Saturday, February 12, 2011

Project Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You

Do one thing every day that scares you. -Eleanor Roosevelt

Truth be told, I'm afraid of most things. There's your standard fears: flying, heights, spiders, death. You know, the usual. Then there are my own personal fears....falling while cycling, falling while skiing, falling while climbing, just generally falling, making mistakes,  calling people, social situations, people judging me, speaking a language that isn't my own, not doing anything meaningful with my life, not being intelligent enough, good enough to do anything worthwhile. I battle with it constantly. Some days I'm more victorious than others. Small victories really. Other days I feel like staying in bed safely under my covers. Other people live safe lives. Why can't I? Because I'm afraid not to take risks...afraid that if I don't face up to my fears I will "face my death with the realization that I have not lived." (Thoreau)

So. I've decided to do one thing every day that scares me. Nothing new, I know. But I'm going to blog about it. See what happens. Document the process. Maybe it will be depressing, maybe it will be enlightening. One thing is for sure though and that's that it will definitely be entertaining.

Let's get this show started.

Today I have to write an e-mail in French to sign up for a hike that is taking place tomorrow. See, British guy has gone skiing with his friends on a trip that is way beyond my skiing level. To prevent me from sitting on the couch all weekend eating cheese and watching reruns of Friends, he got in contact with a friend of his who is part of a mountaineering club. The mountaineering club is going on a hike tomorrow and British guy asked if I could tag along. Now all I have to do is write and say that I do want to go and arrange a time to be picked up. That's the situation, and this is what it makes me want to do:

Please note: I did not do this to the cat (Oddball is his name). He wedged himself in-between the two pillows. Probably because he had to write something in French and would really have preferred to sit on the couch watching reruns of Friends. 

Here are the things I'm afraid of:
1. Potentially awkward social situation. I don't know any of these people.
2. Writing an e-mail in French. My command of the French language is shaky at best. Sure, I've improved a lot over the last few months, but I still feel like a complete idiot whenever I try to write/say anything. I could write in English, but that's sort of copping out isn't it?
3. Tomorrow I will have to speak French. All day. With people I don't know. It will be full of extreme awkwardness.

Cop-out option:
Don't write the e-mail and stay home instead.

Why I don't like that option: It's lame. I want to go hiking.

Ok. On-y-va.

I just sent an e-mail in the most rudimentary French EVER saying that I would like to go tomorrow.

I'll let you know how it goes. Funny how empowering doing such a small thing can be. I know most people don't think twice about these sorts of thing, but when you're afraid....something inconsequential often seems impossible.

Here's the recap:

  • Time it took to getting around to sending e-mail: 2 days
  • Time it took to actually write one-line e-mail: 5 minutes
  • Time it took to work up the courage to send one-line e-mail: 15 minutes


The SoleSisters said...

We saw your blog from Ayngelina and instantly fell in love with the concept of your site. It mustn have took great courage to admitting the things that you're scared of but even more courage to do something about those fears.

Here's to not copping out and to quote Thoreau "sucking out all the marrow of life".

Nikki said...

I'm so glad you stopped by! Thanks for your awesome comment and I love that Thoreau quote as well. I'll drink to that! Cheers!

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