My first YouTube video! Overcoming fear, death, and judgement...
All right, my first YouTube video. I'm so excited to be here. I was thinking of what I was going to do for this first video, and I have so many things running around in my mind that I want to share with you. So many tips and tricks, and just lifestyle thing, and just sharing a little bit of how I live my life and everything like that. If you watch the trailer to my channel you can get a sense of all of the amazing things that are coming. But I was like, "Where do I start? Where do I begin this?" So, I wanted to make my Monday videos really like a Motivation Monday, or a Mindset Monday kind of thing. Just sharing stories, and tips and tricks, and tools, and things that you guys can actually take and use in your regular life.
I was thinking that it's going to be helpful for me to just share what's relevant with me, and then what I'm working through, because I know that I'm not the only one going through all these things, and I feel like all of our problems are, they're different, but they're similar if you boil them down. So, I feel like as I work through my problems, it might help somebody else out there. I know a lot of you guys, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I just recently did my first public speaking situation. It was really scary, but it was like the good kind of scary, right? Where you know that you're growing and you're becoming a better person, a better version of yourself. And so, what I wanted to do is I wanted to share that message with you guys.
I was thinking about it. At first, I had my boyfriend film it so I could see. In my head I was like, Oh, so I can critique myself and see how bad I did it." I've been trying to work on that, in my mindset of being really excited and proud of myself for where I'm at, and just allowing myself to grow from there. When I saw the video I was like, "Okay. It's a message that I feel like I want to share with more people than just my close friends and family." But it was just zoomed out. It was from a weird angle. The sound was bad, and so I felt like I would rather just share it personally, like one on one, just like this, so you guys can really get a sense of my heart, and what I feel. I think that this story and this message is such an important reason as to why I'm sitting here in front of a camera sharing and talking to you guys.
Anyways, I guess I'll just get started. It all started back in high school. I was a competitive snowboarder. You may or may not know that. I was not amazing. I said, "Okay." I went to college on a snowboarding scholarship. I had this big fear inside of my head. I mean, we all do, right? It's not natural to hit a 60 foot jump on your snowboard. So, I had all this fear, and I decided that the main thing holding me back in my competitive snowboarding career was this wild beast called fear. So at 17, I decided that the way I was going to beat this was I was going to get a tattoo of the word fearless somewhere on my body where my mom wouldn't see it, and that was going to solve all my problems.
I convinced one of my friends to drive down to the local tattoo shop with me. I went in and I told the tattoo artists what I wanted to get, and he asked me for my ID that said I was 18. I just handed him my ID that said I was 17, and tried not to blink nervously or anything like that. He turned around and he photocopied it. I'm not sure if you looked at the date, but he photocopied it. He took me into the back room and I got my first tattoo. It's actually here on my middle finger. It's not really somewhere. I don't know if it'll focus. There you go. It's not really somewhere you would think, but that was my first tattoo I got when I was 17.
Obviously I was pretty pleased with myself, and I went around telling everybody how cool I played it, and everything like that. It felt really good to get praised by my peers. It was like a cool thing to do. I think anybody who's ever been through high school, so if you're watching this and you're still in high school, then this is just unfortunately part of it, but all of you guys that have been through it, you know there's kind of this intense fear of judgment. So, when you find, when you have something that you can share with other people that makes you feel like you fit in, it feels really good. But when you find out somebody doesn't like you, it feels like the end of the world.
I don't know if you guys have ever heard that say, I'm sure you have, but that saying, the fear of public speaking is ranked higher than death. It makes a lot of sense to me because when I stood up on that stage, the moment that the person introducing, like the orator, gave my introduction, everybody in the audience had some sort of judgment about me. Actually you, the moment that you opened this video or maybe you followed me on Instagram, you had a judgment about me. It's not good or bad, it doesn't matter. You know, we're all creating these judgments. There's a lot of a fear behind that, right? We're kind of scared of this fear of judgment. We don't want to not be liked, or not fit in, or anything like that.
So, even with this tattoo of the word fearless tattooed on my body for the better part of 10 years, I still let this hold me back a lot. When I was in college, I put a lot of pressure on myself. Externally, things actually looked pretty good. I got like straight A's. I won my college snowboarding national title, overall title two years in a row, as a freshman and a sophomore. I got invited to be an ambassador for fundraising events for my college. I had a lot of friends, a full social calendar, everything like that. Things felt pretty good, or things looked pretty good.
But I also had, inside my head, this little voice that said, "Even with all of that, I wasn't worth more than 500 calories a day." I was literally starving from this fear of judgment, and it took a lot of time. It took a lot of hard work, but I worked on that relationship with myself. First it was through denial, but then it was through yoga, and meditation, and eating well, things like that, which is one of the reasons why I'm so passionate about these things. But it was in 2014 where things really shifted for me. I was 23 years old. I remember the day super clearly. It was November 22nd. It was a Saturday. I was working at a yoga studio in Lake Tahoe, California. I click the little button on the side of my phone to check the time, and it was 10:30 AM, and I had two missed calls from my mom and a voice ... sorry, a text message that said, "Call me when you get this."
