Why You Should Do One Thing That Scares You Each Day

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Why You Should Do One Thing That Scares You Each Day

Eleanor Roosevelt had it right.

You should try to do one thing each day that scares you. Fear is typically seen as a negative emotion, but like everything, it has it’s lighter side. Fear can shut us down, but it can also propel us forward, and when it does, our lives change like magic.

Think of it this way: if today was your last day, how would you want to spend it? More than likely, you’d spend it by taking every risk you talk yourself out of taking each day. You’d book the flight to the city you want to see. You’d tell your boss (and the company) to shove it. You never liked working there anyway. You’d confess your feelings to your crush. You’d mend past hurts. You’d go after everything you always wanted and never believed you could actually have.

But we never know when our last day is. It’s not up to us whether we leave or stay. So why aren’t we all treating every day like our last day? What are we afraid of?

Late last night, I went on a small, terrifying adventure with my closest friends. We ran across a busy freeway, and walked along a bridge. The walkway was narrow, and shook violently every time a large truck or car passed by. The railing on the side didn’t look sturdy enough to touch, and I could have definitely squeezed through it (though it would have taken more effort than I would ever have given). It was dark, and the world below us appeared to be in miniature form. I sat down when we reached the top because my legs were shaking. But when I looked up, I saw the beautiful sight of the lights on the bridge. I could feel my heart pumping, and the adrenaline coursing through my veins.

I felt alive. And it was a beautiful, wonderful feeling.

Of course, there’s a fine line between taking necessary risks and being reckless. Just look at the YOLO culture, used as an excuse to make pointless and dangerous choices. Don’t cross that line, but please, touch it with the tip of your toes. Take a risk. Then, take several more. Do something that scares you at least once every day. Test your limits. Live your life.

Because none of us know how long we have, and it would be a pity to waste each precious day we’re given.

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