I’m 10,000 feet high in the sky, flying above the Costa Rican jungles, gripping my fiancé’s hand so hard, I’m positive it’s going to break. As the plane jolts after hitting a major patch of turbulence, I look out the window at the storm clouds and I think to myself, this is it – we are going down. Thoughts of plummeting to my death in a fiery crash flash through my mind. What’s worse, if the crash doesn’t kill me, I’m sure something in those jungles will.
I close my eyes and try to convince myself we are not going to die. That somehow I will survive this 45 minute death-defying plane ride, and it will all be worth it. My thoughts drift to Amelia Earhart. I think, if she can fly solo in the 20’s and 30’s, I can handle this flight.
Although Amelia Earhart disappeared during her attempt to circumnavigate the world, I find some comfort in the fact, that she died doing what drove her. She was on a mission and following one’s passion is always risky. The alternative of risk is that things will forever remain the same.
The plane is so small you can see everything the pilots are doing.
We all have to take various levels of risks in order to live the lives we want.
Yes, there is a chance I could die in a plane crash. But doesn’t the risk of it outweigh the alternative? If I never fly again, I’ll miss out on so many of the things I dream of accomplishing.
I can’t tell you that my anxiety completely disappeared before the plane landed. Being on the ground never felt so good.
My ‘thank goodness I’m on the ground again’ look.
I also can’t tell you that I won’t freak out on the plane rides in my near future.
What I can tell you is that the two 45 minute plane rides in the small crop duster type airplanes I had to take to get to the Osa Peninsula were without a doubt 100% worth it.
Not only have the last two weeks been incredibly transformative for me, I have also meet some incredible people, made lifelong friends, saved baby sea turtles, participated in a week-long yoga retreat, trekked through the jungle, swam in the ocean, and have had the fortune to do the work I love the most by helping Blue Osa with their marketing efforts.
So the next time you feel like the risk isn’t worth it, ask yourself about the alternative. What happens if you don’t take that risk?
I challenge you to look into the areas of your life, dig deep, and take a risk.
Start that business.
Book that trip.
Buy the one way plane ticket.
Go sky diving.
End that toxic relationship.
Go on a road trip.
Apply for a new job.
Ask for that raise.
Try the new thing you’ve always wanted to do.
Ask someone out.
Challenge yourself to do what you think you can’t.
Take a chance on love.
Go on a solo trip.
Make that move.
Whatever you do, just take a risk. It is in doing so that we can find the change, happiness, and fulfillment that we seek in our lives.
Remember that you don’t have to be fearless, you just have to have the courage to try.
Photo from denise.weerke via flickr.
For a long time after I graduated from collage I found myself always wanting more. After graduation, I found jobs I loved, climbed the career ladder in DC, and did work I was passionate about. But no matter what, I constantly found myself falling pray to my wanderlust dreams. I wanted to find a way to do the work I loved, see the world, and live wherever I wanted. I thought the answer was finding a job that took me overseas or had lots of travel involved. I went on countless interviews for jobs that fit the bill. I even interviewed with one place that would have brought me overseas. They put me through 11 interviews, told me I was their top choice in every single one, only to pass me by because someone on the board had a cousin who had a friend who had applied. It’s always about who you know, especially in Washington, DC. I love DC, loved the job I ended up getting, and felt fulfilled by the work I was doing. But no matter how happy I was, I always ended up cloaked in a a deep wanderlust depression that I just couldn’t shake.
When Eric ended up on a photography/videography job in 2011 that brought him to Australia for a bit while I stayed in DC to work, I knew it was time to figure out how to change our lives in a way that matched our dreams. Initially we thought we would just teach English in SE Asia, while Eric pursued more travel photography work, and I figured out what I wanted to do. Our ideas and dreams quickly grew and expanded into a full on lifestyle change of traveling, running our businesses, and teaching English. I used to think you had to wait to find the perfect opportunity, then I realized you can create your own perfect opportunity.
Whether you’ve thought about breaking out of that 9-5 to start your own business, or you just dream of living in a place that’s independent from your job, there are countless ways to create more freedom in your life.
