I’m Too Old For This… Part 2

April 12, 2012 § 1 Comment

This past Christmas, one of my favorite Christmas cards was a picture of one of my college professors skydiving on her 80th birthday. I think many of us know people who have become more adventurous as they’ve gotten older. While you reach a point career-wise where it’s no longer about the paycheck, what happens in the personal sphere? When do you reach the point that you decide you’re too old to let your fears stand in the way? Here are some of the common fears that can hold you back from embracing your dreams.

Fear of Not Being Expert – Do you want to try something but because you don’t know how to do it, you are afraid of even trying it? Even the experts had to start somewhere. The Williams sisters had to pick up a tennis racket the first time. Can you picture their first time playing tennis? I find that thought oddly comforting as I try new things.

Fear of Not Being Prepared – I know that “being prepared” is the cornerstone of Girl Scouting, but the reality is, you can’t prepare for everything. If you wait to have everything lined up perfectly, you may never do it. I recently read a book in which J.K. Rowling told the author she didn’t have regular childcare organized until she was writing the 4th Harry Potter novel! I’m all for being ready, but don’t use it as a convenient excuse.

Fear of Looking Stupid – Nobody likes to fail, but honestly we learn more from failure than success. Unfortunately, this idea competes with our ideal of always looking in charge and like we know what we’re doing. Fear of other’s perceptions can seriously hold us back. I’m finally realizing that my mother’s words are true – people are paying more attention to themselves than to me. People who really love us won’t think we look stupid, they know we’re learning and will admire our bravery.

So, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing everyday that scares you.” What fear are you going to take on today? What fear have you overcome and what reward did you find?

Posted by: Heather Comstock

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