I don't know. There was some part of me that knew, or maybe just like linear time kind of melts away when you go through something like this, but that was the moment I found out that my dad had passed away unexpectedly. So for those of you who want to know, because I think that's human nature to be curious, three of the four main valves to his heart were 70 to 90% occluded, causing his heart to go into AFib and eventually stop. So not even a heart attack. I'm not a doctor. I didn't know what that meant. That's just a fancy way of saying complications due to heart disease that nobody knew he had. He had actually gone to the doctor three or four days before he passed away, and was sent home with a clean bill of health.
Basically what happened is his 60th birthday was that Thursday, the 20th, and he was out with friends getting a beer and some food, everything like that. Then he went home, and his friends didn't see his truck move for two days. On that Saturday morning, one of his friends went in to check on him, and broke the news to all of us. So, as you can imagine, the next couple of weeks after that were a whirlwind. When my dad passed away, he wasn't married, and he didn't have any other kids, so I learned at the ripe age of 23 about signing executor of estate paperwork, closing bank accounts. I don't share any of this to make you feel bad for me or anything like that, because I know that everybody has experienced loss in some way. I'm sure that, if you're watching this, you've probably lost somebody that you care about. If you're younger, it might be your grandparents, but the older you get, the more we experience loss.
The unfortunate thing is so many of the people that we lose, we lose to early due to things that could have potentially been prevented by lifestyle choices. I don't know the stat, but some staggering amount of the deaths due to the common illnesses in the US would actually be preventable, which is, it's heartbreaking to know. Well, I'll get into it on my channel. I'll talk about about all the ways that I really prioritize my health, and try to stay healthy, because I don't think anybody here needs convincing that it's really important to prioritize your health. But there is something really, really important I need you to know. No matter how healthy you are, no matter how many green smoothies you drink, no matter how much money you donate, no matter how good of a person you are, one day you are going to die.
Great first video, [Ariel 00:09:13]. I hope that's not a Santa Claus moment for anybody. The way that we get over these fears is not from pretending they don't exist or being fearless, right? Knowing that you're going to die is scary, and the fear of being judged or fitting in is actually a biological imperative that's kept the human race alive. So, it's not about being fearless. It's actually about having courage. Having the courage to live your life as loud and as vibrant as works for you, or that resonates with you, regardless of the fact that you're going to die, and regardless of the fact that you're most certainly going to be judged. I wish I had more of the information that I have now health-wise to share with my dad because I strongly believe that there's some of it that would have really made a difference.
But because I didn't, there's a couple of things I'm really grateful for. One. My dad lived his life. He actually had three services held for him. He was the kind of person that lit up any room that he walked into. So, he had a service in Alabama, Florida, and Colorado. There were a couple of hundred people at each of his services. He was the kind of person that when you spoke to him, you felt like you were talking to a childhood friend. He squeezed more life into his 60 years than most people squeezed into three lifetimes. Seeing that and knowing that, I made it my mission to really live in that honor. So when he passed away, about two months later, I packed up all my belongings into my Subaru Outback. Everything I owned fit in my car. I drove it to California, and I parked it in front of my grandma's house and I hopped on a plane to Asia. That was the moment that this life that I'm living now really started.
I vowed to myself that I would always follow my dreams, always follow my heart, and really create a life of stories worth sharing. In the years since my dad passed away, I have let go of a lot of things that didn't serve me. Courageously letting those things go. I've quit jobs. I've ended relationships. I've moved. I've faced the kind of fears that remind me that I'm alive, like public speaking. I've done a lot of things to really commit to this mission of living my life to its fullest. I've climbed mountains. I bought a van and decked it out as like the ultimate adventure mobile. You guys have seen some of it. You'll see more of it, because I got a lot of requests for van life videos. I unabashedly posts thousands of selfies on the internet. Instead of denying my fears, I've been facing them.
Honestly, at first it really was all about me. It was about healing my relationship with myself. But, I really quickly realized that I wanted to inspire other people, and I wanted to create a life where service was intrinsic. So from there, my personal mantra just kind of bubbled up from below. And it's courage, inspire, and serve. I can't bring my dad back. I know that, just like you can't bring your lost loved ones back. But, when someone that we care about passes away, we have two choices. We can let a piece of ourselves slowly die with them, or we can carry them in our heart and shine that much brighter because we know that they're there to support us. I've taken the last couple of years to really build my dream life and commit to that, but like I said, this isn't about me.
This is about you, so humor me for a second and close your eyes. Sit up nice and tall. Take a big inhale through the nose, and out through the mouth. Just take one or both of your hands onto your heart, just so that you can viscerally feel your heartbeat. With your hands on your heart, feeling how alive you are. I want you to imagine, or sense, that feeling when you hug somebody that you love, or when you do your favorite activity, or that moment you walk in the door and your dog jumps on you. It's just just unconditional love. Feel that in your heart. Imagine what it would be like if you had the time or the freedom to do more of that, to let your life revolve around that. To really make your dream life your priority. Take just one more moment to let that all in. Let your eyes open.
The serve part of my mantra can only be fulfilled if I actually inspire you to take action, which is why I'm here. Which is why I'm starting this channel. There will be so, so, so many more videos and nuggets that I share with you, but for this video, I want to leave you with my top three tips. One, don't wait. There will never be the perfect time. Two, create intermediary goals along the way, and three, your fears only go away when you face them. Thanks so much guys. I'm so excited to start this channel. Talk to you soon.