“Buy the Ticket…”

There comes a time when we are faced with a challenge that scares us to death. We imagine every worst possible outcome. Ever since I was a kid to younger adult I have been afraid of one particular roller coaster. The first hill towers over the entire park, so many twists and turns, years of screaming etched into my head. Anxiety would fill every part of my body if I even looked at the line for the ride. I assumed that I would never ride, that I would never overcome that fear, but today was different. Today I was much calmer than I had been, I know I’ve changed dramatically from even a few short years ago. With the guidance of my friends we approached the line. The line was short, only took a few minutes until we were next. I felt nervous but calm at the same time. The train pulled up, we got in. Once strapped in we were off, past the point of no return. The climb was painfully slow, I was waiting for the moment of release. We plummeted with tremendous speed, so many twists and turns and ups and downs. It felt like an instant, we were back where we started. I felt a great deal of joy, I truly felt like a kid again. What I imagined all those years was completely wrong, quite the opposite in fact. Never in a million years did I think I would ride it, let alone love it. I was so amazed, not by the roller coaster itself, but how I was terrified over nothing. It got me thinking; how many other times have I passed up on something because I was crippled by fear? I can’t count how many times I’ve missed out on something based on fear of the perceived result. I was so quick to assume the worst that I ended up missing the best. It never crossed my mind that I’d love it. Although the approach of negative visualization is my default, would a balanced contemplation be more appropriate? Ponder the best case and the worst case? Understand the risks of doing and not doing? For a roller coaster the worst case isn’t anything to actually worry about. Still I thought of so many possible outcomes, I throw up, the ride breaks, I hit my head off something. Besides throwing up the chances of any severe events are low, therefore it wouldn’t be a risky move if I rode. On the positive side I could have seen myself soaring through the park, seeing everything from a whole new angle. I’ve gained perspective on the power of decision making mainly because I could have potentially missed out on something great. Which got me thinking of other times when I was crippled by fear, unable to come close to execution. Too many times I’ve only seen the risks of doing, but I missed out on the risks of not doing. Situations arise when we are shown opportunities for advancement in oneself, but only visualize ourselves failing dramatically. Ignoring the fact that not trying can put us in a worst position. There is nothing worse in my opinion than the regret of not doing something. Sure not riding a roller coaster wasn’t something I thought I’d regret, until I had the perspective of experiencing the outcome. I couldn’t have predicted this new insight towards making decisions. Life is full of decisions that will be minor and huge, awesome and devastating. There will be those times of crippling fear, sometimes we fail, sometimes we succeed. It’s a matter of making a habit of making the right choice at the right time. Feel the fear, feel the excitement, contemplate the risks, fail forward, etc. Sometimes the greatest things life has to offer are behind what we fear most, we have to recognize them when they arise.

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