There's plenty of useless items up for grabs on the daily deals, and I was fortunate enough to have nabbed myself a bargain a few months ago. I purchased a half price voucher to take a trapeze class.
I'm not really one of those daredevil, adrenalin rush junkies who enjoy heights and falling at great speeds and near death experiences. I much prefer enjoying gravity normally, and sipping soy flat whites. So when this email came through, I dismissed it, saying 'I could never do that'.
But as I did that, a little voice inside whispered 'What's stopping you? Fear?'
Let's delve into that internal monologue a little deeper.
"So Naomi, what's stopping you? Fear?"
"Well, yeah, actually. I'm deathly afraid of heights and I hate the feeling of falling. I don't think I could," I replied defensively.
"So are you always going to let your fears hold you back?"
"No." A quick retort. Not a good look.
"Well they've held you back so far."
Darn this enlightened reasoning. I could feel my heart racing at the probing questions. It was like ripping a band aid off and exposing the wound.
"It's not that I'm afraid, it's just that I prefer to stay on the ground."
"Well, it you're not afraid, buy the voucher."
"Fine, I will!" Reverse psychology. It was a lose-lose situation. Or a win-win if you looked on the bright side.
So I bought the voucher. And I did the trapeze class. And even though I was freaking out climbing the ladder and leaning over the edge to grab a hold of the bar, I did it. (insert applause)
Here's my spiritual lesson to take away: fear hinders us. It doesn't keep us safe, it stops us from enjoying life. Even though I was afraid of heights, I forced myself to climb that eight metres and jump off the edge. By the third time, it wasn't scary. It was actually quite fun.
I could've ignored that email or backed out of the class. But I would've missed an opportunity to thumb my nose at fear and prove to myself that I can do things I never thought I could do.
So now I'm taking stock of my life and identifying where fear is holding me back. What am I missing out on because I'm too afraid to try? Is it meeting new people? Developing relationships? Learning a new skill? Setting bigger goals? Speaking in public? Going on a boat? (pretty sure that's a long way off....) There's a reason God doesn't like fear - it holds us back. And I'm determined to take fear out. This is the year to end fear (that could be a bumper sticker?).
Whatever form fear takes in your life, look it straight in the eye and take it out. You might actually enjoy doing it.
I think I'll try something new next week... maybe whitewater rafting? (that's a whole different story...)