They say you should do at least one thing that scares you every day, something about character building or something…But 1. actually making yourself do something that scares you and 2. being given those opportunities to go outside your comfort zone in your day-to-day life – are seemingly quite hard to achieve.
We are creatures of habit, with habit comes routine, with routine comes little chance to do something different. Or is there?
In a previous post of mine I wrote about the power of positive thinking and in that I explained how I was going to record my own voice with positive affirmations to help build my mental confidence and level of positivity. Well I did, and within it there are a few about me being a spontaneous person, having a powerful voice and a strong heart. The strong heart one always makes me instantly feel more ‘solid’ and like I can cope with anything. But the reason that I’m bringing this up is because I do believe they are helping me to actually become a more spontaneous person and (man, this is going to sound cheesy) say ‘YES’ to life! Sorry, had to be done.
Case in point:
One morning last week (I wrote this and scheduled it a little while ago in case you’re confused by the dates in the image below) I was going about my normal routine before work. This involves partially listening to the radio when I go into the kitchen to make my breakfast and lunch. On this particular morning, Radio 5 live (a UK national radio station) was chatting away in the background when they had a woman come on talking about skin cancer and the dangers of sunbathing.
I’m pale, always have been. Never really tan, more burn then turn white again. But then I’ve always said that I don’t want to tan too much anyway as I don’t want to look like a leathery old bag in years to come. This holiday, however, something took over and I was determined to get a tan – the sun was glorious and I wanted to prove that I’d been away on holiday, and for people back home to say ‘ooh, don’t you look tanned’ upon my return. So I stayed out for (very) long periods in the sun, tried but wasn’t too good with putting on suncream and not a good enough factor anyway. The result? I got myself burnt a couple of times (nothing major but enough) and I came home to still no one saying that it looked like I had a tan. I did have a tan but because I was so pale in the first place, no one else noticed the colour change.
So when I heard the lady talking on the radio about how she would want to go as dark as she could on holiday and not cover up in the sun even back home in England and not think about the consequences or the damage the sun was doing to her – she ended up with skin cancer (she actually found out whilst she was sunning herself on holiday!). And it’s not as passive a form of cancer as we probably all think it to be. Her form was a ‘melanoma’, which I understand to mean it can branch off and spread into the lymphatic system, which once it hits that it’s difficult to catch it all. However, the lady’s was caught in time and they think they have it all but now she spends her time talking about the dangers of not covering up in the sun and how a tan is just not worth it.
I heard all this as I was going about my salad making and realised what a fool I’d been on my own holiday. I knew the risks but let vanity take over – and for what cost? So I tweeted at the show. The next thing I knew, I had a tweet back asking if I’d like to speak on the air about my experience.
…Instantly there were butterflies in my stomach, the thoughts of ‘you don’t have anything interesting to say; no-one cares what you say; they’ll soon realise you have nothing interesting to say;’ and the overwhelming urge to say no, but I didn’t let myself. I replied with a ‘yes’ and and an internal ‘fuck you’ to the negative voices, and the rest, as they say, is history.
It was exciting, nerve-wracking and empowering all at the same time. Turns out they did care what I had to say.
And because of me giving myself the reassurance that I am a spontaneous person and can do anything I set my mind to, I can now say that the largest audience I have spoken to is around 5.2 million people. How many people can boast that?
So there we go, even going about your daily routine there can be opportunities found to change it all up and do something exciting! When these moments come up and literally jump right in your lap, don’t let them slip by unnoticed, you probably won’t get a second chance.
I’d love to hear about any opportunities where you’ve stopped yourself from saying no, what happened? Or perhaps you have a time when you let the ‘no’ win, what was it and do you regret it?
I have a quick ‘no’ story to get the ball rolling. My own 18th birthday. I didn’t turn up to my own party as I was scared. Scared of what, I have no idea, all I know is I’ve regretted it ever since.
Don’t let the ‘no’ win! Do something today that scares you and show yourself ‘I CAN DO IT!’