Something no one ever told me about unexpected loss is that, in addition to the deep feelings of sadness, you will develop fear in your life where it never existed before. As a result you will start to pull back from life, take fewer chances, quit trying new things, be cautious, in short – you will begin to live in a self-imposed bubble of fear.
I had always been somewhat of an impulsive risk taker. Luckily in my younger years I never did anything so crazy that is caused me permanent damage. One of my passions is mountain biking, and I’m known for my fearless downhill, over rocks, stumps, twists and turns. So you would think learning how to Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) would be a no brainer. Like what’s going to happen – I’m going to fall into the water and get wet?!
Two years ago when I first got on a SUP was when I became keenly aware of how fearful I’ve become since Brandon died. When a group of my girlfriends and I all tried it for the first time and I was the clearly the one struggling the most I realized, it was with this new SUP I was fearful – This new fearful living was taking over my life. I started to notice it in social situations (what if someone asked me how many kids I have) and I laid awake at night worrying about stuff that would never happen.
In my mind this was not a board made to be stable in the water. It was not a pristine mountain lake that was only about 10 feet deep. No, I was balancing on top of all my “what if” fears. What if I fell in, what if I drowned, what if if I hit my head on the board, what if I break a bone, what if the paddle hits me on the head when I fall and knocks me unconscious,… what if… My heart raced and I got a knot in my stomach.
Because when life gives you the unthinkable you realize that none of the laws of life you once believed apply anymore and anything could happen at anytime and never again will I be unprepared and caught off guard.
Well, it doesn’t work quite like that my friends. All this catastrophic thinking does nothing more than suck the joy out of life. It doesn’t keep me (or my kids) safer. It doesn’t keep bad things from happening. It isn’t a ‘cure’ to disease. No, living in fear takes away from the time you have live the shit out of life.
Ok, I’m not quite there yet – I am still more cautious than I was before Brandon died. I am slowly coming back. I want to encourage you to do the same! Come with me – let’s quit being afraid the sky is falling and live like our days are numbers – because they are.
I would rather live the shit out of life for 100 days, than live in unreasonable fear for 10000. (click to tweet it loud & proud sistah)
Last summer my husband I spend lots of time checking out SUP’s and taking them out on lakes and rivers. Yes, we ended up buying one – YAY! I went from total fear in the picture above to the picture you see below. Naturally, having a cute little hat makes everything seem easier.
Now it’s your turn! I want you to take action and quit living in fear. I am giving you a list of ways you can get your brave on and start to step out of the fear you grief has created. Pick at least one thing on the list below that will nudge you towards action.
- Make a comment below if you have felt a shift in your fear factor since your loss
- Pick something small that you find a little scary and do it
- Tell a friend you are committed to living more & fearing less- saying it outloud to someone creates power & accountability behind your thoughts
- Share this on FB and shout to the world you’re ready to bust out of your fear bubble
- Make a list of everything you fear – from the small to the big! Talking to a stranger to being abducted by aliens
- Notice in your day to day when fear makes you pull back from life.
- Identify your fear – is it related to your loss, are you afraid of being laughed at, or not looking like you’ve ‘got it together’
- In your mind or on paper take your fear all the way through to the end. If this, then, and then…. until you can see the validity. Usually you will find it’s unrealistic 🙂
- Click to tweet the post above! Live the shit out of 100 days
- Tell me your success! Comment below and I will celebrate your bravery with you!
The big take away – Any action, no matter how small will begin to shift your fear. Whether you start with just stating you want to change or you go book your first jump out of a plane – TAKE ACTION now. Seriously, now… why are you still reading? TAKE ACTION – NOW! GO!
Love your brave, can’t wait to hear about it.
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