This picture sums up my life recently: Balancing conquering my fears and fun.
It has been an AMAZING two weeks in Bali! About a month ago, I was a little anxious about coming to Bali because I had never been, didn’t speak the language, nor was familiar with the culture. Everyone kept telling me how amazing it was, but I was still a little scared. France was comfortable and familiar, Bali was not. In hindsight, France was a great place to start because of its familiarity. The first three months of this new life were all about building my Coaching business and embodying my masculine energy. Lots of “firsts” that would’ve been more challenging had I been in an unfamiliar setting. Also, no offence to France, but Bali’s beauty is wayyyy more tempting. So, I’m glad that the “work hard” phase was in France. In Bali, I’m living my “play hard” era!
Just kidding. Introverts don’t play hard. But I am really enjoying the activities that push me out of my comfort zone. I’m conquering my fear of heights, surfing, and scooter driving in a busy city.
I didn’t realize how scared I was of heights until I started doing things involving heights. When you avoid something, you don’t realize how deep the fear goes. I’m not the least bit interested in skydiving or bungee jumping, but I am interested in taking a few steps out of my comfort zone. So, this is me coming down a steep cliff with nothing but a rope. No railing. Nothing to stop me from plummeting to my death. I was scared, but not so scared that I was frozen with fear. And to me, that sweet spot is how you start conquering your fear.
I’ve always loved the ocean and have feared it at the same time. The fear of getting attacked by a shark has always been a fear. I also know that the chances of getting attacked while surfing are higher than just wading in the shallows. That’s why I’ve never tried surfing. Until a few days ago.
As I stood in front of the ocean, goodbye fear of sharks and HELLO FEAR OF GIANT WAVES. The waves were bigger than any I’d ever seen, much less been in! In Spanish, when the ocean is turbulent like that, we say that she’s “angry,” and she was basically a woman scorned. My surf guide said we had to wait about 30 minutes for the tide to go out, which gave me hope that the waves would shrink. Spoiler: they didn’t. So now I had 30 minutes for my anxiety to build. Luckily, it didn’t get out of control. I didn’t get past “nervous.” I paid attention to my instructor on being safe and called upon my inner Moana when I walked into the ocean with my surfboard. I said, “Ocean, I love and respect you. I know you’ll keep me safe.” Now, let’s surf.
The waves were still intimidating but manageable. As were my fears. Because I was still nervous, but you know what? I still had a great time, nerves and all! My upper body is sore from the physical demands of surfing (who knew?!), and I’m sure my left hip will bruise, but I am so damn proud of myself for pushing past another fear. And I’m so grateful for the ocean. She really pushed me. When I was tired and wanted to quit, I felt her saying, “Pick your wedgie, fix your boobs and get on the board, Sara. You can do this.” She was right. And every time I got back on the surfboard, I had less fear because I felt her admiration for my courage.
It mirrored my own admiration.
It’s important to mention that for EVERY comfort-zone-pushing experience, I paid for guides/instructors to guide me because I knew I couldn’t do it alone. I would let my fear talk me out of doing it. Hello! That’s what it’s been doing for most of my life! I need help in pushing past my fears, I need guidance from someone who knows the terrain of the fear I’m conquering, and I’m not afraid to admit it! It’s funny the things we fear and the things we don’t, eh?
I’m doing all this for me first and foremost because I’m tired of giving in to my fears. I’m tired of saying, “I could never do that!” and not only because I believe it’s too scary but because I don’t believe I’m capable or brave enough. I’ve been on this journey of living more authentically since 2018 and STILL fall off the surfboard many times. But since practicing self-love, I don’t care if I fall off. What I care about is getting back on the board.
Plan to fall AND plan to get back up.
If you’re scared, I totally get it. I still can’t believe I didn’t back out of that surf lesson after seeing those waves. Lean into the support. Work with someone, trust in yourself & your abilities, and surrender to what is. Trust in the Universe, too. She is like the ocean, always encouraging you to pick your wedgie, fix your boobs and get back up. The Universe will guide and support you just like the waves guided and supported my surfboard. But she can’t if you’re too scared to get in the ocean.
Get in the friggin’ ocean.