Stop Being Afraid

You need to do something for yourself today: Make the decision to stop letting fear rule your life.

Scared little girl
Photo Credit: VinothChandar via Compfight cc

Stop hesitating.

Stop wavering.

Stop questioning.

Tell the voices of opposition to shut up. Refuse to be ruled by Fear. And then, get on with what you were born to do.

What is Fear?

  • Fear is avoiding a tough conversation you need to have.
  • Fear is asking for advice when you already know what to do.
  • Fear is waiting for more information before acting on what you already know.

Instead of being afraid, we must be courageous. But, as you probably know by now, courage isn't the absence of Fear; it's the willingness to face it in spite of how you feel.

Of course, fear is natural, a biological reaction against things that could harm you. In that respect, fear can be good. But that's not the kind of Fear we're talking about here.

The Fear you and I experience when we say we want to write a book or go into business for ourselves is personal and vindictive. It knows our secrets and gladly holds them against us.

When it comes to this type of Fear, we are afraid of too many things. Things that are actually good for us. Things like falling in love or chasing a dream.

The risk feels too great, so our survival instincts kick in. Our “fight or flight” response is triggered, and often we decide to run.

But if you are going to do important work in this world, you cannot run away. You must stay and face the fear, disciplining yourself in the art of making courage decisions.

How to become unafraid

What does this look like? How do you finally face Fear? Not by waiting for it to go away. You become unafraid by standing up for what really matters to you.

Courage, then, is not the absence of Fear; it's the byproduct of action.

Want to be brave? Do the right thing, anyway. Start now, not later. Take chances, climb mountains, dream big. And slowly, courage will begin to replace the knee-jerk reaction to run. Bravery becomes second nature.

It may never be easy, but you can train yourself to not be paralyzed by Fear.

What we're talking about here — your decision to quit that job, become a better spouse, or make a difference in the world — this is epic stuff. The stuff of heroes. So we need you to get over your insecurity and move forward.

The stakes are too high to linger in the land of indecision.

The only fear worth having

Over time, as you do this, you may find yourself becoming less afraid of what used to petrify you. As Franklin D. Roosevelt once famously said:

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance…

That arch nemesis that once would've destroyed you, will now seem more like an inconvenience than a debilitating force. You're in control now, too scared to go back to the old you that was paralyzed by risk.

The cost of being un-heroic is just too great — you're done with that. You have nothing to gain by not facing your fears today and everything, including your dream, to lose.

You must decide. You must commit. Face your fears.

(Note: One way I'm facing my fear this year is by going on this crazy trip.)

What're you afraid of? Share in the comments.