like somebody is purposely standing in your way are more than meets the eye. It’s the fearful wrestling with their own fear of passionately living the adventures that are trapped in their imagination. Not a jealousy of you, or judgment, but a fearful admiration.
It’s up to the confident and adventurous explorers to recognize when these folks aren’t really trying to stop us – they’re trying to get our attention because they want us to throw them a raft or lead them by the hand and tell them that everything will work out – go fulfill your passion in life. It is surprising to me that anyone would let little things stand in the way of their dreams…. being laughed at, being judged by others, being inexperienced, etc. They’re all things that don’t even enter my mind, yet these things are actively preventing others from successfully living their lives.
Adventurers, Explorers, Life-Long Learners – take these folks by the hand and try to quell the irritation that arises when they seem to give in to every fear they can possibly dig up. Show them. You might have to slow down a little. But, it’s a great reward in life to nurse an Eagle back to health and watch it fly on it’s own.
And Fearful ones – Try to reign in some of that fear and trust yourself and your loved ones and the adventurers in your life. Step out of your comfort zone. Like escaping from a hot car on a summer day, life feels better out here.