Challenging Fears – The Path Forward

Paddle Boarding

In August, I set out to challenge fears that I think are holding me back, instead of keeping me safe. The details of my challenge are here. In my previous posts, I challenged my fear of heights and weather on a trip to Bryce and Zion National Parks and I challenged my fear of germs by cooking some strategically chosen recipes.

As a result of these calculated challenges, I was focused on noticing my fears in the month of August. I began to recognize throughout the month that many of my smaller decisions were also based on minor fears. With this recognition, I began to make some changes.

Most notably, I tried to say “yes” to more adventures when I recognized that an unneeded fear was holding me back.

This month I tried stand-up paddle boarding for the first time. This is something I’ve wanted to try every summer for the last several years. But, I always found a reason not to book the lesson (jellyfish in the bay, too cold out, too many bugs etc). This year, there were no jellyfish (I’m okay with keeping that fear) and I was ready to try it out. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I am looking forward to my next opportunity to be out on the water.

I also tried yoga on beach. I love yoga, but I don’t love the idea of being stuck in a 1 hour class in the sand, with the possibility for bugs and wind and burning sun. I got over all of my excuses this year and I loved the 1 hour class. It was beautiful and peaceful at the beach in the early morning and a great way to start the day.

My bf and I were also invited out on a friend’s boat in August, and my first (and second and third) inclination was to decline. I love being near the ocean, but don’t love the idea of being in the middle of it. I finally decided to go along for the trip, and again had a great time.

I continued to try new recipes that forced me to deal with potential germs from raw food. I made this Chicken Pho recipe in August with amazing results!

My overall takeaway from this challenge? Assessing the drivers of my decisions and recognizing which are based on needless fears allowed me to try several new things in August. Overall, I’m planning to continue to say “yes” to more adventures going forward!

About the Photo


Photo credits – Pat King. I loved the experience of stand-up paddle boarding this summer. I’m hoping to get many more opportunities to try this out now that I have the basics down. I’m happy to say I was able to get through several small wakes without capsizing. My bf wasn’t quite as lucky; he ended up accidentally donating his sunglasses to the bay floor.

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