Everyone has fears. Not everyone lets their fears control their lives. My parents didn’t push me very hard to do the things I was afraid off. That being said, I was the first child (the guinea pig child). Since I moved out of my parents house, I have been meeting more daring people and people who didn’t let their fears stop them. I admired all these people, doing all these exciting things. Things, I would let my fears prevent me from doing.

I started joining friends on hikes and adventures that typically I would pass on. I started realizing how many simple things I was giving up by giving into my fears. As someone who has a long history with GAD, I had missed out on a lot. So I decided to harness the element of excitement, doing all these things I feared.

“We grow fearless by walking into our fears.”

Before I knew it, I was using ADVENTURE to harness my fears! Little by little I started challenging myself to try new things without a second thought. I didn’t pay attention to the doubts I had for myself in the back of my mind. I just dove right in!

“The fears we don’t face, become our limits.”

Kiefer was a huge help. He works at heights so when we first started dating, he was comfortable going up fire towers on hikes which challenged me at heights.

We drove across three Canadian Eastern provinces, camping out of our truck. When the opportunity rose to meet a cousin of mine who was a complete stranger to me, I took it. Driving around, free style travelling, pushed me in the sense that we didn’t have a set plan. I am a person who likes to have a firm plan and know what to expect. That trip pushed a lot of my boundaries. In New Brunswick when we visited Hopewell Rocks, Kiefer helped me climb to the top of a very unstable “rock”, which normally my fearful brain would have said no to. At Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia, he sat with me as we watched giant ocean waves come crashing against the rocks we sat on. It was foggy, and we couldn’t see the waves coming, my fear of the unknown was severely tested. In Prince Edward Island, Kiefer and I walked along the edge of red stone cliffs, challenging myself with heights.

“There is no illusion greater than fear.”

We drove across five Canadian Provinces to the West Coast, this time with a bit more of plan. We slept in the truck one night at a sketchy truck stop, which pushed my irrational brain to ignore all bad possibilities of what could happen.. in a Saskatchewan road side truck stop. In Thunder Bay Ontario, we stopped at the Terry Fox Memorial where there was a huge group of other travellers. I pushed myself to talk to those strangers and ended up meeting some very cool individuals, we swapped travel stories and enjoyed the night together. In Winnipeg Manitoba, I left my boyfriend and my dog standing outside while I walked through The Forks Market alone, pushing my independence. In Alberta, I hiked The Hoodoos Trail which was sandy, slippery, unsteady, and at a high elevation. This really pushed me to trust myself, control my emotions to keep balance and control my breathing to see clearly. When we arrived on Vancouver Island, Nanoose Bay was our final destination. Kiefer helped me slowly lower myself into the Pacific Ocean. I have an incredible fear of the unknown which stops me from swimming in waters where I cannot see to the bottom. I got in the ocean up to my shoulders and was full of adrenaline, so proud of myself.

“Fear tricks us into living a boring life.”

More recently, I was sea kayaking when a seal poked its head out of the water right beside me, testing my fear of the unknown. I hike to the edge of a cliff on a mountain, pushing myself to new heights. I went repelling down a cliff side to the Pacific Ocean, testing my heights and trusting myself. I hiked the Tex Lyon Trail through an active wolf pack territory, pushing my irrational brain and my fear of the unknown. I hiked along a mountain ridge near Bear Cove, pushing my fear of the unknown. I flew for the first time in my adult life.. ALONE. Which pushed me to talk to strangers and keep my head clear to navigate the terminals. This was something I was dreading and I actually met a lot of interesting people and gained a lot of independence. Kiefer and I went repelling into basically a sink hole in the ground, which lead to other caverns and had a river flowing through it. He challenged me to climb into one of the very unstable looking caverns, at first I said no, then realized this might be my only opportunity and I climbed right in. I tested my claustrophobia and fear of confined spaces. Kiefer and I also climbed a mountain and up a waterfall, repelling to the edge of a waterfall, pushing me to new heights with bigger risks!

“Being brave isn’t the absence of fear, its having that fear but finding a way through it.”

I can confidently say that I no longer let fear stop me from enjoying life. I do the things I want to do, I challenge myself and it is amazingly rewarding. I challenge you to do the same!

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