“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”
– T.S. Eliot
Sometimes I take on self-imposed challenges that scare me so much my body turns cold. Not the death defying, extreme sport, crazy kind of challenges.
I’m talking about the knee-knocking challenge of standing in front of a room of people for my first Toastmasters public speaking experience – something people fear more than death. I’m talking about the intense six year challenge of examining my past word by word when I wrote my memoir. I’m talking about the enormous challenge of moving to a new country and letting go of the home and friends I left behind.
The first quote I posted on Instagram almost a year ago was by Eleanor Roosevelt. It’s still one of my favorites: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Often we’ve been warned, taught or simply want to turn away from things that scare us, but that limits what we believe is possible.
If we don’t let ourselves be afraid, we can’t become fearless. The knee knocking after my speech lasted an hour. Coming back to balance after I finished my memoir took months. I’m not sure how long it will be before I feel totally at home in Portugal -or if I ever will.
But one thing I know for sure is when I think of the challenges I’ve accomplished, or overcome, in my life I get a warm and fuzzy feeling in my body that will last forever.