This used to be me:
Yes, despite my brave face and “You can do it!” mom-itude toward my two kids, inside I wanted to hide. Who knows if nature or nurture was the cause (my Asian American failure-is-not-an-option upbringing made me quite risk-averse as an adult), but in midlife, I discovered that my craving to stay in my comfort zone was leading me exactly…nowhere.
So I started facing my fears one little step at a time. And finally living my life. This is how I feel now:
And this is where you come in.
Because once I started trying things I wasn’t sure I could do, I discovered an exhilaration that I want you to experience too. My book, SOME NERVE: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave tells the stories of dozens of ordinary people – that’s people like you and me, who read Anxiety blogs at Psychology Today- facing everyday fears (nothing crazy, well, not too crazy) – from driving to heights, failure to death. I interviewed therapists, teachers, coaches and clergy, about how to cultivate courage, and saw lives change before my eyes.
That’s what this blog will be about. Your life changing, starting right now.
With this post we’re launching the #SomeNerve Challenge where you get to declare what fear has held you back for long enough already.
I (and dozens of bloggers lined up to join the challenge) can’t wait to hoot and holler and help you (and each other!) take the first step toward a bigger and braver life.
We’re in this together! Let’s get started:
1) Which fear? Do heights make you dizzy? Driving fill you with dread? Are you afraid of speaking in public, or being seen in a swimsuit? Are you buried by clutter and terrified of letting anything go? Make a list of things that make your palms sweat. Pick one.
Don’t pick blood, snakes, or clowns. You’re supposed to be afraid of those.
2) Make a plan. Google “Fear of fill-in-the-blank.” Your palms are still sweating, that’s okay. The fear will not go away until you actually do the thing you fear. Let ‘em sweat and stay in problem solving mode – if your kid or your mom had this fear, what could they do about it? Is there a class, coach, therapist nearby? Post a query below or on our Facebook page – the answers are out here but you have to come find them. Take action.
3) Tell a friend. A friend who gets things done. Not the friend who tells you you’re fine the way you are, let’s eat muffins. Tell the friend who believes in you. Tell the world. Post the #SomeNerve Challenge Badge (above) to your status, or better yet, your profile pic. Declare your goal here and everywhere. Start a story that everyone will want to know the ending to.
4) Follow through, using any means necessary! Bribe yourself with rewards, treats, celebratory drinks if you do it– threaten yourself with the fallout (disappointment) if you don’t. Scare yourself with your intrinsic fear of death. Enough with the “one day maybe” …We’re aging by the minute, if not now, when?
5) Say wheee! And make sure someone captures you on film. Because the moment your heart is pounding, your eyes are shining, and you’ve just done something you never thought you could do, is the sexiest you’ll ever look or feel.
6) Show off your triumph! Send in your picture, your story here. Trumpet it on Twitter (#SomeNerve, @PattyChangAnker), Facebook (@PattyChangAnker), Instagram (@PattyChangAnker). You’re brave, baby! Let us lavish you with well-deserved attention.
7) Repeat with other fears, other friends. Bask in the glow of accomplishment!
You know you want this. Sure, it’s fun to read about other people, but what about you? You can go from being an armchair adventurer to being the active heroine of your own story. Right now.
Mark down this day. When you look back, will this be the day you decided to take a leap? Or take a pass?
Take a deep breath.
Click here and type
“Today, I will begin facing my fear of ___________ by ___________ “
Booyah! You’ve got some nerve! Let’s get this party started.
Sign up so you don’t miss a post – or check back often to see how fellow fear-facers are faring, and to read valuable advice from their coaches. Looking forward to sharing this adventure with you!