This weekend, I went hiking with some friends. The last time I went hiking was 8 years ago. While I enjoyed it then and I was fine with the physical exertion, since 8 years ago, I've convinced myself I can't do it. My friends seem to go hiking a lot. I usually want to go, but I don't because I know I'll get too tired and not be able to go on.
This is a pattern for me. I like to play it safe or I don't think I deserve it. If there are several people walking in a row, I'll usually walk behind because I don't want to crowd everyone. I'll just wait for everyone else at the restaurant to find a seat and then I'll pull up a chair and be the odd one out. I won't raise my hand at school to answer questions (even if I know the answer). I won't tell people what I need from them (thus I often make friends who walk all over me), I continue to engage with people I don't want to be around because I'm afraid they won't like me. The list goes on.
But, on Saturday I went hiking. And it was amazing. And I not only stayed with the group I led the pace for most of the way (this caused us to get a little lost at one point because I wasn't paying attention to where I was going). A seven mile hike and I was fine. It was beautiful, I had a wonderful time. It was lovely to be in the woods and at a waterfall with friends and really feel a part of. I pushed myself to do it and did something scary I thought I'd fail at and it was great.