There is so much truth in this. Love, our dreams and goals, even just a simpler life…so much of what holds us back from these things is fear. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of missing out. It’s not the only obstacle, but it’s a big one.
So how do we get to the other side of fear? The advice is endless really. “Let go of Fear!” “Lean in and embrace the Fear!” “Be Brave!” Every time I hear these sentiments echoed, I wonder “But how!?” How do I lean in and let go and be brave? The advice is so abstract, like little sound bytes that masquerade as wisdom, but are really just…empty.
Fear is there for a reason.
I think though that might be intentional, because there is no road map, no easy path, no planned journey to get us through whatever we’re afraid of. Fear is there for a reason. Like pain, it forces us to slow down, to stop and think rather than stumble forward thoughtlessly. It’s meant to keep us safe, but what happens when our fear becomes Fear and we let it control and limit us in ways that negatively impact our lives?
I speak here with some authority, not because I’m an expert at overcoming Fear, but because I’m well versed in letting Fear take the lead. Sometimes it’s easier to let Fear make decisions. I just let Fear answer “No,” and move on with my day. I don’t acknowledge that Fear made the decision, but I know, deep down, I wasn’t in control, and I might have missed out on a really great thing because of it. That’s a really frustrating feeling. I let fear get between me and an opportunity, and rather than take a chance at maybe getting what I want, I’m left with the thing I don’t want, and the knowledge that it’s actually my own fault.
I know, that’s depressing, and you didn’t come here for me to drag you down. So here’s the good news. Are you ready? Knowing there’s a problem is the very first step to fixing it.
That was pretty trite, I know, and I’m sorry. Unfortunately, it’s also true. You can’t get to the other side of fear if you can’t recognize when Fear is holding you back. What are the next steps? Read on my friend.