I call the list “Awesome Things I Wish I Could Do But Can’t, Obviously, Because Hello, I’m Me, And Also Because I’m Scared” and it’s a mental list I’ve kept for as long as I can remember. There have been times when I remove items from the list because I lose interest or because I realize some things are not realistic (goodbye my dream of becoming a ballet dancing ninja).
But over the years I’ve noticed there are certain core items that consistently sit at the top of the list. These things start to challenge the line between “I secretly really want to do this, I might regret it if I don’t try” and “Stop kidding yourself, this needs to go back on the never-gonna-happen list” so as you can imagine it causes quite the stir (mostly in my head but if you’ve ever seen Inside Out you know there’s a lot going on in there).
Eventually I can no longer handle the dilemma between the two categories and I force myself to make a decision. As scary as that is (every.single.time) when I commit one hundred percent to making one of those things a reality it’s never followed by regret, only lots and lots of anxiety, joy, hard work, excitement, stress and doubt. But the craziness of emotions is somehow welcomed because the outcome, whether I consider it a success or fail, always produces powerful lessons, moments and experiences.
I’m currently auditing my “Awesome Things I Wish I Could Do….” list and I’m surprised at the number of items that might make the cut to real life. Surprised may not be the right word, terrified is more like it. So this is my reminder to not let fear paralyze me, to continue putting one foot in front of the other and to show up every day and do the work. After all it’s not important whether these things will one day be a so-called success, what is completely, dangerously and fiercely important is that they never make it on the list titled “Things I Regret Not Doing”. And even if I have to make eye contact with fear indefinitely, this is my reminder that it’ll be worth it.