Hi, my name is Beth, and I’m afraid…of nearly everything.
Not just the kind of things most people fear, like heights, public speaking, or snakes. No, I’m afraid of much less dangerous events and items: talking to a stranger, lighting a match, frogs.
Some of my fears aren’t even actual fear, but just discomfort. I’m a picky eater, because the texture or strong flavors of certain foods are just unpleasant to me. I don’t read heart-wrenching books or watch depressing movies because I tend to absorb those emotions and then have to struggle through them. I find it awkward to talk on the phone, so I avoid calling people.
Somewhere along the way, I decided to make my life as easy as possible by avoiding anything that wasn’t entirely comfortable to me. Although hiding has meant that I can protect myself from hurt, it also means that I’ve insulated myself from feeling all there is to feel in life.
I’ve limited myself in a lot of ways, and I haven’t accomplished nearly as much as I would like by this point in my life. But I’m tired of sitting on the sidelines in relative comfort and watching other people have enthralling experiences and stories. I’m ready to start facing my fears and discovering those I can discard, those I can embrace, and those that are okay to continue to avoid.
I’ve led a fairly privileged first-world life, so I want to acknowledge the people who deal with much greater and more immediate fears and crises on a daily basis. I’m fortunate to be able to challenge myself in these small ways because I don’t have to concentrate on life-or-death challenges.
In 2012, I will tackle one fear every week, big or small, in 52 FearKick Challenges. Despite the fact these won’t entail BASE jumping one week and swimming with sharks the next, it’s going to be exciting and and interesting to dig into.
I hope along the way to begin to discover more about myself as a person–what I want out of life, what I’m really about, what my avocations are. I’m going to stop hiding.
What scares you the most?