I often hear people say
The antidote to fear is love.
It’s a nice sentiment that gets lots of hearts on Instagram. One of those things that sounds good so people keep repeating it.
There’s only one problem.
It’s not true.
People who say “the antidote to fear is love” don’t understand true fear.
For almost 20 years I’ve had a front-row seat to observing how people navigate their fears, in the context of flying trapeze.
This is a sport that involves one of the two in-born fears of humans: the fear of heights.
I’ve seen how fear can paralyze people, preventing them from moving, even seeing and hearing clearly.
I’ve also seen the impacts of fear in myself.
Even after 19 years, I still have moments when I feel fear. If I didn’t, it would mean I wasn’t pushing my edge.
From personal experience I can tell you:
The antidote to fear isn’t love, it’s trust.
When you’re 25 feet off the ground, telling yourself “I love you” doesn’t get you to take the leap.
What gets you to leap is to remind yourself:
This is what I trained for. I trust my body to do what it knows how to do.
This doesn’t necessarily means the fear goes away. But the point is not to be fearless.
The point is to be able to move through the fear, to take action despite the fear.
Love alone isn’t going to cut it.
The antidote to fear is trust.