50 Favorite Words: #15 Daring (part 1)
Daring. It's a pretty wonderful word. What sounds better than adventurous courage? I think very little; however, if I am honest with myself - that isn't how I always live. For me, daring is striving to walk into fear so that is no longer defines me. For all of us, daring can mean doing things that make us anxious so that we and not our fear determine our own outer limits.
Avoidance. It is one of the best ways to minimize anxiety in the moment & one of the best ways to fan future anxiety so it gets bigger and bigger. We aren't protecting ourselves by avoiding - we are simply delaying. All of the energy we expend on avoidance and on anticipatory worry "what if, what if, what if" - that is all energy that will very much come in handy if the thing that we fear does come true. What if my relationship isn't sustainable? What if there is not future growth for me in my current job? What if....?
Walking right into the thing that scares us most really takes away its power. Most of the time, things end up better than we feared. Most of the time things are not really as bad as we thought they would be. Most of the time the way straight to the other side of something hard is right through it. If the thing we fear is true - then we must deal with it. The sooner we deal with it, the sooner we are on the other side and stronger for it.
AND if the thing we fear isn't true, imagine how the world just opened up! That other mom who never says hi; it isn't that she doesn't like you - she is just shy. You daring to break the ice can open up an awesome new friendship. That jerk at work who you thought would never change? Just responded with openness and a newfound respect for you when you dared to call his behavior out. That relationship that isn't meeting your needs? When you dared to leave, the world of possibility opened up to you, because you realize you don't need to be afraid to be on your own. That dream of yours that feels unattainable? Your daring in all of the above situations just gave you the requisite confidence to make each of them a reality.