Facing Your Fears

This past week, I turned 26.

And for the first time in my life, I realized how short life is.

26th birthday

I'm in the prime years of my life (or so they say) but on my 26th birthday, I felt the clock ticking and I realized just how precious time is. This reflection led me to write down some of my heart's desires and on the side, I also wrote why I haven't done them yet. Comparing these notes side-by-side, I noticed that the things that were stopping me were all fear-based excuses. One example, I've always admired long distance runners and have secretly wanted to do a half/full marathons. More than the physical aspect, I admired their incredible mental stamina and the ability to be self-disciplined. I mean, what normal person just wakes up and runs 13+ miles for fun?! Anyway, I've had this secret desire for years but never did anything about it because of excuses like 

I hate cardio

I can't do it

I don't want to train

And the excuses went on. It wasn't until the opportunity presented itself to me that I remembered this heart's desire of mine. A few weeks ago, my mom (who runs on a regular basis) told me that she couldn't run at the marathon she signed up for because of conflicting schedules. Then she asked if I would like to run in her place. I was automatically intrigued and found myself saying YES. My answer both scared and excited me at the same time. I can't remember the last time I ran over three miles and I had less than 7 weeks to train! Still, deep in my heart I knew that it was something I wanted to do. That night, I went home and downloaded a bunch of fitness apps and created a running schedule. Since that day, I've been training 3-4 times a week and I've ran over 24 miles in the past 10 days! 

I'm sharing this not to brag (because let's be real, my mile time is nothing to brag about) but because I learned that fears are irrational. Fear is an option you can choose to accept or reject. That realization was so empowering and it made me want to go after all the other things on my heart's desire list — both personal and in business.

staircase photoshooot

Going after what you want takes courage. Pursuing your dreams takes bravery.

And while that sounds great, putting yourself out there is SCARY. You can get rejected, criticized or judged. When you chase after your dreams, you're essentially wearing your heart on your sleeve and that is a pretty vulnerable place to be. Unfortunately, most people stop at the first sting of fear but we don't see that greatness may be waiting on the other side. 

The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice.
— Will Smith, After Earth

The first step to getting closer to your dreams is to acknowledge the fear and trek forward anyway. You'll never achieve the things you want until you put yourself out there and in the process, you'll realize that YOU CAN DO THIS.

As I'm intentionally pursuing my heart's desires and facing my fears, I've found that setting deadlines have been extremely helpful. When there is an end goal, it's so much easier to train for it and track your progressions along the way. Another thing that has been helpful is telling my friends about them. You don't have to share it with the world but telling a handful of trusted friends can keep you accountable to your staying on track. The pursuit is much more enjoyable when you invite those you love to share into the things that are near and dear to your heart. 

staircase pic

Okay friends, thanks for reading my self-reflection rant! I hope this post has encouraged you to pursue after the things you want. Keep on keeping on — you got this!