Fear of the Unknown

What scares you? What have you always wanted to do but never have? What is that thing on your bucket list that never gets done because obstacles stand in the way? Do you fear the unknown?

Have you ever thought, “Man, I sure would like to ______,” but at this stage in life you’ve just never quite gotten around to it.

What is your fill-in-the-blank?

I recorded a Facebook live version of this yesterday while on my paddle board out on Lake Keowee in SC. But then the rocks got in the way and the recording took an interesting turn and then it disappeared off Facebook. I learned that self-videography and paddle boarding on choppy waters with lots of boat wakes bopping me about is more a recipe for disaster rather than a recipe for a great Facebook live message. So….here I am at my laptop, plunking out the message in written form. There are fewer mishaps this way. And truly, I am a writer at heart.

I ask these questions because they are relevant to all of us and because I’ve been pondering these things while out on my paddle board this past week, dodging choppy waters and strong currents in four different states in the span of 7 days. After crossing the St. Croix river from Minnesota to Wisconsin, I saw a post by my long-time friend, Cindy Chrysler, that included photos of Pictured Rocks National Park at Lake Superior. The photos made me want to go there. And then I started thinking really I want to visit all 5 Great Lakes on my Bote board. But…..it’s all so far away. And, the water might be too cold. And it will cost money. And I won’t get to sleep in my own bed and enjoy the comforts of my own home. I’d be away from my family, what about my high school-age child and her busy schedule? And then there are the pets to care for and the four businesses to run…..so many obstacles. There’s also the fear factor – the unknown. What if? What if? What if?

The quote in my planner one day this week was perfect for the occasion: “Do something every day that scares you.” (anonymous). Fear cannot be your driving force if you want to accomplish anything noteworthy. And then today’s quote by Thomas Jefferson, “Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” Now there’s a real gem to live by! It turns out I have learned a lot and accomplished much by following the lead of some of America’s great dudes of the past. (Another favorite is Ben Franklin and his “6 things a day” model, which I wrote a blog post about and still follow pretty much every day).

So, here’s what I’m getting at….we all have a fill-in-the-blank thing we’d like to do but never do. There are obstacles. What are yours?  Identifying the obstacles is the first step in overcoming them.

If you want to achieve a personal accomplishment goal, first write it down and then list the obstacles that stand in your way. Next, work through the obstacles one at a time to determine creative ways to overcome each obstacle. Then, like Nike says, just do it. What are you waiting for?

I’ve learned through my years of teaching and speaking in the grooming industry that there are two types: the go-getters with failure-is-not-an-option attitudes and those who give up when an obstacle stands in their way. The first do amazing things. The second mainly just whine a lot about how nothing ever works out for them. They are their own worst enemy.

So, in light of all of the above, and after making my obstacles list, sorting through my overly jam-packed calendar, and getting the thumbs up from my fabulous husband, I hope to head out from Hershey Groom Expo in less than a month with my Bote board on top of my SUV and make the 14-day trek up and around the Great Lakes region to board in all 5 lakes and even take a jump into each lake, despite the coldness, which for me is an obstacle of ginormous proportions. The trek will ultimately end up in Delaware in time for Lynn’s wedding before making the last leg home to South Carolina. In total, I will drive about 6300 miles. Along the way, here are my objectives:

1. Use Facebook live to raise enough money to buy a cow (or 2 or 3!) for some villages in Uganda, which will be delivered as part of #cowproject with the Call to Africa team going in early 2017. This will cost $1400. Divided by 5 Great Lakes that’s $280 per lake. I need folks wanting to get involved in making a difference in these folks’ lives, a real immediate, everyday, sometimes life or death difference by pledging $280 per jump in a cold lake, alone, maybe in bad weather. Whatever. I’m committed to doing it. Who wants to #getdirty?

2. Drop in on some CFMGs along my route and shoot some “Danelle Drops In” videos to share a glimpse into the world of these amazing folks living out their dreams. Real groomers, real life. Making it happen. If you are along my route, let me know so I can work out my travel schedule, fitting in whatever is possible.

3. Train 2 new Remote Certifiers for the NCGIA. We need more. I’m coming through New England/ON/Great Lakes region. I will train. Together we can save the world one cat at a time by making CFMG certification testing more accessible to those that want to pursue this fabulous opportunity and become a cat ninja warrior.

4. Shoot one child portrait session. Want photos of your child? Dramatic, adorable, editorial style, personality-driven photos you can share on social media and proudly hang on your wall? I’m coming through the above-listed regions. Let me know so we can schedule and make it happen. I will definitely be wanting some #behindthelens time!

