What Are You Scared Of?

What Are You Scared Of - Samantha Leith

WHAT ARE YOU SCARED OF?

This question can be unbelievably powerful if you stop to really think about it. It can be a truth teller, a motivator and a problem solver all at once if you answer it with candour.

This question is about the fear that holds you back in life because I don’t believe in fearless. Fear is a natural human emotion and one that is necessary. Fear is what stops people from fighting bears or jumping out of tall buildings. It’s can also be a positive motivator; fear of failure can drive people to work hard and fear of poor health can guide others to create positive lifestyle habits.

Fear can also get in our way though. Many of us have a passion and a fire to do something, but we allow fear to stop us. Unfortunately, it’s often the creative realm that suffers the most from fear. We’re scared to step outside of the status quo.

As adults we are told to focus on work, focus on ticking the adult boxes of house, marriage, children, career and to stay in our lane. We are rarely told to nurture our creativity or drive hard towards the things that make us happy, and so these are often the things that we are scared to explore.

I’m not just talking about creative writing, drawing, dancing and the like. Your creative passion might be in creating new business ideas, a new computer code or a new way of doing your work. Your passion may lie within the realms of your everyday life and there is some fear preventing you from exploring that creativity.

Maybe it’s fear of failure, fear of rejection or being scared of what the world thinks. Whatever it is, it’s important to know that you do yourself and the world a disservice by holding back.

Failure is necessary on the path to greatness, so embrace it as you explore your passion. As Rachel Hollis says, “failure is the price of admission”. You can’t expect to be perfect at something the first time you try, so see failure as a stepping stone. Similarly, try to welcome rejection, because it can make you better as you hone your craft.

If you’re exploring your passion then it doesn’t matter what the world thinks, because you’re filling your own cup and bringing yourself joy. Plus, the world is full of creative thinkers who bubble with differing opinions on greatness. If you put your work and ideas out into the world, chances are you’ll find some fans, some customers or some collaborators.

There’s too much to lose when you don’t start in the first place.

So, I ask you again.

What are you scared of?

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Life Is A Banquet

Life Is A Banquet - Samantha Leith

Have you ever been at a breakfast buffet at a hotel and everything looks really, really good?

If you’re like me then you’ll probably move around the room, taking little bits of everything and by the end of the meal, you feel pretty sick, because all those little bites added up to a huge breakfast.

Or maybe you’re at the opposite end of the spectrum, so overwhelmed with choice, that you stick to a safe option and just have muesli and a coffee. You walk away with a full belly, but still not satiated because you didn’t try anything new.

Now why on earth am I talking about breakfast buffets?

I’m talking about buffets because I believe life is a bit like a buffet or a banquet. We have so many choices in life that the options are almost limitless. There’s just so much to see and do and consume in the world that life really is like a banquet.

There are stages of life where the choices come relentlessly like the courses in a banquet and other stages where you can look around you like at a buffet and see the endless options you have open to you.

Just like a buffet or banquet, we need to strike a balance between trying to do every possible thing we could be interested in and a repetitive two-course life of nothing but work and home.

So how do we strike a balance at the banquet of life?

TEN-TONNE TESSA

Let’s start with those of us who are greedy to try everything.

If you try to do everything, you’ll metaphorically be a ten-tonne Tessa and you’ll never be satiated. Trust me as someone that was nicknamed worse than ten-tonne Tessa and has literally tried (and eaten) just about everything, that it is not a great road to go down.

In trying so many different things, you likely won’t ever see anything through or give anything enough time to become great at it. You may also have a bit of a ‘shiny mirror ball’ syndrome, where you are so distracted by the next thing, or so busy being on the look out for something new, that you’ll never give anything the time it needs for you to fall in love with it.

In truth, we want to try new things. As they say, variety is the spice of life. Once again this is a balance though. You want to give something enough time to be able to say you gave it a proper go and to ensure you overcame any initial challenges.

New things should be hard and controlled adversity makes us stronger. Every time you try something new that’s a bit hard that you manage to conquer, it builds up your confidence muscle.

If you try something and hate it then you spit it out. As long as you’ve had enough of a taste to truly know that you’re not just making excuses because it’s a bit harder than you expected. If you have, then you let it go and move on to the next thing.

Because after all, life is too short to keep doing things you hate.

TWO COURSE LIFE

What happens more commonly in life is that we forget to try new things and find ourselves living the two-course life of work and home.

Your soul will become depleted pretty quickly with this kind of life. Maybe you’re paralysed by choice and don’t know where to start, so you stick to what’s safe. Maybe you’ve gotten out of the habit of trying new things.

Maybe you tried new things and just became too satiated. You became full, or comfortable and you switched off, signed out, or had the post lunch lull that went on a bit too long.

Whatever the reason, now is the time to taste something new. To get out, look around and decide what you’ll try next at your life banquet or buffet.

If there’s something that ever piqued your interest, even just a little bit, give it a go. Have a look online for a language class; ask a friend if they want to go with you to a dance workshop; order the materials to stay clay-making or just start running if that’s what you want.

As long as it’s easy to add to your menu, then there’s no reason not to go for it.

If you want to start something really huge and different, it may require planning and time, but even this will be adding something new to your life. Or you can start smaller and just take a little step, have a little nibble on something new to see how you like it, without upsetting the balance you have.

It’s a fine line of experimentation.

IT’S ALL A BALANCE

It really is just all a balance. We all at once want to try new things, give them enough of a go to know if we like or dislike them and avoid becoming satiated or bored.

Regardless of where you’re at, trying new tastes at the banquet of life will add to your experience, build your confidence muscle and hopefully, gain you new passions that will leave you happier and satiated, but always with room for more.

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