Do things that scare you

Written by Jess Shanahan

Future of Mobility expert writing on electric cars, entrepreneurship, and freelance life.

December 17, 2014

In an attempt to fill my life with adventure, I keep doing things that scare me. I like to visit spooky places at night, drive off road and throw myself down ridiculous zipwires. I’m naturally quite an anxious person and I’d go as far as to call myself a wimp, how growing up can change a person. I used to be the kid filming Jackass-style stunts in the fields behind my house or trying to persuade my little brother to go on a roller coaster for the eighth time in a row.

Now, I’m almost in tears every time I queue for a thrill ride and I’d run a mile if anyone came near me with a stapler.

It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve decided to do things that scare me rather than avoiding them at all costs. Of course, I still have a line that I won’t cross and you definitely won’t find me flinging myself out of a plane (parachute or not) any time soon. When faced with an opportunity, it’s easy to work out if it’s scary but exciting, or if it’s just downright out of my league but I used to turn down anything that put a flutter in my stomach.

But that was the old me, and by doing those scary-but-exciting things, I’ve changed my life.

The anxiety is still there but I’ve given myself a new lease of life and I’ve experienced so much in this last year that I would’ve never tried before. Anyone who feels they are missing out on something, just do it. I know it’s not always that easy but take a small step and do something that scares you, whether it’s bungee jumping or something as simple as striking up a conversation with a stranger.

Here are some things I did in 2014 that I almost chickened out of.

Facing my fears at Zipworld

This was an amazing trip with Vauxhall that I almost didn’t go on because the thought of heading to Zipworld was just too much. I’m glad I took that leap, though, because I had an amazing time. Not only did I get to meet some wonderful people but the whole trip opened all sorts of doors for me as a journalist and copywriter. While Zipworld was scary, once you get going and realise this is the closest you’re going to get to flying, it’s a spectacular experience.

Travelling to Frankfurt with Turtle Wax and Rebecca Racer

This might not sound scary but such a short notice trip made me feel anxious. This was soon after the Wales trip with Vauxhall those experiences made me realise that this was too good an opportunity to pass up. Again, I met some lovely people, I got to explore a beautiful city on my own and I got to spend a lot of time looking at cars and car parts at Automechanika.

Climbed countless mountains

IMG_1045Over the last ten years my boyfriend has been trying to persuade me to climb a few peaks in the Lake District, this year I caved and had the most amazing time. Yes, it was difficult and I may have cried but I’d do it all over again in a flash.

Pushed myself to learn a new skill

IMG_2550I’ve been wanting to learn something new for a while so when the opportunity came up to qualify as an OPI GelColor nail technician, I jumped at it. It’s spurred me on to keep expanding my skills and I’m currently in the process of training to become a clinical weight loss nutritionist.

Learnt to play roller derby

Blocking JayFriends were trying to persuade me to go to roller derby training for a while and this year I finally put on some skates and got on with it. It’s an amazing sport full of inspirational women and I wish injury and fear of injury hadn’t stopped me towards the end of the year. Next year, I’ll be back.

Got close to some fast cars at the Autosport Show

IMG_9115There’s nothing more exhilarating than standing directly next to a race track while cars speed around it. The press area at the Autosport Show was dangerously really close to the track and standing right where the action was happening was particularly scary but thrilling at the same time.


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