Fear. The power it holds over us is truly amazing. Fear can keep us from doing something stupid. It can stop us from loosing ourlives. And it can stop us from following our dreams. After all, there’s a reason why people say “Don’t lose yourself in your fear,” or “Don’t let your fear decide your fate.” What most people don’t realize is that fear can hold the key to our future.
Let me explain. Everything that has ever scared me and I’ve tried has worked out. If anything, it has made me a better person.
I was afraid to return to my love of dance after a two-year long hiatus. To this date, picking up the hobby again has been one of the best things in my life. (Did I mention I was a hardcore dancer since age three and a dance minor in college?)
I was afraid to call editors when it came time to follow-up with magazine pitches. Those cold calls have led to an increase in assignments and income.
I was afraid to go to attend Rider University in pursuit of higher education. Though I didn’t enjoy my experience that much, I learned a lot about myself and met my soon-to-be husband there.
I was fearful of re-designing my blog. So far it is doing ok and much more pleasurable to write.
I was terrified of putting myself out there and publishing my first ebook. Much to my surprise it’s been well received by many.
Lastly, I was afraid to take a chance and build my life as freelance writer. So far so good.
And just think, all of these things happened because I had the courage to look past fear and conquer them anyway. I would hate to wonder what my life would be like had I not taken the chance at eliminating fear.
The truth is, fear has the power to be good if we let it. Often times, fear is attached to the things we want most in life but too timid to go after. Unfortunately, we never pursue those things because we allow the unknown and thoughts of uncertainty to take over our minds and ultimately our life.
And when we get too timid to pursue something we are scared of, we do the opposite. Then the very thing we were afraid of ends up happening anyway. For example, remember being in a toxic relationship during high school and college? You knew you wanted to break up but you didn’t because you were afraid of being alone. Of course, you did the opposite, stayed in the relationship and ended up feeling more alone than you ever thought possible.
Or what about that time you were nervous about not being able to provide for your family comfortably so you chose not to leave the company and apply for the job you’ve been dreaming about? Of course, you decided not to apply for the dream position, stayed at your current job with no growth and ended up finding it difficult to provide for your family comfortably.
In both situations, had you done what you were most afraid of, the outcome may have been a bit different. Instead, you did the opposite and ended up bringing your worst fear to life. Rather than using fear as an excuse to hinder yourself, use it as a reason to better yourself. I like to think that if it scares you, it’s probably something you should do.
Behind a door labeled fear is the life you’ve been longing for but you’ve been holding yourself back from claiming that life. Think about it, fear is there to keep you in a safe, settled and limited life. It doesn’t inspire you to do something. Nor does it impart some type of wisdom. All it does is hold you back. It holds you back from growth, opportunity and seeing the life you’ve imagined. Fear creates negative thoughts related to “I can’t”. Don’t allow it to. Be willing to reach for the door knob and turn the handle. You might like what you see behind that door. And in the event you don’t, be proud that you had the courage to face it. For once you have the courage to conquer fear once you can find the courage to do it again. And of course, you can then regain control of your future.
What role does fear play in your life? Has it helped or hindered you?
TERRIfic Quip: “On the other side of fear lies freedom.”