5 Quantum Leaps that Happen when We Face Our Fears
“Everything you ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”~ George Addair
Have you ever heard that quote before? Well it’s true.
A recent big fear I overcame was riding the motorbike. Not an extreme life changing experience, you’d think. But I live and work on Bali where there is no public transport besides expensive taxis.
Car traffic is so heavy that a motorbike is the most convenient, cheapest and practically a necessary means of transport.
I simply had to learn to drive a bloody bike.
The problem was that I was mortified. Every time I tried, it felt like I was driving to my own premature death as soon as I was opening the gas handle. Panic would spread through my entire body.
My hands, my legs, my stomach, my back, everything would be paralyzed with fear. Pretty darn ridiculous.
One evening, my partner and I decided to put an end to this unreasonable dread. He climbed on the back of the motorbike and gently encouraged me, while I practiced how to balance the bike and started making turns on an empty car park.
After I narrowly missed an angry goose on a crossroad, I dared to drive for 5 km on a quiet village road. With my boyfriend on the back, mind you! As I was slowly getting the hang of it and with each kilometer, my fear was subsiding.
When I made friends with the flat village road, I took on a hill that looked steeper than it actually turned out. Again, my fear had made a mountain out of a molehill. Once I had sweated about and conquered the slopes around Ubud, I realized that I was getting more and more confident.
The next challenge was the epitome of my fear: the busy roads of Bali, by myself.
Step by step, with practice and stubborn perseverance, I got there.
Grateful for my partner who believed in me and who pushed me over my perceived limits, I am now able to drive around Bali on my motorbike with confidence. All in all, it took me 3 weeks.
Here is what facing my fear of driving a motorbike taught me about life:
1. Fear is just a concept in our mind.
Fear creates paradigms such as: I can’t imagine myself drive a motorbike, I surely cannot do it. The bumpy road will cause me to lose control of my motorbike.
Both of those are preconceived negative thoughts not related to reality. As I proved to myself, I can drive a bike safely, even over bumps.
By cutting trough fear, we realize reality is much safer than we thought. We often spend more time stuck in our mind than engaged with reality.
Life is safe, live it.
2. We are much stronger and more resilient than we think.
While I was practicing and still scared shitless, I was driving up the hill as the small road curved sharply to the left. A large car came from the opposite direction.
Immediately, my focus shifted from whiny fear “I cannot do it, I am scared” to survival mode of holding a steady course. I added enough gas to make it to the steep top of the road and controlled the bike keeping a safe distance from the car.
We can rely on our abilities. We are capable in many ways.
3. Overcoming fear gives us a great amount of self-confidence.
I witnessed my own fast learning curve and exponential progress–from being scared to touch the gas handle to being able to drive my boyfriend around on Bali roads in only few days.
Aside from the immense pleasure of my boyfriend calling me his hero every time I sat on the bike, I really love the feeling of being proud of myself, being strong and resilient and overcoming the challenges of driving day by day.
It’s great to be a winner, and there is nothing more enjoyable than triumphing over your fears. Be a winner.
4. When we release the grip of fear we discover joy.
A whole new world of enjoying riding motorbike opened up for me. Now, I am elated when I drive, feel the freedom and the speed, while before every turn was scary and I would freeze and feel out of control.
Now I love going to the shops on a motorbike, I love going to a meeting on a motorbike.
Driving a motorbike gives me an infinite source of joy.
By letting go of fear we find joy in our lives.
5. We can stop worrying because we are safe. The universe has our back.
This was the most important discovery of facing my fear of driving a motorbike. It really blew my mind. I was so scared of cars running over me, of other motorbikes bumping into me, dogs and chicken running under my bike and all other possible combinations my mind could fathom.
I thought worrying and being constantly on the lookout was the only way of to stay in control of the situation.
I was so wrong. While I was learning to drive on a borrowed bike, it broke down and I had to pull it to the side of the road. I was so focused on what I was doing that I forgot to worry about other vehicles on the road.
A big car came up behind me and honked, as if to hurry me so he would be able to pass. I moved as fast as I could, but when I look over my shoulder, I realized that the driver was waiting behind me on purpose. He wanted me to clear the road before letting any other traffic pass by. The driver, unknown to me, had my back.
It is okay to rely on others for our safety. The universe is good, it watches over us constantly.
Iva Tarle — is a life coach with training in NLP, Theta Healing and Reiki, and Yogi for 15 years. She left her career in diplomacy to help people live more in tune with themselves by teaching mindful living habits.
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