Working with your fears

Listening to Abigail Rebecca’s image webinars today, with Deri Llewellyn Davies speaking, he talked about fear – feeling it, overcoming it, understanding it and therefore managing it.

How I worked with my fears whilst living my dream

Some of what he talked about reminded me of my fears overcome or even not acknowledged.  Whilst I was travelling, I felt safe and that was a question often posed as “Weren’t you scared?” /”Aren’t you scared?” and often told I was “brave” to go solo backpacking in response to my stories or mention of it.

Well, no I wasn’t scared.  Apprehensive at times maybe at least when I first set off, but not afraid – of people, situations, problems or events.  Was I excited by the possibilities? Oh yes! Wondering what might happen and how I would manage? Yes, considered and calculated risks!

But fear? That comes mostly at home, in life and living, in taking on unfamiliar or new circumstances that we don’t know the outcome of…

I swam in the Amazon with Pirhanas, Caiman, Snakes and pink dolphins!  I swam with the other visitors and the guides, and watched daily the local people playing, swimming, washing and cleaning in the river so it seemed safe!  And I was never going to get this chance again maybe – and also, it pushed boundaries I was readily prepared to push on this trip!  So I did – three times no less!

Swimming for the third time – safely – in the Amazon River in 2015 with two other English girls on my tour who were very nervous to try but loved it and felt invigorated at overcoming that barrier for a great experience!

I met monkeys and birds that seem tame behind a fence in the zoo but in real wild life are quite scary and aggressive, especially if threatened!

I calmly stood within inches of two different tarantulas, excited more than afraid of them, and intrigued to get the chance to see them up close and personal! But I chose not to hold them … that’s fine, no pressure, my choice, an option.

Sitting atop a huge elephant that for all I knew could go wild and was powerful beyond my experience before, should it decide it was very unhappy – and holding onto nothing but mu hands on its head, semi secure on it’s neck, I was nervous of course!

The jungle itself and hidden threats – and treasures!  I was SO excited to be there at long last, a dream come true, seeing places not everyone will or could see, things I’d only seen on TV before!   The beauty, awe and silence of it; the animals hidden and sleeping in hot daylight hours, hidden by nightfall with just noises or nothing to show their presences – night trek, camping, canoeing in the moonlight …

People never threatened me.  The most scary one was an off duty Lima policeman who shouted at me to put away my iPad to avoid being mugged for it that almost had me in tears when he was just trying to help but knew the real risks I had read of but wanted photos more!  I walked by favellahs in Rio, sat with gang members in the little café, watched the beggars and gypsies on the river front evenings in Phnomm Penn, or the starving children in Siem Reap, confidently and trustingly even at night but carefully with little to steal on show too!

But I wasn’t scared, more in awe and humility at them, and the numerous people who offered me help with directions, support and effort to understand and communicate with me in all the countries where I couldn’t speak their language or didn’t really understand their values or cultural needs.

  • Trusting my taxi driver in Vietnam that my booked Hostel was really down a dark alley, not a threat, at 11.30 at night off the train in Hue!
  • Staying alone in the Hostel rooms yards away from the office in Phuket, accessible from the street by just one door!
  • Eating street food or dishes I didn’t know the content or cleanliness of
  • The motorbike taxis zooming through gaps with me on the back where at times I just closed my eyes and hoped we got through!

On the other side of fear with no regrets …is that possible?

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear!” encapsulates my trip and experiences I guess!

“Live a life with no regret” says Deri Llewellyn Davies and I am trying to do that each and every day of the life I have left, and recognise the many years I wasted that I do regret but in turn, brought me other treasures and experiences I can embrace.

Live the life you want to live – the power you have to dream it – create it – live it!  I know.  I’ve done it.

And so can you!

  • That meeting that seems daunting …
  • Risking rejection with that date or job…
  • Scared of judgements from networking or party events …
  • Worry about potential hazards and outcomes in most situations every day!

Push past the fear.   Look to what awaits you on the other side of fear and focus on that.  Decide to take the risk – make the choice and jump!  Go get experience, good or bad and keep trying new things!  The more you try the more you learn, and the more confident you become in new situations and circumstances that you know you can manage because you have before – and this is probably why I wasn’t afraid or scared, or why I seem brave to most people for having done it!

Self esteem – how much you believe you are worth to the world and people around you (often, ‘compared to others’) but self-confidence is how much you trust yourself to manage a situation and make the best or most of it!   To survive it!  Or better still – to thrive in it!

Run through your fear and find the treasure on the other side! Thrive not just survive in your life!