Challenging Fear

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I’ve been thinking a lot of big thoughts lately. I guess that’s something to expect when you leave home and travel 7 430 km to unfamiliar territory to start a new job. One of these big thoughts have been dedicated to the theme of “fear”, which is why I felt it was suitable to post some of my findings (read ramblings) regarding this subject here.

For two days now, I’ve been pondering the question: “What would I do if I weren’t afraid?”

Well. If I weren’t afraid, I would say cheers to the bus driver when getting off the bus. I would have a conversation in Spanish with my South American neighbour. I would smile my best smile and strike up a conversation with the intimidatingly gorgeous guy working at that lunch restaurant I love. I would speak in front of an audience every chance I got. I would write a book. I would sing at the top of my lungs when my favourite song came on. I would dance at the train station when waiting for the train. I would jump out of an airplane. I would climb a mountain. And I would speak my mind, at all times.

So why don’t I?

For some reason I’m letting my fear of… of what? Is it rejection? Judgement maybe? Or failure even? Well, whatever it is, I’m currently allowing “it” to govern my actions. I’m currently letting “it” rule my life, all while pretending to myself that I’m really the one in charge. Ridiculous.

Am I the only one limited by this life crippling fear I wonder? Of course not.

So why do we let this fear of imagined outcomes keep us from doing what we really want to do and away from the life that we really want to live? What if all of us, little by little, began to ignore the piercing fear that is telling us to stay inside where it’s warm, to only walk on roads well known, and to never, ever, do anything other than the things you know you’re already good at? What if we were bold enough to challenge our fears? I’m confident that if we did, not only would we change our own lives to the better, but we would also change the world.

I have decided to start with the small things. So yesterday I signed up for a course in story telling and presentation technique to show my fear that I’m the one in charge. And today, today I roundhouse kicked that dark shadow of anxiety and worry straight out the back exit at my very first one-on-one kickboxing session at an unfamiliar (for now) boxing club in downtown Vancouver. I tell you, it feels pretty great.

Now my friend, what will you do today even though you’re afraid?

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A New Perspective

Earth

The idea of space has always terrified me.

The idea of that impossibly huge, never ending black of nothingness that I know is out there on the other side of the atmosphere, but that I’ve chosen to ignore because the mere thought of the infinity beyond just makes my head spin. Thinking about how earth is just hanging there, right in the middle of nothing, kind of feels like that sudden realization when you’re flying over the Atlantic and it hits you that the only thing between you and 10 000 feet of nothing but cold air and a 40 second free fall towards a sure death is  basically just a couple of layers of aluminum foil. Yup, how about them butterflies? Now multiply that with infinity and you might get an idea of how thinking about universe makes me feel. So if someone asked me “If you got the chance to travel to outer space, would you go?”, I’d say: “No. Never. Not in a million years.”

At least, that’s what I would have said before last Thursday. Before I saw “The Overview Effect”.

The Overview Effect is a profoundly beautiful and awe inducing 20-minute video with stunning images of planet earth from outer space, along with the touching accounts from the astronauts who have actually been out there and seen it – our home – from above. Even though the idea of space is still inconceivable to me, my desire to see this amazing view with my own eyes now exceeds my fear of an ungraspable universe.

So the next time I get offered a ride to the moon, you better believe I’m gonna jump right onboard.

Check it out and prepared to be awed.

Most Inspiring TEDx Talks

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Who doesn’t love to feel inspired? To feel that tingling feeling of enlightenment, hope, and determination spread through your entire being, touching not only your mind’s understanding, but also your heart. At least, that’s what true inspiration feels to me. It’s a feeling that can not only wake us up from that zombie like stage most of us are in when going home from work on a regular monday afternoon, but that can even change our entire life.

So how do we find this inspiration? This boost of raw energy that gives you goosebumps and makes you feel like there’s nothing you can’t accomplish? Well… if you don’t already know it, TED is an amazing source of inspiration. It’s an organization dedicated to spreading great ideas from people all over the world and today their website houses over 1500 inspiring talks about anything you could ever imagine. And most things you couldn’t.

Here are three of my favorite TEDx Talks to get you started. All three of them has inspired me and changed my life in one way or another.

Do you dare to let them change yours?

#1 Taylor Conroy – How to Build a School in 3 Hours
A simple, but brilliant idea explaining how 33 people can educate every child on earth. All it takes is a latte a day for three months, and you will have changed the world. Seeing this talk was a defining moment in my life. It inspired me to act and to look beyond my own little world to make someone else’s world better.


More information on the Change Heroes website.

#2 Janine Shepherd – A Broken Body isn’t a Broken Person
An amazing talk by an amazing woman who refused to let herself be limited by the tragic accident that ruined her body. Her story moved me to tears and reminded me that we are so much stronger than we know.

#3 Brené Brown – The Power of Vulnerability
A wonderful and genuine talk about daring to be vulnerable and how this can enrich our lives. It helped me realize that it’s ok to be vulnerable and to let others see it. That it’s beautiful even.

A Greeting

This week, life took an interesting turn. This turn will take me to Vancouver in January, where I’m likely to stay for at least half a year. And I’m excited. More excited than I’ve been in a long time actually.

Due to this life changing event, this blog got to see the light of day. Why, you ask? Because change is scary. No matter how excited you might be, change is scary, and writing about it makes it less so. Also, me moving to Canada has changed the way I view life in a sense. It has proven something to me that I’ve known in theory for a long time, but that I never really fully believed in until now. That you really can transform a dream into reality.

Oh, who am I kidding… more than anything, this blog is for my dear mother. It’s here to make her less sad that I’m leaving, and to keep her calm while I’m away. And I figured if I start slow already, three and a half months before I’m off, she and the rest of my lovely family might not even notice that I’m gone.

So what will this blog be about then? Canada, of course. Traveling, sure. But mostly, it will be about how to live life bravely. Because this is what I want – I want to be brave.

I hope to have you with me on this journey, and that you will want to share your own stories of how you’re living bravely.

Lots of love,
Lina