This will be the last guest post until next year, but it’s a great one to end with. It’s all about how you should feel the fear and do it anyway and why you shouldn’t let fear hold you back.
It comes from Gemma, who is one half of highlands2hammocks. I am in love with their Instagram feed, and have been living vicariously through them for the past couple of months. Make sure you check them out and support them. They’re awesome!
Whatever you’re afraid of, I want you to know that you’re not alone. Everyone fears something in life. Fear is a normal human feeling and if we didn’t feel fear, we wouldn’t feel the happiness and pride that comes along with overcoming them. We wouldn’t feel alive.
Growing up I was fearless. I was a gymnast, I rode horses, I loved throwing myself off of trees, cliffs, everything! All of these things, could have resulted in very dangerous consequences if something went wrong. However, when we’re young we just do what we want to do, despite the consequences. Why is this?
As an adult, we can have the tendency to over analyse everything. We are more aware of what can go wrong and this can result in fear. It is this overthinking that forces us to consider all hazards of an action, regardless of their risk. Due to this overthinking, we can miss out on some of life’s most important, most exhilarating and most memorable experiences. It is this overthinking that we must reflect upon and overcome.
Just recently, I conquered my fear of jumping from a cliff into the sea. Now, I know something like cliff jumping may sound like small fries when it comes to fears, however this was holding me back from truly enjoying my time by the sea, on holiday. After I conquered this fear and took this jump, it got us talking about how fears can hold you back in life. Some rational, some irrational, all limiting. This article is to help everyone out there who is struggling with their fears in life, be it the fear of taking the leap off a cliff, or the fear of putting yourself out there and getting shot down.
These are the steps that I took to conquer my fear, and are the ones I will continue to take for all that I will face in future.
It tends to start with a wish. Wishing we could do something, watching someone else grow and wanting to be able to do it too, but with no intent of believing that it is possible. Identify what it is that you wish you could do, and write it down on a piece of paper.
We were on the cliffs taking photos one evening and I could see some boys jumping off. I couldn’t see the height but I guessed it was fairly high. Higher than I ever thought would be possible, as I had a fear of jumping. I wished I could have the guts to do it but was fairly sure I never would.
Why not me?
This step is about reflecting on what is being done and asking yourself the simple question, “Why not me?”. It is about building self-confidence by using logical thinking; “If they can do it, then why can’t I?”.
The following day by the sea, sitting by the same cliff, I watched many people jumping into the sea off, even Campbell. Old and young, small and big, everyone was managing this jump, and no one was getting hurt. This sparked this same question in my mind, “Why not me?”.
When conquering your fears, its necessary to remember that it is a marathon, not a sprint. There is no hurry to get to the destination, as long as you keep moving forward. We can’t all jump at our fears head first.
During multiple attempts, I climbed to the top, peered over and thought there was no way I would be able to jump. I was worried of not jumping far enough and hitting the rocks below, worried of hurting myself as I hit the water, worried about many other logical fallacies I had scraped together to put myself off the idea of taking the leap.
Instead of continuing this path of self-torture, I decided to start small and build up to it. I would jump off of increasing heights, slowly building up to the main accomplishment. These small steps are an accomplishment in themselves, and it is important to remember to pat yourself on the back for them and acknowledge them. Don’t just shrug them off because you want to do something bigger and better.
The continuous question of “Why not me” will play on our minds over and over until it’s all that we can think about. I fell asleep thinking about this and I woke up thinking about it. Remind yourself of your goal regularly and stay hungry.
Mind-set is so important when it comes to overcoming fears. We need to really pin point why we are feeling that way. We had a chat about this and thought about things that had scared us, we recently quit our jobs and left everything behind to travel the world with a backpack. Surely the consequences from that have to be scarier than jumping from a cliff.
We went down to the cliffs that day, butterflies fluttering in my stomach like crazy. My watch was recording my heart rate at over 150bpm and I was visibly shaking. However, I felt driven that today would be the day I did it.
This is the stage where we become determined and on a mission. Believing in ourselves every step of the way. Campbell making me say out loud many times that I could do it and I went up there with a lot more confidence than I had before. It still took me a bit of time to take the leap but in the end, I did it and that’s what mattered the most to me.
Once you’ve stepped out your comfort zone, it makes it so much easier to take that step and do it again. Even if it starts off small steps again, it will be easier to take the final leap when it comes to doing it next time. This is what personal development is all about, small improvements over time that add up to a bigger picture.
The confidence and happiness that comes with overcoming your fears is like no other. It will make every choice to push yourself, to get dirty and sweaty, to get uncomfortable and push yourself, all completely worth it.
Take the leap. I know that you can do it.
Read more of our blogs over at highlands2hammocks and get inspired to take on the whole world. We are two budget backpackers from Scotland, bringing you daily travel advice, guides and top tips. Drop by, say “hi” and let us know what you are proud of accomplishing this week.
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I’m not so sure I’m ready to go jumping off cliffs, but I definitely feel motivated to be a little braver! Anyone else?
To see all of the guest posts I have had the privilege of featuring on my blog, click here. Thank you so much to everyone who submitted!