Conquering our fears
"Courage is knowing what not to fear."
There are a bunch of acronyms for the word fear. False Evidence Appearing Real. Face Everything And Rise. Failure Expected And Received. Each one is designed to help us overcome our fears from a different perspective, whether it's taking inspired action or reframing our negative thinking. We have all been on both sides of fear, choosing to successfully power through it, or giving in to it and giving up on whatever it is we wanted on the other side of that particular fear.
I was afraid of roller coasters until my 8th grade trip on the last day of school. I never rode the roller coasters at Six Flags in the past, but I was always with my family. I gave into my fear of rollercoasters with them. Now I was at an amusement park with my friends and classmates. I did not want to be the kid who was afraid to ride the rollercoasters, so I made the decision that day to power through my fear. The American Eagle was the first roller coaster my group of friends wanted to ride. It was the tallest roller coaster in the park at the time, and they were running it backwards for the 10th anniversary of the ride! 😬
I didn't care. I was not backing down. I convinced myself that everyone who walked off the Eagle had a great time. Even as I watched people exit the ride, I paid attention to the smiles on everyone's faces. I was still nervous, but I was already in line, and I definitely was not going to be the kid who left the line because he was too scared to ride. There were kids half my age in line! So I rode the Eagle backwards, for my first roller coaster ride ever. It was amazing! I don't remember being scared during the ride. I rode every roller coaster in the park that day. I conquered my fear of roller coasters!
I realized my fear of roller coasters was preventing me from experiencing the thrills life has to offer. I often use the roller coaster ride of life as a metaphor. It can be fun or frightful, depending on our outlook. When we give in to fear too easily, we limit our ability to live a truly meaningful life experience. By conquering my fears I have learned to enjoy the roller coaster ride of life. When we encounter fear, we get to choose how to respond. We can choose to give in and give up, or we can Face Everything And Rise!