“The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can.” -Robert Cushing
Ahhhh Fear. My old friend.
I know a thing or two about fear. When I was 16, I had a gun held to my head during a car jacking (wrong place – wrong time – and bad decisions… but we will save that for another post.) and was so thoroughly scared that my whole body wouldn’t stop shaking.
Fear is an interesting thing. Some people hate it. They will go so far out of their way just so they don’t experience fear that it becomes all-consuming. Any typical phobia will work. It becomes paralyzing.
Others love fear. They jump out of perfectly good airplanes or race cars just to feel the adrenaline pumping through their veins. They thrive when experiencing fear.
Still others need it before they will act. They need that fight or flight mechanism to kick in and then they fly into action.
Which are you?
Many people walk around scared of something all the time. It is a totally normal experience and one that is shared among more people than we would like to admit. It is one of the main reasons why I started martial arts training. I was scared that if something happened, I wouldn’t be able to take care of myself.
After training for a while, I chose to take a closer look at fear…
One thing remains true… fear is simply an emotion. No one was ever hurt from fear. No one has ever died from fear. What they may have done is acted or failed to act because they were scared but that is different. You see, once you are clear that fear is a set of physical sensations (that may be very strong) and you allow yourself to see those physical sensations for what they are… well then you are on your way to freeing yourself from the grips of fear.
Secondly, many people do not give themselves enough credit. Life can be challenging. It can be hard. I think it is safe to say that we have all experienced personal challenges. Yet what I see people doing regularly is failing to call upon those times of challenge and using it as a reservoir of experience to handle what is occurring in the present moment.
Given that fear is only an emotion and courage is action WITH fear… not without… than you can accomplish anything you want as long as you continue to move forward in the face of fear. You can accomplish great things.
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