Fear

Many of us struggle with fear.

There’s that voice inside of us, saying, “Can you really do that?” or “What will happen if you fail?”

If that’s you, (and it’s definitely me), I’m here to tell you:

Sometimes, you should listen to it.

Fight your fear.  Overcome your fear. Fear nothing. This is the advice that happily populate our cultural psyches (and our motivational posters). Fear is the enemy; and, if you’re strong enough, determined enough, courageous enough, you can beat the crap out of it and live the life you’re supposed to live.

This advice has never worked for me.

I’ve thrown myself off the cliffs of life with fearless abandon, only to discover that sometimes you crash before you can fly.

I’ve tried telling myself “It will be all right” and promptly found out that it, in fact, won’t be.

I’ve thrown caution to the winds shortly before discovering that a little caution can be a very helpful thing.

Asking “What will happen if I fail?” (because I will, at least sometimes), or “Am I really capable of doing this?” (because I have real limitations, like all mere mortals) is good. (At least sometimes.)

Fear teaches me important lessons, ones that I often paper over with platitudes and wishful thinking.

Here’s my advice:

When confronted by fear, don’t turn away from it, silence it, or explain it.

Head straight into it and see what it has to tell you.