20th March 2016, Prismacolor pencils on A3 cartridge paper
I was invited to a friend’s wedding and reception. I went to the wedding but didn’t go to the reception. I was afraid.
I was worried that I’d be sitting at a table with people I didn’t know. On another day I may have had the energy and strength to put on my social self, with a smile and boldness to start conversations and enjoy meeting people, but on this day I was doubting my identity and questioning my worth. I couldn’t handle awkwardness, and I had zero confidence or courage.
So when a friend said that she could take me home after the reception, I lied and told her I’d already arranged to be picked up after the wedding. I felt bad about it afterwards. I felt guilty for the lie and for not being there to support my friend. Most of all, I felt bad about how my fear and insecurity could hurt people.
It made me think I should really have a rule or person telling me: If it’s scary, do it. What have I missed because of my fears? How many people have I hurt because of my fears? I feel like I need a person to poke me anytime I think about running from scary. Someone who wouldn’t let me get away with it.
While I was in Melbourne over the Christmas holidays, I met up with a friend for lunch and we talked about our word and theme for the year in 2015. I had inkling that my word might be ‘Scary,’ and the motto might be: ‘Step into scary.’ Jeff Goins and his book Wrecked has a lot to do with this. Before reading it, I was ready to run from scary.
In 2014 I moved to Queensland where I had nothing to lose. I had a clean slate and if people thought I was weird, well, that was okay because no-one knew me and there were no expectations. So it was easy to step out, face challenges and try new things. It was a blast.
Now I had this fear of going back to Queensland because I had something to lose. Now I had a reputation and expectations to live up to, and I didn’t want to risk losing what I had. But I didn’t want this mindset. I wanted to keep facing challenges as if I had nothing to lose. I wanted to keep stepping into scary because Jeff reminded me that scary is where you grow.
On the way from Melbourne to Bowen, we pulled up at some traffic lights. Outside my window there was one of those signs with a black background and small round lights that made letters. The words showed up on the left and moved to the right.
I read the words as they appeared, “Do one thing every day that . . .”
I thought it was going to say something like, “. . . makes someone smile.”
Then I read: “. . . scares you.”
Great, I thought, thanks God. Getting the message loud and clear. It’s all about stepping into scary.