21 Days of Fearless: Day 7

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

ARC_Logo1It’s getting more and more difficult to be fearless. It really takes its toll. As I prepare myself for the next week of fearlessness, I am reminding myself not to confuse activity with accomplishment. I don’t just want to do something fearless, I want to do something fearless that really means something to me.

I love to ask my clients, “What’s the learning here?” So when I ask myself about the learning I’ve been doing over the past seven days, I must feel something of what my clients feel at times when I ask: “I don’t know.” And that’s okay. The trick is to put the question out there, and then let the man in the library do his work.

If you ask the man in the library to find you a book, he’s happy to do it. If you follow him and keep asking him if he’s found the book for you yet, he has to stop looking and answer your questions, thus taking him longer to find what you need. If you move on and just let the man in the library do his job, you’ll have your answer much quicker. Sometimes, our minds need the same space.

When you ask yourself, “What’s the learning here?” and an answer doesn’t pop right into your mind, or the answer that pops into your mind doesn’t resonate with you, it might be a good idea to let the question percolate. As you go through your day, your mind will get back to you with what the learning is for you. It worked for me this morning.

So, what’s my learning? My learning is that I’ve worked myself into a frenzy over what fearless thing I’m going to do next. And that frenzy is not working for me. I have a tendency to create structure around everything I do. This is great for getting things done, but it really kills spontaneity. So for me, this begs the question, what do I have against spontaneity? Nothing; but I do have an intense need for structure. Which prompted me to dig into what that’s all about.

Structure. For me, when things don’t have structure, I feel a sense of chaos. This chaos breeds anxiety. And the anxiety breeds fear. It’s difficult for me to head into a day without a plan. I like looking at the calendar and seeing what I have on the schedule for the day, the week, the month. I’m okay with not sticking to the schedule and being flexible, it just comforts me to know that there is, in fact, a schedule with which to work. I did not create a schedule for my 21 Days of Fearless, and am now beginning to feel the effects of it.

It wasn’t my intention to go through this project without a schedule, it just happened that way. When I made the decision to jump into the wind-tunnel, I effectively made a decision to be fearless, and just wing it. Just a week into it, I see that winging it doesn’t really work for me. I’m struggling with trying to learn how to come up with something new to do off the top of my head every day. The man in the library is still doing his work.

This morning I realized two things: I work best with a structure in place, and activity does not equal accomplishment. And then one more thing: I have a fear of not finishing these 21 Days of Fearless. So I am addressing that fear. Conquering a fear isn’t always about making a change, sometimes it’s about recognizing your strengths and sticking to them. It’s about knowing yourself and trusting yourself to make the right decisions for you. I have a choice to second guess myself in my fear, and set myself up for failure. Or I can trust myself, that in this experience, it’s okay to set up a structure and that spontaneity is not the key to fearlessness today. Today, I am my own key to fearlessness, and I will choose where to turn it.

[Update: As soon as I finished this post, I received an email from my partner in fearlessness, Lisa Mae, titled, “21 Days of Fearlessness: What it entails…”, regarding a workshop we’re putting together around the subject. I believe some would call this structure…]

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