Confronting What Terrifies Us: Fear Is Only As Real As You Make It

Once I had children a real set of phobias kicked in, aeroacrophobia (heights), claustrophobia (small spaces) and thalassophobia (fear of large bodies of water). Maybe it’s the awesome responsibility of being a parent, perhaps the new understanding of just how fragile life is, I don’t quite know. Yet, the fears became so debilitating that I knew I needed to do something before my fears consumed my life. In my usual fashion I decided the only way to confront my fears would be head on. And that is exactly what I did.

On a recent trip to Honolulu Hawaii, I arranged a two hour surf lesson with the wonderful staff at The Ty Gurney Surf School. Despite a restless night sleep I woke up early and found myself making the short walk to the surf school, Danielle’s directions were impeccable. As  I walked in the front door, the quaint door chimed alerting my arrival. I was greeted by three friendly faces all quite reassuring for this very nervous mama. We made our way down to the beach where Kenui (K-New-E), my surf instructor for the morning, did all the work initially. He carried the boards and eventually paddled us out a quarter mile out where we would catch many a GNARLY wave.



You got this Angie!
You got this Angie!









Kenui and I chillin', waiting eagerly for that next wave.
Kenui and I chillin’, waiting eagerly for that next wave.

The moment I caught that first wave my fear dissipated and I couldn’t remember ever being afraid to begin with. What this experience reminded me about fear is that fear is something we create in our brains, usually from some real experience in our life, an experience that our brains build upon. We allow that fear to grow and multiply until it is much larger than the original experience. So what to do? Confront it, look it straight in the eye and give it a big ol’ wink. Wink at it, smile your grandest smile and tell it that it can not reside in you any longer. That is what I did on that wonderful morning. I looked my fear square on and winked at it….and it vanished!

Here is to all of us taking small steps to confront the fears that keep us from those experiences we might never have otherwise. I will never forget the moment I stood up on that board, the force of the wave propelling me forward in one glorious exhilarating motion. One experience that I plan on living and reliving as often as possible. When you find yourself on Waikiki Beach, Honolulu Hawaii, take a surf lesson at an amazing surf school with some of the best in the business:

Here is to all of us living the most fulling lives possible.

Remember this life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.  Take it slow and steady, be gentle with yourself and stay hydrated.

Your DelightfullyUrban Blogger~


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