When I’m Scared, I Tell Myself…

Moments of bravery:  we all have them.  Do you, like me, use your personal moments of bravery in times of struggle? 

In a previous post, I mentioned how much I challenged myself in 2015 and the confidence those moments of challenge gave me when faced with mundane, everyday moments of doubt.  Y’know – job interviews, auditions, parties, meeting your SigOth’s family for the first time?  When I falter and start to fear, I try to pump myself up by reminding myself of these 6 badass things I have done on my own:

I moved to New York!  sometimes with help, sometimes all alone.  I survived apartment hunting in New York – TWICE.  Times I’ve been lucky, times I’ve been broke, but even I must admit that I and I alone made the childhood dream come true.  And like they say, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere…!”

I did trapeze!  it was supposed to be a joke, when my ex-roommate asked me for advice on how to celebrate her milestone birthday.  Then suddenly, it was leggings on, 20 feet off the ground, hands chalked up, go time.  Does it look easy?  I was going to say “it’s not as easy as it looks,” but that’s an understatement.  It was fun, and cathartic, and I would do it again absolutely!

I tattooed my chest!  let’s forget even the pain for just a second – this is a bold movePermanent, even!  I don’t regret this for a second.  Sitting through the pain was brave.  Making a permanent commitment to reclaiming my body for my pleasure was braver.

I wore a snake!  sure, I’d seen Snake Guy around the Village when I worked down there, but on this evening I had the leisure to ask if I could pet her.  “You can hold her!” he said, and without hesitation, draped all 80 pounds of Honey Boo Boo (her real name, I swear) over me.  She was surprisingly warm!  Soft, relaxed, and smelled like a puppy.  She only tensed up when Snake Guy tried to take her away from me (she liked me!  I’m a Snake Charmer!) because she was getting too heavy after a while. 

I taught sixth grade!  for 55 hours a week that I was physically in the building, and countless un-billed hours that I spent wracking my brain to do my job better.  I think it’s safe to say this job consumed me – and not in a healthy way, either.  I wanted to see if I could be a teacher.  I tried, I gave it my all, by all accounts I succeeded, but had the strength of character to know it was not right for me, and walked away.  I’m still proud of how hard I tried, and how much I gave to the job, pushing myself harder than I ever thought I could be pushed, not quitting even as it started to cave in on me, seeing it through to the end.

I saved the camp!  ah, Burning Man was a huge deal for me.  I’d never gone camping before in my life, much less for 8 days in a dangerous environment surrounded by strangers!  Oh man!  One of my favourite memories is the unlikely story of how I and two other camp-mates found ourselves racing against Mother Nature in the middle of the night to save our 20-foot tent from collapsing: full story here.  When I’m feeling nervous or jittery about something silly, I remember the woman who stood on a stool in a windstorm, clinging to conduit poles, laughing and nearly peeing her pants with fear, completely alive in the moment.

So what I really wanna know is, what do you tell yourself when you’re scared?  Do you do what I do, remind yourself of the times you were brave?  Do you have an entirely different coping mechanism?  PLEASE share and tell me all your moments of bravery in the comments!!!


12 responses to “When I’m Scared, I Tell Myself…”

  1. Great achievements here 🙂 I would absolutely love to go to burning man it looks so fun and definitely one of those life challenges you can tick off your list! x

    1. You should absolutely go!!! It's not nearly as "hard" a it looks but even when it is, it's totally worth it! Hell, if I can do it, anyone can do it!

  2. I do exactly this, but with the marathon. There truly is no better assurance of "I can" than "I did."

    1. OMG yes "There is no better assurance of 'I can' than 'I did'" x 1,000,000,000. That's just it.

  3. These are awesome. I love the idea of telling yourself all the brave and badass things you've done when you're scared. I tend to just shut down and start breathing rapidly, so…your way is def better. 🙂

    1. Thank you! Sorry to hear about the breathing – there's a GIF of a bunch of shapes that you breathe in and out to that helped me get over the panic attacks I had while preparing to leave for Burning Man: http://imgur.com/gallery/Huou7Gh

  4. Wow seriously your awesome! LOVE your tattoo, omg you wore a snake!!!, love the trapeze, and 6th grade is tough!!!

    1. Thank you! I really enjoyed the snake, actually – very calming, strangely enough!!

  5. I get panic attacks. I tell myself "You only have to think of right now." It helps me focus on the present moment. If I start looking forward to what I need to do or back on past accomplishments I can think of how I can screw up or could have screwed up.
    Yay, anxiety.

    1. That's really awesome! I do that too, actually! When I go to my weekly dance hangout in the dark, I get anxious and worry that everyone is watching me (in the dark! Pitch dark!) and I tell myself all I have to do is dance, and it's easier! That's another moment of bravery, I suppose – learning how to dance slowly again in the dark.

  6. I love this post! I made a similar list for myself awhile back, it does make you feel better to remember these moments 🙂 I love your tattoo, I have a big surgical scar on my chest that I keep thinking about tattooing over. The snake is huge, I will take your word on the puppy smell!

  7. I love this post! I made a similar list for myself awhile back, it does make you feel better to remember these moments 🙂 I love your tattoo, I have a big surgical scar on my chest that I keep thinking about tattooing over. The snake is huge, I will take your word on the puppy smell!

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