Facing Fears, Finding Courage
By Stefanee Sherman • Rumble Contributor | The only thing that can hold you back in life is yourself and the things you allow to control your mindset. The only one telling you that you can’t do something is you. Fear is one of those things that we all have and we all face. Regardless of if your fear is failure, heights or even sharks, you have to overcome that fear or it forever prevents you from doing the amazing things in life. Your fear of heights keeps you from the best views, your fear of sharks keeps you from playing in the waves, your fear of embarrassing yourself keeps you from dancing at the bars with your friends.
My biggest fears consist of a few things; needles, tight spaces, drowning and most of all embarrassing myself — also admitting that I have this many fears. I also very much enjoy pushing my own boundaries, not always where my major fears are involved, but more so where minor ones come in. I don’t love the idea of falling off the side of a mountain but for my birthday two years ago we went to Maine and we climbed The Beehive Loop. It consisted of vertically and horizontally climbing rings up the side of a mountain; we got stuck a few times hanging off the side and it made me anxious. The idea of slipping combined with a bookbag full of everyone's phones and water pulling on my back made for some sweaty palms. What I did love was the fact that as I was doing it I was facing a fear and doing the thing anyway and at the top would be rewarded with an incredible view.
This past week we went to Florida. I don’t always do the best in the waves. I have a hard time floating and I can’t hold my breath very long, but we went snorkeling and got to swim in the reefs in the middle of the ocean (insert drowning via shark attack fear) but we also got to learn how to dive with snorkeling gear without inhaling water and swim side by side with sea turtles and barracudas (insert worth it). On the drive home we were discussing things we would or wouldn’t do, fear inducing things. I, for one, cannot wait to skydive or cliff jump at any given opportunity. But most people don’t feel the same. When the suggestion of cage diving with sharks was brought up it was a given that I was probably the only one in the car who would do something like that.
Here’s how I look at these things — they induce fear and that, to me, is a challenge to be conquered. Physical fears for me are easy to overcome, they become a challenge I can beat, mostly because I’m not one to back away from being challenged. The harder fears for me are the mental ones. The ones I know won’t actually physically hurt me but hold the larger mental block. For me, the fears that are harder to overcome are ones like needles and embarrassing myself. There is no reason to fear needles, they are small and, as everyone points out, I have multiple tattoos and a plethora of piercings. But for whatever reason, when it comes time for blood work my body breaks out in a cold sweat and I start to panic. The same for embarrassing myself. When we go out and all my friends goof around dancing, I hold back. Be it that I’m introverted or afraid to make a fool of myself, I can’t help but have a really hard time joining in fully on the shenanigans. Should I care what people think? No, of course not, the people I care about love me for whatever goofy things I do and the rest of the people I don’t know and will never see again. But, it’s the mental block. The thing in my head that says “Danger, Danger” that prevents me from being able to do these things.
One of my favorite quotes is from We Bought A Zoo, a cute family-friendly movie that I suggest you watch if you haven’t already seen it. The quote tells us this, “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” In all the things that I do, even if it brings fear into my brain, this is all I think: you want to climb that mountain then do it, you want to snorkel or swim with sharks or run a marathon or ask for a promotion at work, do it. All that it takes is a few seconds of doing the scary part to get to the best parts.
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First. Tattoos are a comment, lasting forever on your body. If you choose to get one in your younger years it's hard to explain it in your older years. It degrades over time and the meaning as such as you get older and it does too. Just saying. Most got because of service to remind of and lost ones. New generation gets because they think it's art. Its permanent, forever. Got several and I regret but reminds me. Don't promote.