I think fear and complacency can deter us from choosing to do certain actions at any age. I do feel this is more prevalent when we enter midlife. On my way to work, I was listening to a Jillian Michaels podcast this morning regarding risk taking. Some mornings my drive to work is a risk but I digress. Her thought was when we do something we fear or out of the comfort zone it makes it memorable and makes us stronger.
I thought of the different times in my life that I did some things out of my comfort zone and yes they have helped make a difference. The amazing thing was that I decided to start taking risks after I turned 40. My first decision was to go back to school and become a nurse practitioner. It was a dream for many years and once my two children were adolescents I decided it was time to pursue my new career path. I can say it was the best decisions I made. It was not an easy road but I truly like what I do and enjoy going to work. Prior to my graduation in 1999 I decided to ask a medical group for a position in their practice. It worked out well and I was able to gain a great deal of experience and knowledge. Again, I took a risk, faced my fears and actually prepared me for my current position.
In my personal life one of the hardest decisions was to end my marriage after 23 years. The marriage over due to a problem I could not fight-alcoholism. He would not leave the home so I knew I had to leave. I knew I took a risk in losing not only my home but children. They were older but still at home and I knew they may not understand but if I was to mentally survive I needed to leave ( there was no physical abuse and my children were not in danger). The decision was correct, there were a few tumultuous months but I now have a close relationship with my daughter and son.
Another risk I took was about 5 years ago when I decided to go to Los Angeles for a boot camp with a group awesome women from the Jillian Michaels website. Talk about facing your fears-I had never flown before, was by myself and knew people through the website but never meet them in person. It was the best decision I made. The workouts were brutal but the laughs, talks and forever friendships were worth it.
I recently wrote about the hike I took and my climb as well as walking on the edge of the rocky path. I faced my fears that day and realized it was another accomplishment. It will be one of the memorable vacations. I had a chance to not walk the edge but realized I would regret the decision
I disagree with many who think when faced with a decision say “What is the worst that can happen if I do it.” My thoughts go to “What happens if I decide NOT to take the risk/face my fear.”
I will leave you with this picture-Feel free to share your accomplishments.