Here’s 21 ideas to inspire you to live outside the box:
When Eric and I started making plans to move overseas, I realized the only things holding me back from living life to the fullest were my own fears. I spent a lot of 2012 addressing and working on my anxiety, my fear of change/the unknown, and my fear of heights. It was not easy, there were a lot of freakout moments and breakdowns. There were even a few paralyzing times, where I felt fear and anxiety in every square inch of my body. While I’m still learning how deal with and live with my anxiety (it might be a lifelong process) and my journey to busting my own fears is far from over, I discovered courage within myself. I learned how to re-frame the way I think about fear and found out that even when you are terrified of something to the point of feeling immobilized, it is far better just go for it anyway. My life is what is today because of this and I want the same thing for you.
What are your fears holding you back from? The first step in moving forward is naming your fears. Before you can change it, you have to name it.
Today in my Zero to Adventurista 29 Day Challenge Group we are talking about long-term life visions.
I absolutely love big picture thinking and long-term life visioning because without it, we don’t know what we are working towards.
Think about it? What are a bunch of small short-term goals without that BIG, huge life vision? They don’t add up to much.
But if you start with your biggest, grandest vision you can then work backwards to create small, short-term, and actionable goals that will eventually lead you to your amazing dream life.
So what’s your 5-10 year life-vision? Write down, claim it, and create it!
P.S. – I’m having so much fun with my Zero to Adventurista group and I already have plans for expanding and growing it. If you want in on the next one, sign up below!
[ois skin=”29 Day Challenge Waitlist”]
Do you want to make 2013 your best year yet?
Do you have a list of things you’ve been dreaming of doing for a while?
Do you want to squash those fears that have been holding you back and gain the courage to live life on your terms?
Are you less than satisfied with your current job?
Do you want more freedom?
Do you have the desire to do something BIG?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, my FREE Zero to Adventurista 29 Day Challenge was created just for you.
Yesterday I announced that I am dedicating my 29th year to doing 29 things that scare me, push me beyond my comfort zone, help me expand my view of life, and show me I can do the things I think I cannot. I’m on a quest to let go of some of the fear and anxiety I have been holding onto for most of my life, so that I can live life to the fullest.
But more than anything, I want to see more women embrace their inner Adventurista and discover the courage to follow their dreams to live life on their own terms + do the work they love.
So in honor of my 29th birthday, and the New Year, I’m offering a totally FREE 29 Day challenge to help you go from zero to Adventurista in 2013.
For most of my almost 29 years on this planet, I have played life fairly safe. With a few exceptions of spontaneous, crazy moments like deciding to move to DC, traveling to Guatemala on a whim, and leaving a full-time job to live in another country and start a business, I have taken the safe route. I am constantly catching myself getting caught up in my fears of the what-ifs. I’m terrified of anything that is beyond my control. I’m a worrier of everything and forever wondering “Will this work out?” or “What will happen if such and such happens.”
It’s something I’ve struggled with my whole life. I partly blame the fact that I grew up with a Mom who is a Public Health Official (Love you, Mom!). Everything is about prevention and possibilities of different outcomes.
My Mom taught me I could do anything I want in life. Now I just need to navigate through my fears!
When I was eight, I had a nightmare that all around me people were falling and cracking their heads wide open. I woke up terrified. I started thinking of all the different ways I could potentially crack my head open – the corner of the fireplace, the coffee table, falling in the slippery shower, crashing my bike, and so on. For a year I carried this intense fear around with me. It limited me. If I thought there was a possibility of me cracking my head open, I wouldn’t do it. While I moved on from my fear of head cracking, I became fearful of new things. And every time I became fearful of something out of my control, I stopped doing things or avoided situations in order to minimize the risk of harm.
After getting fed up with constant anxiety and worry, I dedicated the last year of my life to pushing myself to conquer some of my fears. I did a lot of soul-searching and realized that at the core of almost all my fears is a deep sense of fear of loss-of-control. If it’s risky, I want to run away.
The psychology behind fear is complex. While evolutionarily speaking, fears serve a purpose, succumbing to our own fears all the time seriously limits us and holds us back from reaching our full potential.
I’m tired of living a life full of unnecessary anxiety and constant worry of what will come, when most of what I worry about doesn’t come true anyway! The way I see it, I have two choices right now – become a doomsday prepper or embrace courage to live life the way I want.