A few days ago I went swimming at Tamarama beach where the strong currents are unforgiving on the best of days, and on this day it was rough and messy. To be honest I like calm seas and so to avoid the regular dump of waves we usually swim out past the breakers and frolic in deeper water.
On this day however the currents were strong and I spent ages navigating crashing waves and multi directional currents. Suddenly I realised that I was being dragged out to the side of the beach towards another bay but more worryingly, towards some jagged rocks looming in between.
Adrenalin kicked in as I tried to swim sideways out of the current, but no luck, I was being taken backwards faster than I could swim. My immediate fear was being smashed onto the rocks but my focus quickly shifted to the speed and power with which the next set of waves pounded upon me.
Dive through, gasp, dive through the next one, nope too late, the world spinning around me, water, sand, ok this way must be up, gasp, eyes open long enough to see the next wave breaking above me, duck, nope too late, spinning, spinning…
Needless to say I was able to get back shore (thanks to a passing knight!), shaken and tired but otherwise fine.
Once the adrenalin had dissipated and I could think again, it occurred to me how seldom I encounter genuinely dangerous situations and how lucky I am because of that.
I realised that the fear I feel in my day to day living is a luxury compared to millions of people around the world whose daily fears come from real dangers; being killed in civil warfare, starving to death, not being able to get medical care for sick family members, being homeless.
Suddenly in that light, my experience of fear seems really pathetic! Being scared of hearing “no”, being concerned with what people think of me or that my writing isn’t good enough, worrying that I may not reach my goal or that my website doesn’t look stylish enough… (plus a whole raft of other thrilling examples!).
The more I think about it, the more I realise that these fears and concerns are an unconscious self sabotage, like, if I clutter my head with enough noise and negative thought I will avoid the reality of actually being someone who really can achieve anything I want to… Anything!
So, armed with this new perspective, I vow to you, my lovely readers that when I find myself having fears that would normally stop me or slow me down, I will take bold action and act courageously, even if I don’t feel very courageous at that moment.
I can already see plenty of things that I have outstanding that just need a bit of courage and action, and I am confident the results will make it all worthwhile…