The only times I recommend following a limit is when your professor says that they’re not reading anything in your paper beyond the 750th word and when you could be sent to your sorority standards board for posting a picture of alcohol on your Instagram while you’re under 21. Then you should probably stop. Otherwise, the only person limiting you anywhere is you.
As Cady Heron once said, “The limit does not exist”.
For the past week I’ve been texting my boyfriend at random times saying, “we should go skydiving”, “we should climb Mt. Kilimanjaro” and his response is always “that’s expensive”.
So, I guess I’m going to start saving.
Why do I have this urge to do these insane things when I spend my days working from home hoping to make it to 10,000 steps around the house? I’ve been reading a memoir (which hasn’t helped my step problem).
“Do one thing everyday that scares you”. -Eleanor Roosevelt
Noelle Hancock, a Yale graduate, spent a year of her life scaring every ounce of herself to discover what she was actually capable of.
Some of her adventures were smaller- running down the hallway naked and spending a week in complete silence- while some were larger- skydiving, flying a plane, karaoke, and climbing to the roof of Africa (Mt. Kilimanjaro).
Her two largest fears seemed to be heights, which lead her to the top of a volcano, and public speaking, which she faced by competing in a stand-up comedy competition.
As I was reading this I was thinking two things:
1. This is brilliant
2. I could never
I’ve spent hours before presentations with my heart rate at 120 knowing I might not be chosen to present that day in class. I’ve told a professor I was sick and had to present during day two because I wanted to beef up my presentation. I can perform a concert worthy karaoke routine in the car but refuse to mumble the words when I have someone in the passenger seat with me.
The most fearless I’ve been about speaking in front of people was at a funeral when I read a passage in front of 70. I was more focused on the reason I was there than what I was actually doing. Nothing about tripping to walk up in a brand new pair of heels, standing up to receive the first communion in front of everyone, or the fear of messing up my words crossed my mind. Now, whereas for my public speaking fear, this went very well I’ve since made everyone in my life promise me they wouldn’t die, so that won’t happen again.
My fear of public speaking lead me to this blog, the same way it lead Noelle to being a writer as well. We surprisingly have a lot in common. She brought notes to class on things she could mention to get her participation points- I do the same.
A Year of Fear is nothing I’m interested in. Facing fears will always be apart of life and I’ll have to do that many times to get to where I’m going, I’ll accept that. But I’m not sure if forcing myself to be scared everyday would be particularly healthy for me- my fitbit’s heart rate monitor probably doesn’t go that high.
So then what did I get out of the book?
1. The urge to read more about Eleanor Roosevelt.
She’s known as an incredible first lady but little know that she was that amazing person when experiencing the hardest of times. One being that her mother in law built a house for Eleanor and Franklin in New York and the mother in law then bought the property next door and installed sliding doors on all levels of their houses so that she could pop in at all times. The list of insane things she dealt with can only get more impressive.
2. I need to work on my own fears.
I’ve never been able to speak in front of a crowd without burning up or shaking before hand. I need to work on it. Companies want you to make yourself stand out, having to talk to people is inevitable and unfortunately there’s nothing I can do about it.
3. There’s a lot of things I want to do
Nothing can be done from your living room. Trying new foods, seeing new places, traveling- you have to remove yourself from the comfort of your home. Africa has made it on my list, I want to swim in every ocean, run a half marathon, and see the curve of the earth.
4. Discovering yourself is important
You have to know who you are if you want other people to. The way that you operate won’t be able to be seen by watching other people or doing things you think are correct. Noelle sent on a silent retreat to practice turning off her electronics and completely disconnecting from the world only to find that she was distracting herself the entire five days by reading books rather than practicing mindfulness.
5. You can’t live a fulfilling life without challenging yourself
It’ll be worth it.
6. Exceed your limits
You really don’t have any limits at all
“You must do the things you think you cannot do”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Your John Wengler quote fits quite perfectly with this topic:
“Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”
– John Wengler