What would you do?

No fear.

Last night, I went to a talk downtown for the Portland Data Visualization group. The event was held at one of the many tech startups in town, and on one of the walls was this motivational slogan:

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

And it got me thinking. I’m a fear-motivated person; only recently did I realize this about myself. And because I talk to Anna every day, I know this about her, too. This text message conversation ensued:

Me: What would we do if we weren’t afraid?
Anna: Love harder. Jump higher. Lie less. Create more.
Me: Build. Stretch. Grow. Learn. Guess. Fail. Flourish. Conquer.
Anna: Maybe we should try this.
Me: A social experiment. A living experiment.

So we presented to each other some options for conquering our fears. I don’t wish to speak for Anna, so I won’t reveal her plan, but I am going to get rid of 50% of the things that I own. I am going to start working on a new coding project, even though it feels impossible. I’m going to ask my boss when we are going to do a progress review. I’m going to talk to my roommates about some of my concerns about our co-habitation situation.

I’m going to start living my life in a way that is best for me, regardless of how afraid I am to do so. And I would like to present this challenge to you, dear STTF readers, as well.

What are you afraid of? Is it snakes? Go to the zoo and hold one. Is it asking for a raise? Set up a meeting with your boss. Is it telling a romantic interest how you feel? Write him a letter. Think of all the things you could do if you weren’t afraid.

Then go do them.

We want to motivate you. Leave a comment here listing something, anything, you’re going to do in the next month to conquer your fears. Come back and give us updates, I’ll do the same, and we’ll start conquering our fears together. We are strong, incredible young people. We have the whole world ahead of us, but only if we take it. So let’s take it.

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4 thoughts on “What would you do?

  1. If I weren’t afraid I’d confront people about why they blow me off. I’d self-publish a book I finished this summer. I’d run off to California for a month and tell everyone not to mention the word “job” in my presence. I’d make more time for fun. I’d have more romantic partners. I’d be a better friend.

    Good luck getting over your fears, Lyzi. If anyone can do it, it’s you. You already seem so fearless to me! You’re a do-er. You’ll nail this.

  2. I’d write every day. I’d shed the things holding me back and build a new life out of what was left. I’d make more friends. I’d wear my tutu out. I’d run and not care if I could only make it a block. I’d take the GRE and apply to grad school. My life would be vastly, wildly different if I wasn’t afraid. This is an amazing project and I am going to try to keep up.

  3. Hm.

    Do some karaoke/sing regularly in public. Do some modeling. Those are the two things that come to mind. Though they seem like minor things, I actually do think that I would enjoy doing these things, but I am really insecure in my singing. Additionally, for modeling, I’m mostly afraid of spending too much money/getting hacked/not getting what I want.

    These are the two things that I really would like to do but am afraid to do. Everything else, I kinda power through and try and make the best plans I can. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Onward to Happily Ever After | Serving Tea To Friends

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