When You Surrender to Your Fears You Can Then Breakthrough11 min read
The root of avoidance is fear, whether it’s intentional or not. Endless avoidance loses its adaptive value. In such case, excessive avoidance in the absence of a real threat can severely impair your quality of life and may stop you from encountering anxiety-correcting information. When you surrender to your fears you can then have a breakthrough.
Fear is a condition that we all share. We’re all afraid of something. People are more afraid of public speaking than dying! About 74% of our population is afraid of speaking in front of a crowd.
I quote Robin Sharma when I say, “The fears we don’t face become our limits.” Throughout parts of my life, I was reluctant to take chances because of low-confidence levels and low self-esteem that led me to miss out on many incredible opportunities.
When You Surrender to Your Fears You Can Then Breakthrough
Humans aren’t fearless, we all have fears because it’s our body’s natural response to what it perceives as dangerous. However, a lot of our fears aren’t always rooted in reality.
Often it’s a combination of perceived threats and our brains stored memory of old fears. For example, there may have been a trauma that you experienced that is directly related to a current fear. It’s important to unpack why you’re afraid in the first place.
After quitting my job as a social worker, I became a real estate agent. Everything about this new profession was terrifying and intimidating.
However, facing your fears daily, in the end, is how we all grow. And that’s what I had to do. When you’re building your client base (that’s for any entrepreneur), uncertainty is the name of the game.
Real estate agents face rejection daily, and if you aren’t one who embraces rejection in your “regular” life, well that will pose a lot of difficulties. I’m also not accustomed to “putting myself out there” as a self-proclaimed introvert.
But I knocked on doors, talked to strangers both over the phone and in person. I made cold calls and didn’t rely on a regular salary to live my life. That was scary.
Some days I beat fear, and other days, it knocked me out cold.
To leave an industry that had the potential to create an insurmountable amount of income was scary as shit. People told me to give it time because the end results will provide me with a lifestyle that is free of financial worries. However, the profession wasn’t providing the meaning that I was looking for.
Life itself is scary, but with each tiny step that you take and endure, you have to remain in motion. You must decide to bring fuel to your courage and light it up until the flames burn red. When you surrender to your fears you can then breakthrough.
When I decided to move to Thailand, I was scared. The thought of living in an entirely different culture, teaching, and living far away from home brought me face to face with fear.
There were times during my TEFL training that I wanted to quit. Thailand was a severe culture shock.
The way of life here is remarkably different and nothing remotely related to living in the United States. There were many days I experienced uneasiness residing in a third world country. The inability to communicate directly and efficiently was frustrating.
Throughout the training, people left. The experience isn’t for everyone. But I told myself that I would commit to the discomfort because I knew that eventually, something great would happen when comfort wasn’t a part of the equation.
While living in Thailand, I’ve engaged in quite a few uncomfortable, shocking, and out of the box (at least for me) adventures. People often view me as someone who just does “crazy” things.
The decisions that I’ve made thus far in my life, I don’t see them as crazy. As a Libra, I tend to feel angst when things remain the same for too long. Despite my hesitation and resistance, I tried my best.
Moving to Thailand was an enormous and frightful decision, but the excitement and curiosity overshadowed the fear. Below are a few experiences that I’ve had in Thailand.
I tried a variety of street foods in Bangkok, but I must admit as time went on, I began sticking to restaurant foods. You’ll find that the street food is 100x better than restaurant food.
If I did eat street food, I purchased items that were deep-fried, smoothies, or teas. When I say many, I mean every few feet vendors are selling some food items that include complete meals, fruits, smoothies, teas, desserts, etc.
Thailand has many street vendors. But trying street food is an adventure in itself. The Thai’s immune systems are well-built for street food. It’s important that when you do attempt street food for the first time, be mindful of harmful bacteria and use your judgment accordingly.
But if you are new to Thailand and its practices then ease into street food and choose wisely. As you can see from the picture above, there weren’t any sinks or hand sanitizers; sometimes you’ll be lucky if you find napkins.
Motorbikes over saturate the roads of Thailand. It’s more affordable to buy and maintain. There are also motorbike taxis. I have never ridden on a motorbike taxi, though.
After I had spent five days in Bangkok, I headed to the island of Koh Phangnan. I spent about three weeks on this great island.
While there, I quickly realized that the easiest way to get around the island was on a motorbike. Like an animal in the wild, I had to adapt to survive.
The last week that I was on the island I finally decided to rent a motorbike. There was a bike shop that had motorbikes available for rent on the resort that I was staying.
