#steppingonthecracks challenge 4: Year of fear

For my second “intense” 30-day challenge I’ve decided to jump on board with Kendra Wright and do a 30-day “Facing Fear” challenge.

Kendra is a pretty cool lady who has done some amazing things, and overcome pretty big obstacles to get to where she is now. A few years ago she figured out that fear was the thing that was stopping her reaching her full potential, so she decided to stop running away from things that scared her and instead to “punch fear in the face”. She created the Year of Fear project, where she decided to do something new, something different to what she normally did or something outside her comfort zone every single day for an entire year.

You can read about her project here:  (If you don’t want to read it, she has posted a TLDR at the bottom: Your comfort zone is the place your dreams and aspirations go to die. If you want to live a BIG, interesting, and successful life know that fear will always be in the passenger seat. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.)

I’m pretty relaxed and comfortable in my comfort zone, but I’m also sure there’s more to life than being comfortable all the time. And some of my best memories have been of things where I wasn’t altogether comfortable. I know that fear is my excuse for not doing a lot of things that I say I’d like to do, so it’s time to shake that up a bit and see what I can do.

So challenge number 4 is 30 days of doing something different every day, something that scares me or makes me feel uncomfortable in some way. I think the idea is that if you start to feel a bit more comfortable with being uncomfortable, even if it’s just in small ways, then when it comes to uncomfortable and scary things that really matter, you might feel a little less scared about doing them, and actually go ahead and do them.

I’m going to start small. Really small, because some of the big things I want to do just aren’t even close to my radar right now. I hope that pushing my boundaries just a little bit to start with will help me realise that some things aren’t as scary as they seem, and encourage me to push further.

I’ve come up with a list of about 45 things that I either want to do and have been putting off because I’m scared or nervous about doing them, or are quirky little things to do that I normally wouldn’t because I feel uncomfortable about them. Some of them aren’t going to make the cut this month, but I guess most of them will have to! And I’ll be looking for new ideas along the way too.

I’ve developed a fear-ometer, where I’ll rank the thing on a scale of 1-10 as to how scared I am before I do them. 1 means I’m vaguely uncomfortable, maybe something like wearing crazy earrings to work. 10 means shitscared, like walking a tightrope blindfolded between two 30-storey buildings above shark-invested waters in a thunderstorm. While being swooped by bats. And eating live crickets. In high heels.

I’m thinking that 6 and above will be the things where other people will be involved (like making requests that are above and beyond what I normally would ask for, approaching people I don’t know), or something that involves physical risk. 5 and below are more likely to be things that I can do without necessarily involving other people, but which I might be a bit concerned about other people’s reactions.

Then I’ll have some sort of reaction-ometer where I’ll rate how I felt after doing the activity – and how likely I’d be to do it again.

30 days seems like a good period to experiment with for this challenge. In a way this is an extension of the growth mindset challenge, because I’m opening myself up to new experiences and doing things I haven’t done before. I think it’s a good fit for my year of stepping on the cracks. I might even open up some new ones!

I won’t post about every single thing I do, but I suppose part of getting uncomfortable is also putting stuff out there that makes me slightly uncomfortable to share, or worried about what other people think. One of the things I’m trying to do is give less of a fuck about what other people think. I think Elizabeth Gilbert put it a bit like this in Big Magic: What other people think of you is none of your business.

You don’t like my outfit? Why would I care what you think of it? I like it, I’m happy. What you think of it is no concern of mine. In fact why would you even think about it? I’m not thinking about your outfit – you want to go out in your PJs? That has zero effect on me, so knock yourself out. I’ve got my own stuff to think about, why would I think about what you’re wearing?

(This might be a precursor to my Day 1 activity.)

So that’s it. #Yearoffear here we come!

Here’s a picture of Zoe not caring what anyone thinks of her at work.

201606 Zoe

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