Fear, Life, and Folly: A Lesson In Taking Chances

How Fear Can Be Powerful In Your Journey. 

Like most of you, I’ve never had a year like this one. A year with so many beautiful and inspiring highs also presented bitter and challenging lows. I’ve been taught lessons I thought I already knew. I gained an extreme amount of clarity about my life and career. I experienced periods where I couldn’t see past my own doubts and anxiety. I’d get so motivated and empowered one day, only days later to be completely paralyzed by my own fears and doubts. Then, after a life-changing trip to Rome, I figured out exactly why: my own stupid fear.

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I found out, it is always the answer. Fear of the unknown, the known; of your own success or your limitations. Fear resides in every fabric of life’s DNA, every decision you make. Fear is what keeps you from being with your life’s love, or seeing the impossible halfway across the world. It’s what keeps you alive and focused on the future. It’s your best friend and your worst enemy. 

At the top of the year, I saw a viral video about conquering fear. Will Smith equated the fear in life to the fear of jumping out of a plane, and it hasn’t left my mind since. Instead of shying away from it, we should embrace it. That surge of motivation you get when before walking into a job interview, or the passionate pull you feel towards your side hustle; all rooted in fear. It’s empowering if you know how to use it.

There’s a pit that forms in your stomach when you receive something you’ve always wanted. Under all that excitement and joy, there’s a moment of hesitation: Am I the right person for the job? Are we ready to be parents? How did this happen? Those (hopefully) fleeting questions are all rooted in fear because fear will humble you. It will open your eyes to what you have, and what you’re afraid to lose. It makes you prioritize your needs, wants, and beliefs over those of other people. The fear of failing, of not being good enough, of not deserving – it’s not a bad thing. It’s only bad when you internalize and live by it. Use that fear to motivate you to learn more, to focus on living your journey to the fullest. Be grateful for the way fear makes you think about your life.

From fear comes growth. It is the main ingredient in growth; it can inhibit or influence. Once you define your fears, you can grow. The things you fear are only as powerful as you believe they are. Your fear of failing, of being less than perfect, of not being a mom, of loving who you want; let all of that empower you to live as authentically as possible. Authenticity is hard to find and can only start when you’re honest with yourself, which means defining what you’re afraid of. Allow fear to be your great motivator in growth and in life.   

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No matter what, one thing certain: fear is important. As I previously stated, it will make you prioritize what’s important. We will lose everything in this life, at some point. It’s a scary thing, but we can’t run from it. Instead, we should use it to keep what matters in the forefront; keep us alert, alive and aware. Our culture thrives on fear, but you don’t have to. Fear shouldn’t paralyze us, but awaken us to the abundant and valuable opportunities waiting in our future. 

How do you conquer fear? 
Do you believe fear can be a powerful weapon? 

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A side-note on growth: Sometimes, the growth in one area of your life won’t be reflected in another area. To quote the exquisite Stanley Tucci from The Devil Wears Prada, “Let me know when your whole life goes up in smoke. Means it’s time for a promotion.” Don’t let the uneven nature of growth keep you from exploring your journey. Everything is everything, after all.

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