Back in February 2014, I wrote a post titled “I Know You’re Scared. Do it Scared! I Know You’re Unsure, Do it Unsure!” Little did I know that, in just two weeks after writing those words, I would face the biggest period of fear and uncertainty in my life. The phone rang and my doctor told me I had cancer.
The next few months of my life are still a blur to me, as so many things happened so quickly. I was scared and uncertain about nearly every aspect of my life.
Nevertheless, I remembered writing those words and kept saying them over and over to myself as I lived one day, one step at a time. “I know you’re scared. Do it scared!” became my mantra. I am so glad that I took my own advice because my life is completely different and I have accomplished things in the last year that I did not think were possible.
I often talk about this on my “Life is a Marathon” podcast–which I started while being very scared–and many people write to thank me for encouraging them to do the same. I want to share one of these stories with you. This email came from Mindy, and she has given me permission to share it with you:
Bruce, you amazing guy you! I must share with you how you helped me! I recently listened to your podcasts titled “On the other side of fear is freedom!” And guess what?…..I took your advice and I “did it scared!” Near my house there is a totally sweet spot called “The Cove.” It’s located back in the woods underneath an abandoned railroad. It’s a swimming hole. I took my 7 year old son here about a month ago, and we did get into the water, but I avoided the most fun part of this spot because I was terrified. This swimming hole sits at the bottom of a giant tunnel which is about 20 ft drop from the top of the tunnel to the water. Kids come here daily to jump from the tunnel into the hole, and I don’t need to tell you that its pretty terrifying when your looking down from above. Well, my son was bummed that I was so squirmy about this place. He complained that he wished I had swam more. I was just so freaking scared. Even when we left, my heart was sad that I didn’t do what I wanted to do and jump!! So, after I heard your podcast, I said to myself “We’re gonna do this scared! Hell ya!!” I didn’t even finish it to the end. I paused it, then I made arrangements to have my baby watched. I and waited for Saturday when we would be going. Oh my gosh, Bruce, I was nervous for 48 hours! But no backing out now! I was gonna have some fun and get me some freedom, dammit!! Saturday came, we dropped the baby off, and headed out to this super sweet spot, both of us shaking in our flipflops. I told my boy, I’m really scared buddy, but I’m doing this! And then he started to say, he was scared too, but I reassured him that he didn’t have to do ANYTHING he didn’t want to. We got there, there were 15 or so people hanging out, having fun, swimming, and I was just getting so freaking nervous and I KNEW if I thought about, then I would talk myself out of it!! (just like the first time) So I walked up to the drop, threw my backpack and flipflops off as quick as possible, looked to left to ask a random guy “am I going to hit a rock?” He said no, and Mindy jumped!!!! It was EXACTLY as scary as I thought it would be but OMG, WHAT A RUSH!!! The people watching were a bit stunned and even yelled down at me, “Wow, there was no hesitation there!” My son came alive a little bit that moment. LOL. Bruce, you were right. I walked through fear and picked me up some freedom (yeah baby!!!) Thank you so much for sharing God’s message on these podcasts! I jumped several times that day, each time was really scary because it’s just so far down! And guess what, you want to know the best part? At the very end, my 7 year old son faced his fear and jumped, too!!!!! And he “did it scared”. There are not words for the joy I felt inside my body and soul. And it wasn’t so much that he jumped. It was the impact that facing his fear had on him! He was speechless for about an hour…LOL Which is saying a lot since he’s my chatterbox kid. But you know what, Bruce? This has planted a seed inside him (and me). He knows now that he is brave, and that he is cool, and that he is fun. Something he didn’t believe prior to this. (And at such a young age!) How can I say thanks to you? For giving me something so priceless? I know Jesus lead me to your podcast so I could get myself unstuck and LIVE!!!! I will say thanks by sharing with you how you have impacted my life. And I absolutely tell EVERYONE about your podcast! Bruce, I’m so very blessed beyond measure. We are going again this Saturday 🙂 And were going to do it again “scared”.
I absolutely love this message from Mindy and am so proud of her for facing her fear and doing it scared! You see, all of life’s treasures are guarded by fear and self-doubt. The biggest treasure that awaits you, however, is true emotional and spiritual freedom! As I said, “On the other side of fear lies freedom!” Mindy and her son found the thrill of freedom. You can, too!
What is it that you want to do that you know will bring great happiness in your life, but you are too scared to try. I know you’re scared. Do it scared!