When I worked for the Department Of Conservation (DOC) as a biodiversity ranger pre-kids I would work in the bush daily on my own. I loved my job and never felt afraid, ok- except the one time I stumbled upon a family of wild boars😲🐷🦛, I thanked my lucky stars that we don’t have any wild animals in New Zealand that can kill or poison us! I do remember people asking me if I was afraid working in the forest by myself and certainly they looked concerned at my lack of concern. Perhaps it was being young and carefree or perhaps it was just because I was so familiar with the forest I worked in? Anyhow I don’t remember feeling afraid of being in the bush alone.
Now 10 years on I occasionally work alone in the forest (usually doing some biodiversity monitoring) and I’ve noticed I feel a bit nervous being by myself. Maybe it’s because I read the news more these days which trips my mind into a negative and/or fearful zone? Maybe it’s out of my comfort zone because I rarely do it? Or maybe it’s because there is a higher chance of meeting people in the forest I work in now due to the smaller size of the reserve?
Recently I read an article from my favorite magazine, Flow, about keeping your own pocket sized “self help” notebook. The idea being that you write in it “pearls of wisdom” quotes or advice that mean something to you and then you keep with you always so in say times of stress or worry you can pull it out and gain some perspective.
Anyway… the other day I went into the bush to do this work on my own, but I hadn’t yet gotten around to doing this, so I pulled out my metaphorical notebook. Here are two quotes I pulled out:
- “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life most, of which have never happened” By Mark Twain .
- “Thoughts aren’t facts so don’t take them seriously” Ruby Wax.
Relevant much!😂 And so I had a lovely walk in the bush by myself. 🚶♀️🧘♀️🌿Nice.
Today I thought about this – “Self compassion is a more effective motivator than self criticism because its driving force is love and not fear”. I have a lot of saved quotes on my “Word Up” Pinterest board – it might be time to transfer them to my pocket notebook I think!
What do you do when faced with fears? Do you have a strategy to overcome them?
Love to know your thoughts, Tammy.