As you probably know, the best thing to do to stop the cycle of fear-based procrastination is to roll up those sleeves and take care of business. I've talked about this before. A few weekends ago, I put my money where my mouth is, faced my fears, and auditioned for a musical, which is something I had been wanting to do for a long time but kept putting off because it TERRIFIED ME. (And no, I didn't get cast-- BUMMER, right?) But regardless, after finally doing something I had wanted to do but had been putting off, I felt so exhilarated that I kept the momentum going and did a few other things I had been avoiding. The whole process reminded me of how rejuvenating progress can be.
I'm not sure if it's the progress itself that makes me feel so powerful/fine/delicious/unstoppable/dope, or if it's the fact that I stepped out of what's comfortable (inaction and staying small) and moved into a place of power. When I consistently move just outside of what's comfortable for me, I always reap the benefits tenfold. "Going for it," in whatever capacity, is always a game-changer.
That said, moving outside of my comfort zone is, well, uncomfortable, so I find myself only doing "dangerous" things once in awhile, and then retreating back to my safe space (which, FYI, involves Disney movies, cats, and snacks). But lately, with spring here and the days getting sunny and long, I've been wondering what could be possible if I made a deliberate choice to step out of my comfort zone-- consistently.
To test this theory, I'm doing a bit of an experiment. Every day in April, I am going to do something I've been scared of, avoiding, or stressing out about.
I was going to call this project Month of Fear and Procrastination, but I realized fear and procrastination aren't the point of a month like this. The point is summoning up enough courage to tackle the fear and procrastination. (Besides, calling it Month of Fear and Procrastination is indicative of my dark sense of humor that everyone else may not appreciate). Since courage is at the heart of facing fears, I hereby declare April as my MONTH OF COURAGE.
Moving beyond fear to a place of courage is daunting, and having a community going through the same thing only makes it easier. I would love if you would take on this challenge with me! If you want to participate, the rules are simple: every day, do something you're scared of-- something that requires courage.
"Courage" can look like many different things on different days. One day, it may be finally addressing something you've put off--like a mounting pile of unread emails. Another day, it could mean having that difficult conversation. Another day, it could mean putting yourself out there. Another day, it could mean saying no.
If you want to participate, what can you do to prepare? Well, since the campaign formally kicks off tomorrow, I suggest using today to jot down a list of things you want to do that require great courage. Don't think this list has to include only massively epic, level-20 feats either, because it doesn't! Here's a snippet of my list:
- Call and inquire about a tax question
- Send out a packet of poetry to a specific magazine I find *hella* cool but equally daunting
- Apply to adopt a little dog I've had my eye on
- Hang out with people at AWP
- Do yoga
With a list that's varied in scope and intensity, you have options. You don't have to scale Mt. Everest every day! If you're a real planner, you can plan out your acts of courage from small to large, slowly building to the bigger, more monumental things so you have momentum when you get there! Or, you can start with the big projects, which will make the smaller ones a breeze in comparison. Or, you can just use the list as a jumping-off point and then abandon it entirely, coming up with something new every day. You make the rules, dude!
I would absolutely love to do this with you, so I would adore it if you joined me! If you're interested, reach out below, and during the month, share your progress on social media and tag it #monthofcourage so we can all connect. Launching this campaign has motivated me to *finally* get social media hookups for this site, so you can follow along on Twitter (@mentalthrills) and Instagram (@mentalthrillness), if you're so inclined.
This is going to be a big month of boss battles and leveling up and I can't wait to dive in. ;)