Faced with the decision to choose fear or fun, where do your loyalties lie? Fear is an overwhelming emotion and can easily sway any decision to her side of the fence. The question is how much life is one giving up if you give in to fear? Finding a balance between fear and fun is the key to living the fullest life possible.
What is causing the fear?
Finding the cause seems like a logical first step. Many fears are caused by the unknown. Step up and ask questions to get more information. Most people who extend an invitation to join an activity will be more than willing to give more information about the who, what, where, and why of things. More information turns the unknown to the known. Having a little more information can make it easier to step your toes out of the comfort zone and see what’s available on the outside.
Is the Fear out of your Control?
Are you fully informed and interested in trying something new, but still overwhelmed by fear? I know this feeling well. As a person who suffers from anxiety, it is difficult to quiet the million impending dangers that pop in my head at any given moment. If there is a worst case scenario, it will find its way into my head and start causing trouble. So what happens next?
Make a Deliberate Choice
When fear starts running amuck in my brain, it is necessary to make a deliberate choice to have fun amidst the discomfort. Yes, this is hard! The word discomfort by definition pretty much ensures that choosing fun over fear is going to be difficult. Go back to step one and make sure all the information is at your fingertips. Next, tell people you are scared! Yes, be vulnerable and let people know. Chances are friends and family will be more than ready look for ways to quiet some of the impending doom inside your head.
Real World Example
In the 11 years since I met my husband, I have tried about a million new things. I found out that I quite enjoy a lot of them, anxiety filled fears included. One such activity is snowmobiling. My first thought when he mentioned snowmobiling was “You have fun with that. No way!” All these years later we are a happy family of five sledding down the trails of northern Michigan. Here is a big secret, I still have all the same fears I had 11 years ago; but I choose to put them aside and enjoy the time with my family.
My kiddos love snowmobiling. Do I worry about my 13 year old driving her own sled? Yup, all the time. Do I worry about my little ones riding on the back with their dad? Absolutely! Even when they are safely enclosed in their souped-up snow coach with blankets and movies, I still worry that they might need us to stop and we will not know. I take all those fears and look at the facts.
Facts over Fears
My daughter is cautious and well trained on driving her sled. She is always between her dad and me, so she has the added protection of our eyes watching for other riders. Everyone has the proper helmets and gear to stay warm and safe when riding with daddy. We use walkie talkies with ear pieces to communicate with the kiddos. In addition to their ability to chatter in our ears non-stop if they desire, we stop at all the intersections and check in with them. These are the facts. The more time I spend focusing on the facts the less time my imagination has time to play with my fear.
If I gave in to my every fear I would miss out on millions of fun moments with my family and friends. Every time I take a chance and push through my fear, I open up an opportunity to make a memory. I spent years keeping myself in a pretty tight bubble, afraid to try new and scary things. What kind of fun did I miss giving in to fear? I will never know. But moving forward I will continue to choose fun over fear and see where the adventure takes me.