Before I move on to the next book (I’m already behind schedule) I’d like to wrap up my Feel the Fear month. How was it? Did it change my life? etc etc.
So first of all, how was it? Well, in truth it was exhausting. I’ve gone my whole life without chatting up strangers, getting naked in public, performing stand-up comedy and jumping out of a plane – so to cram them all into one month was a bit head-wrecking.
But God, it was brilliant.
I read somewhere that our fear is not that life is too short but that we don’t feel alive when we live it. How true. Most of my life is spent in a worried rut but last month I felt very alive. Every day felt like a day when something could and would happen. It was exciting.
AND I became the most interesting person in the pub – which, as we all know, is very important.
So how did I get on with my list?
While I did sing in front of a crowd (my rendition of Don’t you want me, Baby? was a TRIUMPH – for more information read: http://helpmeblog.net/2014/01/28/feel-the-fear-and-sing-in-public-after-eating-offal/)
do stand-up (amazing! http://helpmeblog.net/2014/01/29/feel-the-fear-and-do-stand-up-comedy/),
chat up a guy on the tube (embarrassing… http://helpmeblog.net/2014/01/07/feel-the-fear-and-chat-up-two-men-on-the-tube/ ),
get naked in public (also embarrassing http://helpmeblog.net/2014/01/13/feel-the-fear-and-strip-in-public/ ),
watch a scary film (I didn’t write about it but I watched The Exorcist. All that green vomit… I thought it was silly), do my tax return, haggle, get fillings done, mole checked, eat offal, drive on the motorway and parallel park (badly).. oh, and jump out of a plane…
What I didn’t do was:
Ask out a stranger, take Chris Evans to lunch, confront someone over something they’ve done to upset me, dive off a high diving board, cycle in London, find out what people think of me (the bad stuff), lose my temper.
Some of the unchecked items don’t bother me. I didn’t get to the diving and the cycling on time and after jumping out the plane I’ve realised I don’t get any satisfaction from facing physical fears. They are there to keep you safe and unless they’re limiting my life, I’m quite happy to leave them as is.
As for Chris Evans, well I made a valiant attempt at stalking him on Twitter and FB – and the BBC kindly got back to me to say they’d passed on one of my 80 million requests to his PA.
Other areas, however, are more telling:
With the asking out a stranger, I just didn’t meet a guy that I liked enough to ask out (except for the guy in the art class, but that would have been TOO weird). It’s going to remain on my list and I’ll tell you as soon as I’ve done it.
As for confronting someone about something they’ve done to upset me, finding out what people think of me (the bad stuff), losing my temper.
Well, this is where it gets sticky.
These (as well as the man stuff) are the things that I come up against every day. I never confront people or properly articulate any concerns/hurt I have. Instead I bottle it up and sulk, get passive aggressive or keep my distance. It’s my least attractive quality. And while there are a couple of situations bothering me at the moment I’ve done nothing to address them. Facing that fear will be a big one – and again, I’ll let you know.
Re losing my temper – I’ve actually decided that I don’t want to it. If I could articulate grievances calmly that would be enough. I was recently in the middle of two friends arguing over something stupid. It was unnecessary but it’s caused a lot of pain. I think it’s good to avoid it, if you can.
Re finding out what people think of me. I always imagine the bad stuff people are saying about me but I’ve realised that this is narcissistic. And as a few friends have pointed out, most of us are aware of our bad points and it’s not fair to make someone else deliver them to you on a plate, especially for a project like this.
So here I am outing my bad points myself: I am crap with money, I am flakey with plans (I say I’ll do stuff then don’t), I won’t spit out what I’m thinking or feeling (see above), I am a coward when it comes to confrontation, I can be miserable to be around (doom and gloom), I can be very selfish and lazy… If you’d like a full list message me, and I’ll email you a telephone book.
BUT BACK TO THE GOOD STUFF…
Has fear facing changed me? YES!!
I will never forget how PROUD I felt after the stand-up comedy. It might sound silly but it felt like one of those formative moments, up there with getting my A-levels, getting my degree, getting my first job as a journalist. It felt like a real achievement.
Karaoke and chatting up strangers were also high points for different reasons. Totally out of my comfort zone and totally brilliant.
Less brilliant were my attempts at positive thinking and affirmations. Yesterday I took down all the post-it note telling me how fabulous I am and it was relief. It just felt too fake and the pressure to feel happy and in love with yourself every day is just too much. But hey ho. You can’t win them all and overall I am TOTALLY CHUFFED with what I’ve done this month.
So much so that I want to keep going.
I still have my unfinished list and as Susan Jeffers says, we aren’t living life to the full if we’re not a little bit scared every day. So this is just the beginning. I hope.
IN THE MEANTIME… JOIN ME THIS THURSDAY TO FIND OUT ABOUT FEBRUARY’S BOOK. IT’S CALLED MONEY, A LOVE STORY BY KATE NORTHRUP. IT’S GOING TO MAKE ME RICH. OR AT VERY LEAST LESS SCARED OF MY BANK STATEMENTS.Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action
MY ZAGAT-Y GUIDE TO FEEL THE FEAR
HIGH POINTS – When you face your fears life becomes quite thrilling. Even when stuff doesn’t work out, as Jeffers says ‘You’ll handle it’ and you’ll amaze yourself by how capable you actually are.
LOW POINTS – Positive bloody thinking.
CONCLUSION: For all its exclamation marks and slogans, the wisdom in this book is sound. We’re all imprisoned by our fears – little ones, big ones – and when you tackle them you to start to feel alive.
OVERALL MARK – 4.5 OUT OF 5 ON THE HAPPY-OMETER.