When I was eleven years old I went on a school trip to a science camp. We were doing an activity called the “leap of faith.” It consisted of climbing a seventy foot tree while attached to a harness, reaching a platform to stand on at the top, jumping to a hanging trapeze, letting go and free falling all the way down. After thinking about all the ways that it could go wrong, I was too afraid to take that leap of faith, and ever since that day I’ve regretted it.
I was seventeen years old when I received an opportunity to travel to Australia for a few weeks. At first I was skeptical, thinking to myself that I wouldn’t be able to handle being away from everything I was familiar with, and knowing that I would have to prove my independence. During those three weeks I did many things that I would normally be too afraid to do. I never imagined myself as being the adventurous type, but as the days went on in the Land of Oz, I had taken on a fourteen hour plane ride, a 200 foot zip line, climbed a 600 foot bridge, climbed into caves, and flew down a 300 foot sand hill on a piece of wood. These are pretty scary things for someone who is afraid of heights. But I learned to step out of my comfort zone, and take the risks.
I believe in taking risks. It is in the risks that I have taken where I have found what truly makes me happy. Whether it was passions, likes, dislikes, relationships or adventures, risks allowed me to find myself.
For me, risking something means overcoming a fear. I’ve let fears control me, and as I grow older, I am realizing that in order for me to overcome those fears, I must take risks, do the things that I’m afraid of. I don’t want to grow up and continue to have those fears control me living happily. I don’t want to have regrets. I’ve always been told to live everyday as if it is my last, so there is no point in holding anything back. While I was in Australia I realized this as I overcame my biggest fears of heights, and being away from my home, but it allowed me to have a once in a lifetime experience, all because I decided to take risks. As Helen Keller once said, ‘Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” This I believe.
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