If you play with fire

… you might not get burned.

Sometimes the fear of fire is worse than the actual danger of it. This doesn’t mean that you should be stupid or underestimate it’s destructive powers, but you shouldn’t live in fear of it either. A little mindfulness can go a long way in judging whether something is really worth the risk.

If you’re special (and all of us are) then you can work out how to be smart yet:

  • crazy
  • adventurous
  • fearless

The worse thing to do is make excuses (“it’s not safe to go there…” , “I don’t know if I’m good enough…”, “what will people think of me?“) and then let those excuses rule your life. Living in fear pushes you further back into your comfort zone, and you know you’re in your comfort zone when everything around you and everything you do is void of:

  • challenge
  • chance
  • danger

And if you stay there too long, you’ll just keep wallowing around in a barren land of boring. No, seriously, there’s a whole world out there waiting for you to take it on and if you’re just going to hide behind a wall of excuses, you’ll miss out on some amazing things, and not to mention you’re wasting your one chance to make a difference – to make your life really worth living.

I know that there’s something you want to do, but you’re scared to. Something or someone is telling you “no” or “you shouldn’t/couldn’t!” .

I know this because everybody has a dream being trampled on like that. Even the greatest men and women in history had the same feelings as you.

But the difference is that they weren’t scared of getting burned. Are you?

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  • Very timely post! I found your blog via Leon’s site (we both use the Scherzo theme), and coincidentally enough, I’m currently learning how to ride a bike. It’s been a struggle against fear, definitely, and pressure to perform as well as cyclists who’ve been riding their entire lives. Note that I’m 42 and am only now learning how to be independent on two wheels after so many years riding stoker on a tandem with my husband.

    On one hand I want to be intimidated into doing my best, but on the other hand, I also have limits as to how much of that pressure I can stand. I’m still struggling with it, and I hope I find a middle ground soon as my adventures in beginning cycling for adults are growing less and less fun. 🙁 My most recent blog post is an exasperated rant about that.

    I also just checked out that nifty video you shared on bicycle rush hour traffic in the Netherlands. That’s so cute.

  • Josh

    Hey Jessica,

    I’m going through your old posts; I really like this
    one. It it very true, the excuses and all. The best experiences a
    person will have is when you just take a chance and not worry about the
    outcome. I have had many great experiences just taking that chance and
    talking to people. When I did a bike tour across Canada, I learned
    talking to people was not risky, and sometimes you met amazing people
    through it.