Fear: Do The Thing You Think You Cannot Do
Fear & Doubt
Thus far, 2016 has ushered in two very uncomfortable emotions for me: fear and doubt. They have been wreaking havoc in my personal and professional life for about 3 weeks. I am meditating, giving thanks, and doing every yoga pose I can think of to remove these little monsters from my life.
This weekend it came down to a battle of wills for me. I am a skier and want to improve so, I signed up for the 2nd Annual Snowshoe Women’s Head Ski Camp. (Head is a ski brand.) It was 2 days on the snow with like-minded women, all-female instructors and a Olympic Gold Medal-holding ski coach. On paper it was a dream come true. I signed up, swiped my credit card and was pumped.
That was, until 72 hours before the event. Winter Storm Jonas was guaranteed to bring 3 + feet of snow to West Virginia and make for epic ski conditions. As a lifelong snow lover, what did I do? Started to cry, panicked and tried to call Snowshoe to cancel before my refund window closed. My call was never answered and the clock struck the magical hour where I would lose my money if I canceled. Being cheap, I hung up the phone and went to phase two of my terror.
I was sure I was going to to die on the roads getting to Snowshoe. Mind you, I am a very confident, very cautious snow driver. I can drive with the best of them. But doubt showed up. Fear not far behind. And I decided that I couldn’t do it.
Relief showed up in the form of another avid skier and a good plan. I beat the storm by traveling the 3-hour mountain drive to my parents home at the bottom of Snowshoe before the snow started. Then I caught a ride to the top of mountain (Snowshoe is an inverted mountain) with said skier pal. The roads were nowhere as terrible as I had imagined. I, of course, beat myself up for being a “wimp” and a “scaredy-cat”.
Then, when that ordeal was over. I got to the the ski camp and immediately began fretting about my “old” ski gear and my ability to ski with these other talented women. Whoa. I needed to chill. Again relief came in the form of a familiar face joining camp with me for the weekend and some yoga to warm up. Yoga always helps.
After yoga we split up into groups based on skiing ability and how aggressive our approach to skiing was…our group’s energy was amazing. The fear went away when I listened to these women describe last year’s camp and all that we would learn. The descriptions indicated that it’s not about right or wrong, but what you come away with – new skiing knowledge and friendships.
And how true it was. I learned so many technical aspects of skiing in the 12 hours that I was on the snow, I am literally bursting to ski again just to apply it. The experience of skiing with 6-12 other like-minded women was so powerful. We went down the mountain with such confidence and control. I’d say grace, but I believe grace will come later. Or I hope it does. Many of us even learned how to hit jumps and boxes inside the park. It was something I would have NEVER EVER tried on my own. A sentiment that was echoed amongst every woman that hit a box or got 6 inches of air.
You can’t put a value on that kind of stuff. We were all out of our comfort zones and we were all excelling. Inspiring can barely encapsulate the feeling I came away with this weekend.
The moral of this story is regardless of your goal: do what you think you cannot do. Take it from me; ride through that fear, ask for help, find relief in every possible small and familiar thing you can! I overcame some major doubt and fear on the slopes that will extend into my relationships and my professional life. It provided me with two valuable resolutions to fear and doubt: clarity and confidence.
It’s a simple reminder to me that doing what I love, can provide life-altering lessons and that I should never shy away from something because I am not sure of the outcome. I’d love to know your stories of how you have personally worked to overcome the onset of fear and doubt. How do you handle it when they show up in your life now?