Overcoming Fear – Motorbikes and Massages Ubud Bali
If you have been following my Facebook page then you may know I love visiting Bali on vacation for (in my mind) lots of reading, lazing by the pool, massages and pampering. I’ve always loved it there; my friends are used to me saying that it feels like I’m coming home when I arrive.
The last time it’s was different settling in, I knew it’s wasn’t the beautiful, “Island of the Gods”, as Bali is affectionately known, it was me. It’s taken me a while for the stresses of daily life, business and family going’s on back at home, for me to de-stress and relax.
I felt like I’d been plonked in a totally different world to the one I’d been used to living in (which I was) whilst still having to deal with a few things were happening at home, such as my brother being admitted to Hospital a few days before I left.
Change is not something new to me; in fact, I’ve always welcomed it into my life as I love the adventure of all things new. With change tho comes uncertainty and fear, and I’ve experienced my fair share of (my self-imposed) fear since I landed in Bali and arriving in Ubud, the last time.
My fear was riding on the back of motorbikes, in Bali there are more bikes on the road than cars! There I said it! Of course not the bike or the ride itself, it’s more about those “What if” type of questions that my mind keeps serving up wanting to keep me safe.
My Partner, Kevin, had prepared me for a few days prior to arriving here that “we” were going to hire a motorbike and “go exploring” every day!
Immediately I cast my mind back I remembered the organized chaotic traffic of Bali, trucks heading straight for you one minute, then a clear road ahead the next. Motorbikes and cars all over the place!
Of course the locals here know the road rules and they keep it fairly simple (like everything else in their lives) and the #1 thing that really rules on the road is – take care of the person in front of you. Simple.
Oh if only my mind would have accepted that it really was that simple! No, instead it offered up all sorts of suggestions, none of them that were appealing to me, some quite gory and gruesome.
Avoidance was the key I decided, if I didn’t get on the back of one, then nothing could happen. Because of that avoidance behaviour, it included lots of walking from where we were staying in Ubud, a good thirty-minute walk into the main hub in the sweltering sun and high humidity.
Yes, we could have caught taxis and hired drivers, every second guy on the street yells “Taxi!” as you walk past, but “Where is the adventure in that?” I was asked.
Me being uncommitted must have signaled a “Yes” as Kevin disappeared for “A wander around to see what’s out on the Street” an hour later he walks back in with a helmet on his head and one in his hand!
Dread hits me, coupled with a thousand elephants stampeding in all directions in my stomach a few hours later and I find myself on the back of a motorbike, heading for the busy road.
As I was thinking it was looking like peak hour those very words are ushered out of Kev’s mouth. He suggests it’s a bit too busy for a first time look around. I almost punched the air in delight and opted to a more cool, “What a great idea” agreement!
However… the next morning the map and brochures were out and planning had begun. “Are you coming?” he asked. “No” was my immediate response before I had a chance to digest the question.
Then I started to look at where I wanted to go for a massage, a place that had been recommended to me, it was miles away.
So I made it about going to make an appointment for a massage, took my mind off my fear and focused on something else, something more pleasurable, something I really wanted to experience.
That was enough to get me on the back of that bike and to make the appointment. Amazingly (it was a very popular, busy spa) they had a cancellation that afternoon and I could have the treatment I wanted!
…and you know what? I didn’t die from it!
Was a scared? I would have said Yes, however, Kev’s description is funnier, he says I was petrified and he was right, I was!
As we were tottering along on our motorbike yesterday I thought to myself, if I hadn’t climbed on the back of that bike I would have missed seeing the beautiful rich paddies we passed.
I’d have also missed making an appointment and experiencing one of the best massages I have had here, plus many other happenings along the way.
Which quickly lead to me thinking, what other part of my life do I miss out on the joyfulness of life and let fear and resistance win?
Fear can stop us in our tracks, totally immobilize us from doing something we really want to do. The ONLY strategy I have to overcome fear and the only way I know how to conquer fear is to square up and face it head on and mow it DOWN!
Overcoming Fear has 4 phases, fight or flight, which is well recorded in many psychology books, however, number three on the list is where most of us leave it – Freeze.
Overcome the Freeze phase and it leads to the 4th phase Flow.
Next time you are experiencing fear, take a moment and notice what phase you are experiencing, fight or flight, or has fear totally immobilized you into the freeze phase and you have been immobilized?
Nothing beats the feeling of overcoming fear and conquering it, it’s SO exhilarating when you do.
Tell me, have you had a fear you have stared down and conquered? Share your story below, I’d love to hear about it!