Copyright © Nicole Black 2018
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Many years ago I lived in Caribbean and my friends and I would travel to the British
Virgin Islands and enjoy an afternoon aboard the Willy T, which was a floating bar in the middle
of nowhere. There was an upper deck that had views for days and a small platform that people
would jump off of into the cool waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
I could never seem to build up the courage to just jump off the side of the boat. And it
was one of my biggest regrets, that I let fear intimidate me when I knew that the danger I was
thinking was there wasn’t really there.
Fast forward to a vacation in Kauai last summer and I found myself on a snorkel trip to
the forbidden island. We weren’t going to go on the forbidden island but we would be able to
see it clearly and swim in the crystal clear blue waters next to it. As I was standing on the boat
fiddling around with my snorkel gear I heard the boat Captain yell out, “This is the oldest and
the youngest you are ever going to be. Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone, so if there is
something you want to do today, then do it.” And right when he said that I knew I was going to
gather my courage and jump.
I got to the side of the boat and the fear kicked in and I looked and it was only about a
10-foot drop. I asked myself, “What is the worst thing that can happen?” I counted to ten and
then held my nose and screamed and just jumped. As I flew threw the air and hit the water and
rose back to the surface I was screaming bloody murder. Not because I was afraid but because I
had no idea what had held me back for so long. And I loved every single second of it so much
that I did it twice. And when I told my 12-year-old daughter she couldn’t believe it. And neither
So what inspired me to jump? All my life I have dreamed of jumping off the side of a
boat and landing in the cool Pacific waters. And the one thing that held me back was fear. I was
afraid that I would look silly or that I would hit the side of the boat or maybe even hit the
bottom of the ocean floor (not likely but I have never been a huge risk taker).
Of course, this left another nagging question, what had I been so afraid of? I still don’t
know but I can tell you that facing my fears that day was one of the strongest acts of courage I
have ever done. I have spent countless hours being kind to unkind people hoping upon endless
hope that somehow, someway they would be kind in return. Somewhere along the way I forgot
that I wasn’t being kind to myself. So I decided on the day that I was able to face my fears that
being kind to me was going to be my top priority. If I am not taking care of myself no one else is
going to do it.
What is your greatest fear? And how can I help you face it?