If you asked me why I haven't made the decision to travel sooner, I'd admit to you up front, I was scared, and frankly, I still am scared. For me, travel requires a lot of sacrifice. My fear is grounded in this idea that my sacrifices wouldn't be enough; that there would still be things I'd be irresponsibly leaving behind. This fear is still real, but I've found ways to eliminate my worry by taking action, one small task at a time.
"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy."
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No one likes to admit that they succumb to fear. We all like to think we're these brave beings, taking on our lives with all sorts of reckless abandon, and some of us do, sort of. We get excited when we try a new exotic food, or maybe, paid to see a band that we've never heard of. There are many people in this world who will tell you, "you're so adventurous" for merely tip-toeing outside of your comfort zone. You know the people I'm talking about. The ones who perpetually live in an internet quote. But when push comes to shove, there is a distinct line between those who talk about doing more, doing better... and those who actually do.
I wonder at times if I'm the weird one. That I'm willing to put in the time to find the resources I need, and to sacrifice so much in order to do the things I want to do. I wonder, do normal people not want these things? Do normal people not want to be free of standards and expectations and make their own choices and meet their goals? I say normal, because it denotes that I'm referring to a large population. But I don't think it's normal.
Our lives have insane amounts of potential, but many will never achieve their dreams whether it be travel or owning an ice cream shop or running a marathon, whatever. If only more of us would be willing to rise up to the occasion.
Fear should not be a barrier; fear should be a motivator. And at the end of the day, if you fail, life moves on and you try again. As the great Angelica Houston said in the highly underrated movie, Ever After, "Darling, nothing is final until you're dead. Even then, I'm sure God negotiates."
Yesterday at work, someone sent me a link to a commencement speech given by Charlie Day (Always Sunny in Philadelphia). I loved some of the things he had to say about failure and fear:
"People will tell you to do what makes you happy, but all this has been hard work. And I'm not always happy.
I don't think you should just do what makes you happy. Do what makes you great. Do what's uncomfortable and scary and hard but pays off in the long run. Be willing to fail. Let yourself fail. Fail in the way and place where you would be proud to fail. Fail and pick yourself up and fail again. Without that struggle, what is your success anyway?
As best we know we have one life. In it, you must trust your own voice, your own ideas, your honestly and vulnerability and through this you will find your way. You don't have to be fearless just don't let fear stop you."
All this being said, travel may not be your highest, most coveted goal... But if it is, do not let fear stop you from getting what you want.