Feel the fear and just do it
This is quite literally what I will be doing at the end of September – feeling the fear, stepping out of my comfort zone and just doing it! And seeing as it’s the only thing I can think about at the moment (even when I’m supposed to be sleeping) I thought I would use it as the theme of this month’s blog.
I have had an idea brewing quietly in the back of my mind for years, ever since I saw the film “The Way” staring Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez (available on Netflix) about a man who walks the Camino de Santiago in memory of his son and all the people he meets along ‘the way’.
The Camino de Santiago consists of lots of different routes through Spain, Portugal and France that all end in Santiago de Compostela, where according to legend the bones of St James are buried. For the past thousand of years, pilgrims have walked these routes for religious and spiritual reasons. Carrying their belongings and finding a place to sleep after a day of walking either under the stars but more recently at various albergues or hostels along the way.
In January I met up with a friend who I hadn’t seen since covid who told me they had done part of the walk last summer. It sparked that idea back into life. I mentioned it to a few people and every one said ‘You should definitely do it’.
I researched it, and found companies that organise it for you, as I realised I wasn’t adventurous enough to want to carry my backpack and be at the mercy of finding accommodation every day and sleeping in dormitory style hostels. I already knew the limit of my comfort zone!
I decided I would go in May, before it got too hot and too busy, but I kept putting it off. I knew I needed time to prepare, buy walking shoes, do some long practice walks, and before I knew it, it was April and all I had done was think about it.
Whenever I met anyone I told them I wanted to do it, they all said ‘Just do it!” But I kept making excuses, it’s too late, it’s too hot now, I need to buy the right footwear and then I need time to wear them in…. and more months passed. So, September became my new deadline.
The one big thing I had also decided back in January, was that I wanted to do it on my own. I NEVER do anything on my own, I don’t even like going for a coffee on my own. But something was very firmly rooted in my mind that I didn’t want to do it with anyone. I wanted the experience of meeting random fellow pilgrims along the way, and really immersing myself into being in the moment and in nature with no distractions from anyone else. This really was about pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and doing something I’d never done before.
And I suddenly realised that was also the reason I hadn’t actually booked anything. I didn’t have anyone to hold me accountable, I didn’t have anyone saying “we need to get this sorted”, no one was relying on me to sort it out, nor could I rely on someone to sort it for me.
Weirdly it took an online tarot card reader (!) who asked me a very standard question – ‘Are you going on a journey soon? I see you going on a holiday in September’. I told her I wanted to but hadn’t got around to booking it (it was now June) and she said ‘Just do it!’
And so literally 3 days later, I finally booked it! I had heard the phrase ‘Just do it’ too many times now to ignore.
So 12 pairs of uncomfortable walking shoes later, I finally found 2 pairs that were perfect, a small fortune spent on socks (who knew that you have to have special ones to prevent blisters??) and time running out to wear them all in in-time, I am finally off on my solo mini ‘epic’ adventure for the last week in September (the tarot card reader was right!).
So the point of this longer than usual blog is even though I am feeling really nervous and anxious about this walk, I am really proud of myself for pushing myself out of my comfort zone and feeling the fear (daily at the moment) and doing it anyway.
WHAT I HAVE LEARNT SO FAR:
I had to make myself accountable
Because I had told so many people that I wanted to do it, they expected me to do it.
Time spent planning is seldom wasted
Because I had spent MONTHS researching it, when it came to booking it, I knew what I needed to do.
Preparation is key
Even though time was starting to run out, I gave myself 4-6 weeks to wear my new shoes in and build up my walking distances.
There will never be the perfect time
You can keep waiting for the perfect time, when you feel happier, healthier, braver, ready, confident, sorted…but guess what?… the perfect moment may never actually come. But maybe the decision to do it will make it the perfect time.
What’s the worst that can happen?
That some things might be a challenge, but I will learn and grow stronger from it.
Stop making excuses
Commit to something, take action and then work out the details later.
Feel the fear and do it any way!
Just do it!
I’ll let you know how it goes and what I learn from my mini “epic” adventure next month. And if you want to follow my story I’ll post updates on Instagram and Facebook.
I hope this might have inspired you, or given you a nudge, to step out of your comfort zone, to feel the fear and “JUST DO IT” anyway!
Let me know.