I remember reading a quotation by Eleanor Roosevelt that said, “Do one thing every day that scares you”. The quote struck a chord with me. Like many other people, I often find that I get caught up with the day-to-day routine. I often stick with what I know and what I need to do.
With busy schedules, I realise we cannot always do something new every day. However, we need to set challenges for ourselves every so often.
So it got me thinking. How many of us get caught up with routines? How often do we set challenges for ourselves? And when we decide on a goal, do we really move out of our comfort zone, by aiming to achieve something that is difficult but also attainable with a bit of hard work?
This summer I realised I had not set a goal to complete for quite some time. And believe me, there are plenty of things in life that I have talked about doing for a long time. I recognised that I allowed work and life take over, and was putting everything on the long finger.
One of my ambitions was to achieve my PADI© Open Water Diving Certificate, before I hit a certain age (which I shall not disclose!). So, whilst on holidays I decided to put my money where my mouth is and sign up. I knew from others that it is an intensive course over four very long days.
Anyone familiar with the diving course will know that safety is paramount. There are a lot of skills to learn and numerous tests to complete. I was ready to put in the hard work. However, nothing could have prepared me mentally for the various challenges and assessments. I was now out of my comfort zone.
When we think about it, breathing under water is one of the most unnatural things to do. So, my greatest challenge was to be able to breath comfortably under water without panicking or wanting to come back up especially during the skill tests.
There were many moments, when I wanted to give up. I had to dig deep and just do it, so I focused on completing one small step at a time. I was very glad I did as the sense of euphoria completely outweighed all the tension and fear.
Upon reflection, I realised that I had become too complacent. The challenge made me uncomfortable, as I had to confront my fears. It tested my strength, determination and stamina.
Many of my friends have since told me similar tales and it has made me realise that nothing worthwhile comes easy to any of us. Like the dark before the dawn, we will also experience tough times for every great adventure. I also agree with Brian Tracy and believe that if we set ourselves a goal to succeed, we can gain so much more and even conquer our fears. The hardest thing is just taking the first step.
On a personal note, the challenge has helped me to grow as a person. It has reinforced my confidence, self-belief and ability to achieve. It has also woken up the adventurer in me, as I sit here and wonder what my next challenge will be…