Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them. — Henry David Thoreau.
Have you often felt there’s a story within you? It may be an actual story you wish to write, a business you would like to start, or some leap you would like to take. Why have you not heeded that call yet?
We all have things we would like to do but hold back. I have always wanted to write a novel, but I haven’t. Not that I can’t write, I’m not great at it, but I can muddle through. But, rather, I’m afraid to put myself out there. To expose a side of myself that might have no response from others. What if I try and no one wants it? Or worse, they criticize it? In truth, I’m afraid to try.
Fear is why we all stop ourselves from pursuing a call within us. We are afraid of humiliation, of failing, or of being inadequate. We may also be afraid to lose our job, our friends, or our income. Whatever your reason for not going after that call, it is rooted in fear.
Your adulthood has been a progressive retreat from curiosity and wonder, an endless series of delays and procrastinations. You wanted to be so much, once, but life kept on getting in the way… You settled. Shunned creativity, flight, risk, never had the courage to give a dream, any dream, a go. ― Nikki Gemmell, The Bride Stripped Bare
What if fear didn’t exist? What would happen if you tried that thing and succeeded? What would life look like? For me, I could write that novel, and it could be a huge hit. It could be a New York Times’ Bestseller, and they could want to make a movie out it. I could get a contract with a big publisher for five more books. I could make enough money to travel the world and write every day. No desk jobs ever again.
If this is what’s possible, why not try? Even if I only get a fraction of this, why not try? I’ll tell you why. I’m still afraid.
I’m tired of being afraid, of not even trying. Are you?
Rather than wallow in unfulfilled dreams, how can we overcome fear? It’s simple; we must face it.
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. – Eleanor Roosevelt
I propose a challenge. You are free to not take part, of course. You can go on with life as always, and nothing would change. Oh, you might think of fear a bit more, maybe give a second thought to your dream. But in the end, nothing would really change.
But, what if you took the challenge? What’s the worse that could happen? You may gain a little more courage and realize fear is not as big and hairy as it seems. So why not give it a try. Just for one week.
Here’s the challenge as adapted from 100 Days Without Fear. For seven days, each day you must do one of the following:
- Something you fear
- Something you’ve been putting off
- Something you’ve never done before
This can take many forms of course. You can choose the chicken route and pick easy things, but I dare you to be bold. Here are some ideas to help get you started:
- Try a cuisine you’ve never had before (the more exotic, the better)
- Hold an animal that scares the crap out of you
- Spend the day without your cell phone
- Get a tattoo or a piercing
- Give food to a homeless person downtown
- Try a new activity or sport you’ve always wanted to learn
- Get a Brazilian wax
- Dress entirely different from usual
- Ask for a 10% discount at Starbuck (as proposed by Noah Kagan)
- Take a helicopter ride
- Visit a new city
- Go to a network even by yourself and meet five new people
- Go to a play, the movies, or dinner by yourself
- Speak in front of a crowd
- Play a song on a street corner (thank you Steve Kamb)
- Donate blood
- Post an opposing viewpoint and face the argumentative feedback
- Ride a roller coaster
- Go to an Escape Room
- Send a letter to your family telling them what you love about them
- Take a trapeze class
- Take a Bellydancing, poll dancing, or aerial class
- Interview random people
- Teach a class
- Crash a wedding
- Dive with sharks
- Learn to fly
- Do a stand-up comedy open mic night
- Sing karaoke
- Bungee jump or cliff jump
- Post a video on Youtube
- Start a blog
- Learn rock climbing
- Ask a stranger to dinner
- Swim in the ocean
- Risk sharing your opinion with someone
There are more ways to accept this challenge. Be daring and push yourself. It’s only for seven days – you can do anything for seven days. Why not?
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? – Marianne Williamson
You may find out something new about yourself. Or discover hidden talents. You can expand beyond seven days of course. But let’s start with a week and go from there.
Are you ready to kick fear to the curb so you can start answering your call? I know I am. Let’s do this.
If starting a business is your call, you can begin today. Whether you need to start with a business idea or already have an idea and need to begin building, Taykoff.com has your back. Don’t wait, make it your first task in the challenge.