Eleanor Roosevelt, US diplomat and reformer (1884 – 1962), once said:
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
Until today, this made no sense to me whatsoever. “Why would I want to be scared?” I asked myself, always getting the clear answer of: “I have no idea!”
But this morning I wondered if this is more about our deep, invisible fears than it is about my outspoken, and irrational, fear of spiders or wet socks. (Although I suppose the socks issue is more about my neuroses than fear.) Instead of being about the “loud” things that scare us, I think Eleanor might mean the silent subconscious fears many of us have — things like stepping outside of our comfort zone or trying unfamiliar foods or meeting new people.
Awhile back I made a resolution to open myself up to more new things. Interestingly, what spurred me to do this was the Jim Carrey movie, “Yes Man”:
Saying “yes” to things outside my normal routine isn’t my default setting. But I have changed my mind and behavior and have to admit, I do feel like I’m living a bit more.
Even if, at first, it usually kinda scares me.