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  • shannonselig

Fear of Falling

Updated: Aug 4, 2019

Ok, my first instinct was to title this "Fear of Failing" however, I was legitimately afraid to FALL... into the Colorado River in Austin, TX. I know how to swim, I'm not scared of lakes, snakes or other things. And yet, that didn't stop me from feeling paralyzed by fear as I was about to step onto a paddle board.


Yes, another 30 Before 30 Bucket List complete! Huge thanks to my girl Corey Lynn for being the motivator to make this happen!


So, there we were about to step onto the boards and I froze up. My heart started pounding and my palms were sweaty, it was like High School all over again! Now, I knew in my logical brain that the worst thing that could happen was I would fall into the water, and yet my emotional brain was terrified to fall.


In that moment I remembered WHY I was doing this, I realized that my fear of falling did NOT outweigh my fear of failing. Standing on the dock looking out at the sun soaked water, I remembered a promise I had made to myself. I promised myself that before my 30th birthday I would do things that terrified me, things that challenged me mentally and physically. So, I had a choice to make. Fear of Falling or Fear of Failing. Well there really wasn't a question. I was NOT going to fail!

Lesson #8: It's ok to fall, as long as you get back up

Now, I know you're all wondering how it went, what happened? Did I fall face first into the Colorado River?


No, I didn't fall. I was very wobbly... imagine a newborn horse standing for the first time. Yep, that was me. (They gave me the big board so it would be almost impossible to flip.) We paddled out across the river on our knees and Corey Lynn led the way by standing up first. After watching her do it twice, I had enough time to talk myself into what felt like the most unnatural feat I had ever attempted.


Ok, so hands on the paddle, face down on the board with shaking knees I slowly pushed myself up. Straddling the board praying for stability, I took a few deep breaths and acknowledged that I had done it. I fought through my fear and stood up on the paddle board. My fear of falling hadn't come true. I didn't fall. I stood tall(ish) on that board as we paddled around the river.


I never fell, however I felt unstable more than a few times. I got up again and again and kept pushing forward! I let out a few gasps as the board would shake and then remembered to breathe once again as I centered myself and trusted that I was capable.


I realized in that moment that I am capable of so much more than I realize. Mentally and physically.


Here's to another 30 Before 30 and another lesson learned!

-Shannon

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