5. Conquer a personal challenge, step out of my comfort zone, and do something kinda scary and adventurous and filled with unknowns. Inspire others to do their own scary, adventurous, life achievement, fill-in-the-blank, major accomplishment, so-glad-I-did-it thing.

BEFORE I take on this huge project and drive all those miles, I’m taking a vote. I’m not doing this unless I get at least 100 affirmative votes via commenting on this blog post or on Facebook.  And at least some of you comment and tell me what your fill-in-the-blank thing is. Let’s do this together. There’s no point in doing it alone if my 5 objectives are not met. I’d rather stay home, see my family, sleep in my own bed, have a hot beverage on my back deck, ride my horse, and hit the local 93-degree lake near my house for a bit of boarding. So let me know you’re in. Cast your vote. If I’m crazy, tell me to stay home and read a book (I’m totally good with this plan).

If, however, you want to go along for the ride by joining me via blog, Facebook live, and through meeting my 5 objectives above and making a difference at the same time, leave a comment. Can’t wait to hear from you!


UPDATE: I set up a YouCaring account for donations. Please use this to donate during the challenge if you feel so led. Thank you to all who have expressed interest thus far!

15 Replies to “Fear of the Unknown”

  1. I say do it, I think the most exciting stories start with, “What If?”

    One of my fill-in-the-blank’s is to move to SC actually. It’s going to be cold turkey, my husband and I aren’t moving for family or a job like our other moves; this time it’s our choice. My second fill-in-the-blank is a little vague to me still but it’s a rather cliche desire to make some kind of difference, whatever that may be.

    I can’t say that I’ve ever really had a role model before but I’m inspired by your ambition, Danelle. God bless!

  2. Do something that scares you every day, just do it, I think you need another story to add to the book of Danelle, another fireside “the time I…” Life is far too short to worry about the things we did not do. Although I will laugh my ass off if you have to jump into a cold lake. 😉

  3. Heck I’m in for any support that you need…. Kinda dig the cow thing though…. Cause I like cows. (And this will get me flamed) but I like cows better than cats…

  4. Danelle, of course you should do it!
    On Tuesday I am checking of one of my own. I am boarding a plane to Tulsa, OK while my “stuff” and my car make their way to Tulsa on two different trucks. I found out that I can run a business from my little house and hope to check that box by January. You have been an amazing inspiration the me, you probably never know how much you help people change their lives. As I was saying goodby to my clients, many had tears in their eyes because they had never met anyone who cared about their pet (in the grooming industry). One client even told me her cat came home calm after every bath, and the cat is usually adjitated by strangers. So, “Thank you” for the inspiration.

    1. I’m so excited for you Heidi! Talk about an adventure! One of these days I will drop in on your adorable new place and her of all the amazing things you have accomplished. Thank you so much for casting your vote and sharing your story!

  5. Absolutely you should do it! When I had my son at 21 I had to put a lot of my dreams on hold. I had just finished college with a mountain of debt and had difficulty seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Now I have a decent daily job and a new career dream! A series of events led me to learn of the NCGIA, about a year ago. I had no intention of learning to groom cats but now I cannot imagine working towards anything else. As of now, I have a lot of the ground worked laid out for my next step and I have completed 2 of 4 written exams with 100%, my 5 days of PPI is scheduled for October, and nothing is holding me back. This time next year I intend to report grand results! You have inspired me to go for it with everything I have! Reach for the stars and catch one! I intend to be notable person in the cat grooming world – changing the world one cat at a time! Good Luck to you!!!

    1. That is so amazing to hear, Kimberly. I look forward to having you in the studio mid October! And I look forward to seeing your new chapter unfold as you reach for the stars.

      Thank you for commenting and casting your vote!

  6. Do you seriously think that anyone will say no? You are a amazing woman and role model. If anyone can accomplish this it’s you!
    I’ve been given some wonderful encouragement that I don’t live often enough…. If you truly believe in Christ then there is nothing on this earth to fear. Living in fear is not living in Christ. You have a great commission ahead of you, God has already laid it on your heart! Go for it!

    What’s my fill in the blank?? Too many things to mention and that’s a sad situation. I guess it would really be surrendering completely to Him. Letting go of the false sense of control and really living in Him.
    I am a worry wart, over thinking control freak that suffers from anxiety and depression. I just need freedom from myself.
    God bless you, whatever you decide ?

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