Face Your Fears

I will be the first to admit that I have never been the most adventurous person. My life is a confusing combination of taking crazy chances, and playing it excessively safe. I’ve never done things the way people would expect, yet I never take chances that I feel put myself in any kind of danger. I live my life my way, and it’s not AT ALL the way a “normal” person would choose to live. While I do like my privacy, I feel like I am in a position to inspire others, and I choose to put my life on display and share it with the world. On the safer, more “normal” side of my life, I wouldn’t say I’m afraid of dying… I’m more afraid of not being able to finish the things I want to do in life. Does that make sense?

Although I really struggle to actually follow through with this and live my life accordingly, I learned a long time ago that most of our worst fears in life only exist in our own mind. The “worst case scenario” in life rarely becomes reality, but we all seem to worry about it. We all think that what COULD happen is what WILL happen. That’s rarely how things work out, yet it’s hard to not worry and not obsess. The unknown scares the sh*t out of me. It just does. I like to be in control of my life. I like to be in control of the situations I am in.

One of my biggest fears in life is falling. I am terrified of heights. The thought of falling to my death has been the theme of countless nightmares for me. Few things in the world scare me more. At the bottom of this post, you will see a picture of quite possibly the most terrifying moment of my life. The only way you will ever conquer your fears is to face them head-on. While the moment in this picture didn’t help to conquer my fear, it taught me that what COULD happen is just one of countless possibilities.

In this picture, I am on an enclosed glass ledge on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower in Chicago. It is the highest observation deck in North America. Right up until the very moment that my friends basically forced me to wheel out onto this ledge, I tried everything I could think of to not do it. It may have been a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, but I wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t been basically forced to do it. In hindsight, this moment taught me that you can face your worst fears in life, and nothing bad will happen.

Maybe it takes an experience like this for all of us to realize that what we dream up in our mind and what is reality are very different things. As I said, I still struggle to look past the “What if…?” situations in life, but deep down, I know that the worst case scenario almost never happens. Obsessing over things that will never happen in reality is pointless, yet I think we all do it.

Millions of people have been on this glass Skydeck Ledge. No one has ever died or been hurt in any way. Why would I be the one and only person something bad would happen to? It just doesn’t make sense, but that didn’t stop me from thinking about it. Don’t let your fears stop you from living (REALLY living) and enjoying your life. Face your fears and realize that they are just one of countless possible outcomes in every situation. Life is all about growing and moving forward. If you don’t face your fears, you won’t go anywhere. Keep on living!!

There will be a second part to this post coming in the next day or two. This experience led to something that has inspired me every day of my life since this day in Chicago. I hope you enjoyed this post, and stay tuned for more.

Skydeck Ledge

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