The nicer version of that, seen on lululemon bags is this

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

It’s a cult followed mantra and it’s a gooder.

I’ve been posting pictures of our training hikes this spring on social media and I’ve been getting the regular questions like:

Where are you?

How far was it?

Was it hard?

How’d you find it?

And also- aren’t you scared to just start hiking somewhere? Are you scared of animals? Are you scared you might get lost? Are you scared to have to take a poop in the woods?

And the answer, my friends, to all of that is yeah….I’ve been scared by all of those things at one time or another.

But the iconic lululemon store bag is bang on- do one thing everyday that scares you. Because that is how you’re going to grow.

As we get older- over 40 and if you’ve had children- our fear meter gets set pretty high. ‘Been there done that’ so to speak. It becomes more challenging to find something to scare the bejeebers out of ourselves. The life experiences and challenges we’ve faced to date toughen our skin and we’ve got some experience with looking fear square in the eye. To be honest, it becomes harder to scare us.

How can we do something each day that frightens us and helps us grow into the person that we’re meant to be?

We can speak out. There are plenty of opportunities to do that right now in our world. When you think you should say something? Chances are you should.

We can learn a new skill. The equivalent of learning to ride a bicycle as an adult. Learning a new skill takes you right back to your school days. You actually create new neural pathways in your brain by learning new skills.

We can make a new friend. As an adult making new friends can be downright frightening. I met a new friend at yoga camp a couple years ago. Like in the old fashioned face to face way.

We can do something that we’ve always wanted to do and for whatever reason just haven’t. That’s what I did last weekend. I slept in a tent. Random camping. In the bush. With no running water or even outhouses. There are those that will say that isn’t scary- listen, we all have our our fear factor. Being a bear sandwich is mine. And also I’m not a fan of things that go bump in the night. Which by the way happens a lot in the forest at night.

Eleanor Roosevelt has been credited with this quote. Not lululemon. She wrote about it in her book ‘You learn by living’ published in 1960. Roosevelt dedicated an entire chapter to fear, called Fear- The Great Enemy. She discussed her excessive fearful temperament, quoting

“Fear has always seemed to me to be the worst stumbling block which anyone has to face. It is the great crippler.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

We don’t have to look very far these days for reasons to be fearful. The world seems fragile and everything that we’ve known feels as if it’s in limbo. But fear and worry of this kind can be destructive to our health. Our physical health. Increases and sustained raises in cortisol, the fight or flight hormone, can be hard on our adrenal glands causing side effects such as feeling tired and wired, body aches, tiredness, apathy, mood swings, brain fog. These are things that women over 40 are already often plagued with.

It’s important to understand the difference between good fear or stress and bad fear or stress. Good fear or stress, like the options I gave you above, are a way to grow as an individual. Bad fear or stress is continuing to allow things that are out of your control to control you. World issues, politics, pandemics.

Hiding behind your fear will not allow you to grow personally. In fact, it will stop you from taking the steps you need to in order to grow as a person.

So? What’ll it be? What will you do today that scares you just a little bit?