Even more, I didn’t know how to start the motorbike or where the brakes were. I put my helmet on and pretended to know what I was doing.
A few things to know: number one, a motorbike is heavier than it looks and number two they are pretty damn fast. It was so fast that I plunged forward into the sand and got stuck, nearly falling off of the bike.
The owner walked over quickly to me and shouted, “You no ride!” Frustration in his eyes as he returned my deposit and my passport. Disappointed with myself I caught a taxi and headed to Haad Yao.
The next day, the determination to learn how to ride a motorbike grew stronger and stronger. Adjacent to the last owner’s motorbike shop was another bike rental shop that just opened.
Although nervous, I asked to rent a motorbike with a certainty and cool in my voice. The owner of the shop denied me.
I watched this young woman receive lessons from who looked like her boyfriend. I ran across the street to get a sense of what her experience was like.
She said, “I don’t need to learn anymore, these bikes are faster than you think!” She quickly got off the motorbike, and all three of us laughed nervously.
Frustrated even more I walked towards the center of the town to catch a taxi. Doing so saved me 200 Thai baht. It’s 15-20 minutes away from my resort.
During my walk, I watched two young ladies from across the street attempting to rent a motorbike. One of the ladies left with what looked like the owner on the back seat.
Then, it was her friend’s turn. She rode without the owner. She did it with ease and came back a few minutes later and said, “I think we’ll be fine.”
I witnessed the entire transaction. The owners left quickly before I could rent a motorbike. A few minutes later I passed another motorbike shop. In the shop was a couple that I had walked by earlier who just finalized their rental transaction. I tried again, with ease and cool. The owner rented me the motorbike.
In the shop was a couple that I had walked by earlier who just finalized their rental transaction. I tried again, with ease and cool. The owner rented me the motorbike.
I turned the motorbike on and sat on the side of the road for what felt like an eternity. Cars, trucks, motorbikes, and motorbikes with carts whizzed right by me with absolute ease and speed. As soon as I took off, I went flying in the middle of the street, almost crashing towards oncoming traffic.
I looked down, and the tank was on E. Buying gas was a great distraction. However, I had zero knowledge about how much I needed to fill the tank. For the life of me, I could not find the gas tank. Luckily, a nice man from one of the nearby shops came out to help me. I had an embarrassed look on my face.
For the life of me, I could not find the gas tank. Luckily, a nice man from one of the nearby shops came out to help me. I had an embarrassed look on my face.
On the island, there is gas for purchase in these glass bottles on the sides of the road since gas stations aren’t that prevalent. Still fearful to return to the main road, I continued to wait a little while longer.
While sitting on the motorbike, I used my feet to move it forward and inched along the road until I saw a side street with minimal traffic. There, I taught myself how to ride fast and stop quickly.
After I had felt comfortable enough, I headed off to the main road, fearing for my life, but exhilarated at the same time. All was going smoothly, and I was driving incredibly slow secretly happy that cars and motorbikes were passing me.
While on the motorbike, I used my feet to move it forward and inched along the road slowly. I happened to pass by the side street with minimal traffic. This would be a great road to learn how to ride, I thought. I learned to make turns recalling the YouTube video I watched earlier that day.
This would be a great road to learn how to ride, I thought. I learned to make turns recalling the YouTube video I watched earlier that day.
At 6 p.m. it looked like 9 p.m. While driving and getting the hang of the motorbike, I ran out of gas! I tried to remember all of the gas stations that I had passed along the road while in the taxis.
I pushed the bike off of the main road and left it on a grassy exposed area. The dogs barked at me angrily while I walked what seemed like 25 minutes to the nearest gas station.
Finally, I reached a gas station and had them fill up some gas in a 1.5-liter plastic water bottle. Then I made my way back through the busy, well-lit square of Koh Phangnan, easing into the darkness.
Koh Phangnan is very hilly with sharp turns. The hills terrified me because they were extremely steep. It was crucial that the bike was in low gear.
Despite the fear, I rode downhill. The island is a massive mountain with scattered businesses, homes, and resorts. You can see the entire body of water that surrounded the island as you drove through the area. It was such a beautiful view. Below are some shots of me heading to Chaloklum.
*Photocred goes to @sylviasees
Continue to read about my thoughts on fear and how you too can feel all of the fear and still do the thing that scares you the most. Once I climbed what felt like massive rocks with water spurts of water splashing in between the crevices, or the time that I ate crickets for the very first time.
There’s even a story about how I fell off that very motorbike on the dusty road to Chaloklum. When you surrender to your fears you can thenbreakthrough
What have you been afraid to do? Comment and share below!