“On the other side of fear is JOY”
My beautiful friend who inspired me to start this blog shared this quote with me a few years ago and it has resonated with me since. When you think about it, we avoid fears to keep ourselves comfortable and out of danger. But what if facing some of those fears could actually make us happier and able to live a more beautiful life? Until I started embracing the meaning of this quote about 6 months ago, I was stuck in a rut. My daily routine was comfortable but something about it was stale. I needed something to elevate my life. So, 6 months ago, my friend encouraged me to write a bucket list since I had never written one. I had always thought of bucket list items as something extreme like skydiving, going on a wild vacation, or something else that might not in reality be achievable. It’s the small feats we thought we could never experience that can bring us more joy than an extreme vacation that eventually ends and may be forgotten. What I realized is that a bucket list can include small things too. And sometimes this is better. My bucket list included learning how to ride a bike, going to my high school reunion, and trying something new. Bucket lists should be renamed bravery lists because these three things and the others that I haven’t mentioned all require bravery to accomplish.
Other goals that I set before the bucket list were flipping upside down on an aerial yoga silk and learning how to do a forearm inversion. I’m still working on the inversion but I was scared to death to go upside down on the silk. I almost bailed halfway and wanted to get out of it immediately. But if I hadn’t done that, I would have been asking myself for days, “what if?” Sometimes it’s the people who we share the experience that who help us through the fear. The friend I have been referring to made me feel safe in this moment so I knew that the worst thing that would happen is that I would get dizzy while all the blood rushed to my head!
I always try to keep “what if” in my mind when I am thinking about doing something that could lead to a positive outcome in my life. We should, however, not be afraid to do something that could lead to disappointment because we don’t always know the outcome and will still question ourselves if we bail. It sounds counterintuitive, but facing what we fear can almost always lead to joy if we take the leap and trust the process.