Courtesy David Warren/Flickr
I don’t know about you, but I’m the kind of person who likes to jump into things head on. Equipped with a dream and some gumption, I find it exhilarating to step outside my comfort zone and take on something I’ve never done before. This relinquishment of fear is most often driven by my desire to learn or feel something new, and as a result, I’ve been showered with many once-in-a-lifetime experiences, from spending a year traveling the dirt roads of Cambodia by bus to jumping out of an airplane with the landscape of New Zealand’s Southern Alps as my backdrop.
But to say that I was born with this sense of boldness would be a lie. There was a time in my life when I feared that any decision I made would be my last and that a wrong move would simply ruin my life.
Thankfully, I’ve learned that this just isn’t so.
Still, there are times when we all—myself included—find ourselves in holding patterns, waiting for the right moment to make our move. The longer we wait, the less likely it seems the perfect moment will come. Eventually, we might even end up giving up on that dream, and what a tragic (and unnecessary) loss that is!
I’ve found that when I’m unable to move forward with my goals or ambitions, fear is usually at the root of the matter. I lapse back to the younger version of myself who thinks that one tiny decision could determine my entire well-being. It’s times like these when I need to step back and gain some perspective: What will this new, “scary” situation be able to teach me? If I fail, what’s the worst that can happen—and could it even be good if I do? I wonder how I would handle the situation if _____ happened? At the end of the day, can I get a good story out of this?
By taking on the role of a learner and by asking questions about the situation and about myself, the circumstances turn from seemingly life or death to being something I’m excited to dive into.
Now, you don’t have to travel the world to encounter the once-in-a-lifetime experiences you’re curiosity will offer. By digging into life a little deeper on the farm, you’ll be able to cultivate a richness of life that fear once put a damper on. Have you put off selling your goat’s milk because you’re afraid of the legal processes involved? Have you stopped yourself from making your homemade honey-almond soap in bulk quantities because you thought no one would buy it? Did you plant the same old tomatoes, beans and squash because you didn’t know what you’d do with all those beets and kohlrabi you’ve been craving? Have you avoided starting a farm blog because you don’t think you’ll have the time and no one will be interested anyway?
I give you permission right now, right this second, to put all those doubts and fears aside and to simply do it. I’ve told you this before, but you’re great and as a farmer, you’re doing something truly admirable. Let your curiosity and creativity take over, and today start doing that thing you’ve always wanted to do.
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