Your Fear Doesn’t Matter
This work can be incredibly helpful — to a point. There comes a time when exploring your fear is no longer constructive.
There comes a time when you must stop asking “what’s the fear?”
Knowing what you fear doesn’t move you closer to your goal. It keeps you stuck in excuses and inaction.
Your fear doesn’t matter.
How to Move Through Fear
If you’ve got fear around something. Recognize it. And then transform it.
The only way to transform fear is through action.
Fear is an Illusion
At some point you may realize that there is actually no fear there. That what’s stopping you is an idea about a fear that no longer even exists. If it ever existed in the first place.
Maybe it was never even your fear; you gave into someone else’s fears or doubts and adopted them as your own.
Fear is contagious. We catch it from those around us. Family. Friends. Colleagues. People on the subway. The news.
And once we get it, it’s hard to get rid of it. Fear becomes a habit. A destructive, subversive habit.
What if the only thing that’s been stopping you is that you’ve been hanging on to thoughts of fear? What if there is really no fear at all?
Dig deep enough, and you may hit bedrock — that point where you realize that beneath your deepest fears is….nothing.
Just the idea of fear.
The Fear of Fear
Everyone talks about fear of change, fear of launching something new, fear of not measuring up, of not being enough, of being too much. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of being seen.
These fears don’t exist.
Fear is an illusion. Fear is a reaction to an idea about something that may or may not happen. Nothing about it is real.
Strip away everything else and you’ll realize that what you really fear is the unknown.
Here’s the good news: Everything is unknown. So nothing is unknown. The fact that you know it’s unknown gives you certainty that you don’t know what will happen. (sit with this one)
You want some guarantees? Here’s what you do know:
- You’ll make mistakes.
- Some people won’t get it.
- It won’t look like what you expect it to look like.
- You won’t die.
You can play the what will happen if… game forever.
There comes a time when the best answer to what will happen if… is Let’s find out.
Unless you set the bar ridiculously low, you won’t completely fail and you won’t succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
Give Yourself the Freedom to Fail
Here’s a truth: Our perception of success and failure is based on what we’ve seen before. This sets us up with an expectation of what our new project should look like.
What would happen if you threw out everything you learned about how it’s supposed to look and supposed to be, and you just followed your instinct? Maybe you’d create a brand new way that nobody ever envisioned before.
There is so no greater liberation than the freedom to fail. To get it wrong. To make mistakes. To embrace imperfection.
Life is messy. Unpredictable. Chaotic.
Sometimes the best thing to do is to call off the search party. Stop looking for the fear and what’s beneath it.
What if you gave yourself permission to fail? How much fun would that be….To stand on the ledge and dive into the water, to make a splash. The only way you learn how to swim is by getting into the pool.
The fear doesn’t matter. It will always be there, or it was never there in the first place.
It’s time to get wet.
- This applies to creative projects only. Obviously if you’re doing something like skydiving or rock climbing or some extreme sports or even some non-extreme sports, you might be risking death or physical injury. We’re not talking about that here. ↩