Are You Afraid of Your Bucket List?

What’s on Your Bucket List and WHY Haven’t You Done It?

We all have bucket lists. Things we want to do before we die. How many items does your bucket list have on it? 10? 20? 100? Take a look at it. Is it the same 20 or 100 things this year as it was last year? Or five years ago? If so, why? Lack of time? Money? or is it FEAR?

What's on your bucket list? Kilimanjaro is on many!


If you think long and hard about it, fear probably is at the top of the list. I mean, it’s easy to SAY that it’s time and money but ….it’s probably FEAR. Time and money are things that can be overcome much easier than fear. If you need the time, take a leave of absence from your job and go it. That’s not rocket science. And there are always ways to fund the dreams but fear is a mountain high hurdle.

“Courage is the resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not the absence of fear”

                ~Mark Twain


“I want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, but I have no idea HOW to do it”

Fear stops us in our tracks. We fear that we don’t know how to do the thing it is we so long to do. . Fear keeps us from asking HOW and moving forward to success.

Recently, Ridlon and I completed writing a how to guide on Living Adventurously (soon to be available as a free download on our website). One of our eight principles is “Not knowing is never a reason for not doing”. I thought about this yesterday when I had to do a couple of things I’d never done before.

It was snowy and my almost vertical driveway was slick. If I wanted to go to town, it would be smart to put the chains on the truck. But I had never done it. Like many women, I relied on my husband for this more “manly” task. But now, here I was faced with “figure it out or stay home”. I was afraid to try and fail. It took a few tries to get them lined up around the tires and get them hooked in the wheel well. My neighbors probably would have laughed! One fell off halfway down the driveway and wrapped around the axel so I was under the truck in the wet snow, learning and feeling dumb. Now I know. Then as soon as I got to town a brake light went out on the truck. I went and bought a new light and rather than just let the CarQuest guy fix it, I watched and asked so I knew how to get the taillight cover off and back on. I felt kind of stupid not knowing but I WAS stupid on that particular subject. But… now I know. We are not all experts on every subject.


“Hey, why would they want to talk to me?”

It made me think even further back to an enlightening moment I had on a cruise two years ago. I had joined a fantastic company of people who make and distribute vitamin supplements ( and 700 of us were on a Caribbean cruise together. I was a novice at the sales process and was feeling a bit shy and stupid on the subject because I WAS unknowledgeable about it. Ridlon jumped right in and went and asked the most successful people how to become successful but I was thinking, “Hey, why would they want to talk to me?” I was letting FEAR get in the way of my success.

We spent one evening with another couple who were at the top of the company. The wife, (I’ll call her Sarah) was an especially strong, go after it, type of woman and while I really liked her, I was a bit uncomfortable because of her knowledge and success. I didn’t think she would want to give me the time of day.  As the conversation turned to scuba diving, she and her husband mentioned that they had just finished their beginning course but had not completed their training dives. Well, here we were in the Caribbean, so we offered our services to help them complete their Open Water course.

We took them out the next day into a shallow bay of just 25’ of water in perfect conditions. I could tell that Sarah was nervous. I couldn’t believe it. How could this strong, confident, successful woman be nervous about 25’ of perfect blue sea? I took her down slowly, watching her eyes widen we dropped further down. I reached out and she took a death grip on my hand. I led her confidently, smiling with my eyes and showing her that it was alright. She was terrified, I could tell. In her mind, she was simply trying to survive, in mine, I was learning a valuable lesson.

Learn from someone who knows, don't be afraid to ask


We all have something we do great but we all have things we are “dumb” at only because of lack of knowledge. Don’t be afraid to find those people who have the knowledge and ask, “Can I learn from you?”. Sarah was top dog on terra firma but underwater was my realm. It wasn’t a contest, it was a lesson. We all have FEAR.


What’s on your bucket list that with only a bit of knowledge could you accomplish? What will it take to get over that fear of not knowing how? Ask someone! Don’t let “Not knowing EVER be a reason for not doing”.





To Your Adventures and may you check off many things on your bucket list in the new year!


To Your Adventures!



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  1. The Bucket List Timeline- What is Right…Right NOW? | The Adventure Couple - April 13, 2012

    […] Nov. 23rd, I posted a blog titled, “Are You Afraid of Your Bucket List?”. I’ve been thinking long and hard about this and have come to believe that this “FEAR” […]

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