Tuesday, May 14, 2013

On being a scaredy cat

Scaredy Squirrel
In my day, I've put myself in all kinds of uncomfortable, terrifying positions. I've been on airplanes alone. I've moved across the country alone (three times!). I've applied for school. I've gone to school. I've graduated from school. I've applied for jobs, interviewed for jobs, turned down jobs, accepted jobs, negotiated wages and I've said, "Forget it. I'm worth more than that." I've left boys behind. I've taken a boy with me (hi Ian!). I've jumped out of a tram car. I've ice climbed. And I've killed spiders. But even with all of those accomplishments under my belt, I still suffer from the occasional—twice daily—bout of fear. I am seriously scared of damn near everything. Half the time I'm scared to pick up the phone for an interview—and that's MY JOB! I'm scared to ask the tough questions. I'm scared of rejection. I'm scared to get on the back of a motorcycle or to trust myself enough to drive one. I'm scared of saying the wrong thing or publishing the wrong thing. I'm scared of burning bridges. I'm scared of trying new things. I'm scared of putting myself out there and I'm scared of accepting praise or recognition.

It's an interesting life, constantly living in fear and analyzing every little thing. Some days my fear holds me back while, other days, my fear of failure is enough to push me through everything else.

I assume I'm not the only person out there living in fear, either founded or unfounded. And I'm sure I'm not the only person who's constantly overcoming that fear. That's a part of life, I guess—getting scared and making decisions based on that fear. I just hope I never miss out on one of life's adventures because I was too scared to embrace it. I mean, what would my life have been if I hadn't hopped on a plane to London, Ontario to attend university? Or to Fredericton, New Brunswick for my first job, or to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories for my second job? Where would I be if I hadn't met Ian or if I hadn't moved to Jasper? I can honestly say I'm glad that I didn't have to find out.

What are you scared of?


  1. I sound exactly like this all day every day I feel like.. I'm also in constant fear but most of the time I let it sit by the wayside.
    The biggest fear right now is for sure failure. I don't have a career path I once had and that scares the bejeebus out of me.
    It's a struggle to push ahead but I've been trying different things out when it comes to just little fears. I also don't want to think about how my life would be if I hadn't done x, y, and z because that's why I'm here now. :)

  2. That's lovely dear. Really lovely. I am glad you have conquered some of your fears, but that you are also cool to admit that you are still afraid (on a daily basis apparently, but that's neither here nor there!)

    I am trying to do one brave thing this week, which feels more like the dumbest dumb-ass thing I have ever done in my whole life. I guess we'll see....

  3. I definitely admire you for being so brave! I find myself labeling my attitude as 'shy' but in reality it's a type of fear! I have a real hard time making phone calls, I almost always email or text. I also fear change, so I will happily stay at the same job much longer then I probably should. Haha. It's a problem. But life forces you to do things you don't wanna do and often times we're better for it. I sure do believe that.

  4. I admire you for being able to overcome so many of your fears on a day to day basis, I know how hard that can be. I've always had a weird thing about talking on the phone with people I don't know, and with work I usually just email. So when that rare day comes up that the client wants to talk on the phone I freak out and just get super nervous. The phone call almost always goes well but that nervous feeling never fades no matter how many times I am on the phone.

    I'm also happy that you moved so I can enjoy all your lovely photos :)

  5. Good on you for being honest. I'm scared of death, scared of confrontation, scared of being judged, scared of being rejected, scared of losing my mind, scared of wasps (particularly yellowjackets!)...

    I was expecting the act of writing out that list to feel relieving, but it just makes me panicky. Meh.

  6. I am so right there with you. 75% of my job is to conduct training sessions and I am TERRIFIED of talking in front of people. I am supposed to roll out a brand new on Friday and am totally freaking out. The silly thing is though, is that I know I'll be totally fine once I get going with it.

  7. I totally hate talking on the phone -- it's my least favourite part of my job, I think. I get so much anxiety talking to strangers yet I put myself into a career where that's all I do! :) I would recommend hopping on a bike, though -- I was terrified the first time I tried to drive one but it's a lot of fun.

  8. I know exactly what you mean. I've had this job for four and a half years and I still panic before a training session. It's hard being so terrified of failure!