"I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life - and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do." —Georgia O'Keeffe
Georgia O’Keeffe is one of my favorite painters. She travelled the world and painted pictures of buildings, landscapes, skulls, but is probably most known for her paintings of flowers. Many of these paintings are both realistic and abstract at the same time. When I read this quote, I was encouraged by the message. I think, that’s because I could personally identify with that experience. I am intimately familiar with fear. It’s been my constant companion for as long as I can remember. For so long, fear kept me stuck and the sense of helplessness that resulted was even more terrifying. I really missed out on a lot and would possibly still be there today if not for the words someone shared with me twenty plus years ago, “do it afraid.” That opened up a whole new world for me. If I was going to be afraid anyway, I might as well get some stuff done.
How many of us make our way through our days, weeks, years while navigating our own internal challenges (fear, doubt, perceived limits imposed by others or our self)? We learn, we adapt…we manage. It isn’t always pretty and certainly rarely easy, but so many amazing things await us on the other side. For me, it started with the thought, “if I wasn’t afraid, I would…” and then I did that thing. So, if you weren’t afraid, what would you do? Now, go give it a try. Do it afraid.
Judi Holder is the Recovery Services Administrator for RI International’s San Diego programs and has been with the company for more than 18 years. She is the author of the Wellness and Empowerment in Life and Living (WELL) 4th edition and the co-author of Creating Healthy Habits, a five session program to help people develop the skills and tools for healthy lifestyle choices. Judi has shared about her own personal recovery experience with service providers throughout the country.