I don’t like to look at fear through an accurate lens. Instead, I laugh it away or build commonalities with others around it. Sometimes I’ve even worn my fears proudly like badges of twisted honor. But the truth is much uglier. Our fears are not cute or funny or endearing. They are tragic because fear is a tyrant.
Fear controls and dominates. It’s easy to spot controlling and dominant fears in others when they are extreme such as agoraphobia . However, we sometimes let less conspicuous fears determine our daily course of action when we let the perception of others dictate how we spend our days. Are you letting others’ perceptions — real or perceived — influence your decisions?
Fear obliterates meaning and purpose. We all struggle with some level of fear. While certain fears are necessary — even instinctual — to protect us, others merely hold us back from living the lives we are meant to live. The constant question of ‘What if?’ can plague even the most secure. The truth is that some of our ‘What ifs?’ might come true, but that doesn’t mean we should stop living. What if you fail? Then you will only be one step closer to succeeding. Are you letting the unknown questions keep you from acting?
Fear paralyzes and consumes. Fear is a layered monster with many sides, and it would love nothing more than to keep you and me from doing what we are placed upon this earth to do. If fear can leash us, we end up spending a lifetime distracting ourselves from our true purpose. As Joshua Millburn said in Everything That Remains , “We hold on to jobs we dislike because we believe there’s security in a paycheck. We stay in s***** relationships because we think there’s security in not being alone … Discontent is uncertainty. And uncertainty is insecurity. Hence, if you are not happy with your situation, no matter how comfortable it is, you won’t ever feel secure.”
On some level, we may never be able to fully eradicate fear from our lives. What we can do is learn to recognize it. Once we name the fears taking residence in our lives, we might find them losing the power to control us.
It’s okay to be afraid. Just don’t let the fear keep you from living life the way you were meant to live it. The world needs you and what you have to offer. Don’t hold back on us. We’re waiting for the gifts you bring to the party.