We’re all crippled by fear every so often.
More often than not it hits when we’re not living in line with our personal beliefs and aspirations but rather trying to fit into the mould of what we perceive others to expect of us.
The type of fear will depend on the individual. It’s always something to do with a limitation.
- I’m not good enough for…
- I don’t know how to …
- I’m not …
Quite often, if you press far enough, people will often give up at the point of I can’t. But the truth is, you can, you simply choose not to. Horrible as it sounds, it’s quite likely that you enjoy this state of existence. It’s safe to know that things won’t change, that you won’t be stretched any further outside your comfort zone. But just because it’s familiar doesn’t mean it’s how you should exist. Because in that state, that’s all you’re doing, existing in fear, never really living, never really experiencing the wonders and joys that the world has to offer you every single day.
You can do anything that you put your mind to.
The only hurdle standing in your way is you.
It’s one of those crazy things where we sit here complaining about all the inadequacies we’re subject to, how we’re victims in a range of circumstances, how things happen TO us.
This isn’t how you want to live life. If you live life letting it simply happen to you, you’ll never actually have lived.
And that, is in itself THE SCARIEST THING imaginable.
When your parents sat you down as a kid and said you could be anything, they weren’t lying, it was simply up to you to decide what you wanted to be and how much you were willing to let fear influence how you lived your life and how much it just happened.
One thing I now ask myself as a tool for helping me identify if I’m averting a situation due to fear is to ask myself:
Would I regret something if I do/don’t do it?
Standard I know, but it helps me build courage to try and convince myself that I’m more powerful than the hesitation.
The next step is the one I think is more important: if I answer yes to the first question, I then ask myself why.
Why would I regret it?
This is deliberate because it helps me stand by my decisions. If it is an opportunity I’m just scared of, I can objectively look at it, stare it down and then jump with arms outstretched. If however, I think I’d regret it because of how I think it would look to others, then it’s not something that truly mattered to me to begin with.
I’m not saying that fear is easy to escape. It’s not. Fighting fears that you’ve buried and run from for decades is an exhausting, gruelling process that makes you want to crawl into bed because you have little left to give come sunset. But every step forward you take, every day you persist, the fear starts to lessen.
And then something amazing happens, you start to live your own life. You start to see possibilities and opportunities where before you stood in a room filled with darkness.
I’ll admit, this point isn’t much easier because the possibilities unlock new fears, like peeling the layers from an onion. That is the journey of personal growth. It takes work and struggle to get to the point of true self contentment. But we’ve known that all along. We just have to be brave enough to start the journey and keep going, no matter how scary it may seem.
And then, one day, you’ll pause for a moment and look back on all the amazing experiences that have made up your life to date and you’ll just stand there smiling. Because whilst there will always be new fears and struggles to deal with, you’d never have experienced amazing opportunities if you hadn’t faced fears head on.
And not living life like that? Well, in my opinion that truly would be the scariest thing.