It can be extremely easy to become comfortable with what we have got in life. Our home, our friends, our career. We immerse ourselves so deeply within our self constructed bubble that is our normality, that it can become increasingly difficult to see anything that exists outside of it. However, my experience has taught me that humans will always remain inquisitive and our thoughts can often lead to questions such as - what if?
What if I moved somewhere completely new? What if I left my relationship? What if I quit my job that pays me comfortable income, and went to travel the world?
Many never get to know the answer to the question. Their safety net is too secure and they would much rather carry on and try and be as happy as possible with what they know. Of course you can be happy living in the same stable life, but lately I have realised that people tend to stick rather than twist, not because of happiness… but because of fear.
Since we announced we were going to travel Central America, the response we received had been overwhelmingly positive. However, one reaction that has particularly stuck with me is the statement “You are so brave, I wish I could do that”.
I understand, quitting my job, leaving my home, losing long term security, to go traveling is a big step - but is it so big of a step that we should not take it?
How I overcame my own fear
Whilst I never had any doubts that I was making the correct decision to go travelling, that does not mean I have not had my own fears run through my mind. Of course questions like “What if I never get another job” or “what if I get kidnapped” have entered my consciousness, but that is all I allow them to do.
I have told myself that it is important that I do not allow negative or intrusive thoughts to be held at the forefront of my mind. I counter every negative thought with two positive thoughts, such as “I have more than enough skills to get another job when I return” and “I am an intelligent person who has the confidence to take risks in life”. It is positive reinforcement such as these that can make the difference between you getting on the plane or staying at home.
I also ensured I did in depth research into all the countries I was visiting. It’s no secret that fear can stem from the unknown, so the more I knew about where I was going the more I became comfortable with the cultural differences and the level of safety.
Danger can be around any corner, so why put limitations on yourself just because you are worried of harm. What you are most afraid of could just as easily happen on your front door step as on the other side of the world.
I am one week into this experience. I am alive, I am well, I am living. Overcoming fear and insecurity has been very liberating. I am seeing and experiencing things I never would have back at home. I am connecting with people and most importantly, connecting with myself. I feel free from the mundane and exposed to the excitement of life. None of this would have happened had I decided to allow fear to take a hold of me.
I’m not about to tell you to leave your spouse or quit your job to go and obtain the life you dream of. Nor am I here to tell you your comfortable life you are happy with is all a lie. However, if you are someone who wants to know what it is like on the other side, who is fed up of their daily routines or is fearful of making big changes - I can tell you if you do make large strides, if you do overcome negative thoughts that hold you back - you certainly will not regret it.
And, if taking those risks do not work out - is it not better to have the answer, rather than going through life constantly asking - what if?
Thanks for reading
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