Monday, October 14, 2013

Do we choose to be afraid?

The mountain has been closed most days lately so I have had an abundance of time on my hands. On Sunday, I watched the entire season on An Idiot Abroad: Bucket list. Basically, Ricky Gervais gets one of his friends to travel around the world, completing other people's bucket lists. Some of the things he does are pretty spectacular like diving with sharks and visiting tribes in the jungle. Some events he refuses like bungee jumping while completing more dangerous looking tasks like standing on the wing on an airplane while it does tricks thousands of feet from above.

In one episode, he goes to Russia to do the Trans-Siberian Railway. Along the way, he stops off to 'relax' by digging his own grave, getting a plastic sheet wrapped around him, putting a tube in his mouth while he is buried alive. Apparently this is a thing.

 When he wants to get out, he blows on the tube 3 times consecutively and people dig him out. This idea terrifies me. Like anyone, I try to imagine how I would react if I was in that situation. I understand that it is good for you to live outside of your comfort zone. I understand that fear only holds you back and in most situations you aren't in any real danger. While I was thinking about how I would get out of getting buried alive, I thought of another question: Are we only scared of things because they use to scare us and we are just so use to living with a certain fear that we just accept it? What if we just decided not to be scared anymore? I'm somewhat claustrophobic, possibly from being locked in a trunk when I was a kid.

But that was like twenty years ago. Do I really want to be afraid or miss out on experiences because I was scared once twenty years ago? Do we act a certain way only because we acted like that in the past? I can only assume that these fears will just get progressively worse as time goes by.
I don't know the answers to anything really but I'm just curious to find out what would happen if I just 'decided' I wasn't scared to go talk to that beautiful girl eating my favorite type of bagel? What if jumping out on an airplane strapped to a parachute was exhilarating and not terrifying? Is being afraid merely just an option that I can chose not to control my life? Or is it just part of being human? Maybe doing things we are afraid of and conquering those moments are the times that we are actually really living.

"Fear is a habit, so is self-pity, defeat, anxiety, despair, hopelessness and resignation."

"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it."

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