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Aug 13 '12

Feel the Fear

I have a lot to be fearful about right now. In the next few months I will be taking a lot of risks, following my heart, traveling the world, and quite honestly just doing things that people will think are ridiculous. I won’t rant about each one, but just trust me… I have a lot to be fearful about.

But here’s the thing about fear… I like fear. I think fear is good. Actually, I think fear is very, very good. Yes, I realize how strange that sounds.

You see there are two ways you can view fear:

1. Fear can be a paralyzer.

2. Fear can be a motivator.

Let’s go into detail about these two views…

1. Fear can be a paralyzer.

The first one is pretty straight forward: Fear can be a paralyzer. If you look at the definitions of fear, they all relate to evil, anxiety, danger, pain, things that tend to be bad in life. This is the view we are taught, it is the definition that is crammed into our brains for the majority of our lives.

Fear = Bad.

While this can be true, I don’t think this is the view of fear we should be teaching. Why? Because this view of fear, this definition of fear, it makes us unable to move forward, unable to grow, unable to try new things. If you didn’t do everything you were afraid of doing your entire life, how would you be walking? How would know how to ride a bike? How would you make new friends? How would you grow?

Fear can be a paralyzer if you choose it to be.

2. Fear can be a motivator.

This is how I view fear. And I will be completely honest, I didn’t start viewing fear this way until this last January when I first heard Lara Casey say this wonderful phrase. I have said this phrase multiple times on this blog, I say it out loud at least once a day, I say it to Anna once a week (if not more), and I will probably say it every day until the day I die:

"Feel the fear and do it anyway."

You are going to feel fear in life. You are. Period. Don’t get this post confused with “you should never feel fear” because you absolutely should feel fear.

But fear should be a motivator.

Fear should be the kick in the pants you need to get started on something big. Fear should be a challenge. Fear should be reassurance that what you are doing is probably really, really good.

If you realize you are fearful about something, acknowledge it, even saying out loud, “Holy crap, this is terrifying”… but then do it anyway. It won’t be easy, it make take you a few tries to do it, but once you get the hang out of… scary things will start to be a little less scary.

Here’s what I am trying to get across:

Do not let fear paralyze you and hold you back from your dreams. If Mckayla Maroney let fear get to her, she wouldn’t have performed one of the best vaults in Olympic history. If Michael Phelps let fear get to him, he wouldn’t be the most successful Olympian of all time. If JK Rowling let fear get to her, she wouldn’t have written one of the most successful book series ever. If Usain Bolt let fear get to him, he wouldn’t hold the world records for both the 100 meter and 200 meter race.

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

I am TERRIFIED about project HOPE... but I am doing it anyway.

I will not let fear paralyze me.

But I will let it get my butt in gear to make my dreams happen.


Will you feel the fear and do it anyway?

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