Face your fears. Windsurfing in Baja, Mexico.

If you keep up with my blog, you know I share my perspectives on leisure. My Leisurely Thursday feature is my platform for introducing and discussing concepts related to leisure education as well as to illuminate why leisure is a basic need in our lives.

Today’s focus is on self-inflicted barriers that prevent us from participating in our leisure past-times.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Are you a person who inadvertently creates obstacles that prevent you from enjoying your leisure time? Actually, we all do to some degree. The good news is, we have the ability to overcome the fear, the barriers, and the obstacles that potentially rob us of our joy.

Using myself as an example, many of you know that I am a windsurfer. I am not a confident windsurfer. I began this very late in life (age 49) and this is an extremely difficult sport/hobby to learn. I have been athletic my entire life and learning most sports came easily to me. Not this one.

Although I have sailed at the delta these past six seasons, I am still anxious about going out. Wind conditions change daily and the water can be fickle due to high or low tides.

Never mind sailing in a daunting ocean environment.

Fear. It hits me.

Every. Single. Time.

Self-doubt about our abilities in leisure is common. What is it that we fear? Injury? Humiliation? Failure? All of the above?

Without going into details of getting my windsurf gear past the shore break, I had some difficulty the day before. I convinced myself that I was NOT EVER going to windsurf again.

Lured by another gorgeous day of sun and perfect wind the next day, I really wanted to prove to myself that I could do this. It is hard to tell in the picture, but those waves were cresting at 5 feet high.

I was terrified.

My hubby captured this moment in the photo above.

Within a few feet of shore, the water was over my head and I could not touch the bottom. Once I got the board and sail organized, I had to push it out past the cresting waves and sail from a water start position. I still had a little trouble, but I got up and sailed into the surf. Gawd, it was fun!

These are the times in our leisure moments that getting past that barrier of self-doubt begins the process of success.

I still experience fear and anxiety about sailing and probably always will. The fear of looking stupid is as strong as the fear of failing so miserably that I must perform the walk of shame or crawl unceremoniously out of the water onto the rocks.

But…it sure does feel fantastic when I experience a grand sailing session.

Windsurfing in La Ventana, Baja

My friend, Jessica Edouard, on her blog, Send Sunshine posted this recently.
Hysterical Blindness

“Inside our hearts, we have the ability to overcome the obstacles created within our mind”

Coincidentally, she not only articulated some thoughts related to my post, she used one of the photos I had sent her of sunflowers. She does brilliant work with her photos and shares an inspirational post every DAY!! Please check out her blog!


I challenge you to “do one thing every day that scares you.” 

Pushing past that barrier is very esteeming to us and we need these successful moments in our leisure time regardless of the complexity of the activity.

What will you do to push past your fear of participating in a new leisure activity?


I hope you enjoyed this small excerpt from the e-book I am writing.

49 thoughts on “Breaking Barriers of Self-Doubt in Leisure

  1. you go girl! I’ve been talking a little with my hubby about this topic. It’s hard for me to know if I’m showing good judgment going out into the countryside by myself to take pictures. It scares me sometimes, depending on the hour of the day, and where I’m headed. I’ve had a scare with a loose farm dog and another with an angry farmer( I wasn’t on his land, but he didn’t want me even near) Hubby has started going with me sometimes, but another photographer showed me his taser and his pepper spray that he carries. Not sure if that’s the way to go, but i was glad to see he’s at least thought about the fact that it can be a bit dicey at times.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have tried to take photos in a park of random children playing and you should see the weird looks I get. Like I’m a stalker! Can you imagine saying, “Oh I’m just taking photos for my blog.” LOL. We shouldn’t have to be scared for our art 🙂 So I am very careful on that one.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree. I went to the sledding hill this winter, to photograph the kids sledding. I felt a little weird about it. Some of the parents thought I was from the local paper, though!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. In my 30’s, I learned to cross-country ski, an activity my husband and I still relish. In my 40’s, we started biking through the Amish countryside. In my 50’s, we tried kayaking in Alaska, what fun! Now in my 60’s, we are concentrating on hiking in National Parks, Yorkshire Dales, Cornwall and Inverness. Any suggestions for when we hit our 70’s?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I once auditioned for a part in play when in my 40’s without ever having acted before. I got the part and it was the most scary, exhilarating and eye opening experience. That experience has helped me to get over other barriers. However, need constant reminders. Liked your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It doesn’t matter if it’s work or trying a new hobby, if we let fear get the better of us then it’s over. Even before it really gets started. I love your windsurfing story. So great that you have pictures of overcoming your fear. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A great read Terri, but you’ll never, never, get me to hold a snake! However, I know where you are coming from and I know that feeling of ‘I’ve done it’ and how very good it feels. Life is about enjoyment and we should try as much as possible to do the things that we enjoy most.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great reminder to do something everyday that scares us. I was reminded of that fact today when I went to my trainer at the gym. He had me run on the treadmill a lot faster than I am comfortable going. Def not windsurfing but it was a great reminder that we can accomplish more than we know, it’s not our bodies, it’s our minds that are holding us back!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love this! I’ve been trying to challenge myself to do new things..I don’t consider myself to be the most athletic or “brave” person but in the past three years I have gone paddle boarding, flown in a helicopter, and pulled myself up body boarding at the lake! I have two daughters ages 10 and 13 and I want to set a good role model for them as a mom in her 40s.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fear really does hold us back. It was always my major problem with skiing, I could ski but fear got in my way. I admire you so much for taking up windsurfing and not giving in to your fears. Unlike me…. I gave up skiing some time ago after I fell down a cliff! Couldn’t ever get the courage to go there again. My husband still skis and I admire those who do. It must be such a wonderful a pastime if you can get past the fear. I tried really hard in the beginning I overcame my fear of heights, to travel on chair lifts, etc, Perhaps the answer with these kind of sports is to start young, I only learnt when I was older, and the older I got the less competent a skier I became.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Marje, falling over a cliff? I would have given up, too. I only skied a couple of times and it wasn’t for me, plus too far to the snow and so expensive. I learned windsurfing at age 49, but I’ve always been water fowl. It is tough learning while older. I really love stand-up paddling…easy and great exercise. Thanks for sharing your comment, Marje 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. WOW! You are singing my song. I wrote about overcoming my fear to participate in a Crossfit Competition. Check it out on mysideof50.com if you want. Proud of you for pushing through. I’d be scared too, but like you said, once you got going it was so fun! Thanks for a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Horse riding is my ‘leisure activity” and every time I put my foot in the stirrup of my stallion’s saddle I have to put past that barrier of fear – I have to ride him regularly, otherwise he becomes unmanageable. So for both our sakes, I have to rein in my fear of falling off and breaking my neck and get on.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t have much time for leisure anymore but I am pushing myself to be more active. I hope to walk 3-4 5Ks this year. I haven’t done any in 2 years since I gave birth last summer. Thanks so much for linking up with Throwback Thursday!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I am the biggest scardipants I know – the thought of windsurfing on the ocean is not even in the realms of my possibilities! You have my complete and utter admiration for doing it – and doing it when you’re scared. Those of us playing safe on the shoreline are missing out on all those thrills.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I enjoyed learning how you struggled with windsurfing and persisted. Sometimes it is easy to forget that what looks easy often isn’t. I have a lot of self-limiting beliefs about what I can do physically. This is an area i want to work on this year.

    Liked by 1 person

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