Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. — George Addair.
When I talk about fear today, I’m not talking about scary movies, roller coasters, or flying. Although Addair’s words might apply to those fears as well. No, I’m talking about those fears we all have such as fear of missing out, fear of other people’s opinions, and fear of making a mistake. Those fears dictate our behavior, but we can make a conscious choice not let those fears control our actions. We can turn off our cell phones, we can tune out hurtful words and not engage with those who wish us harm, and we can take action despite an all consuming fear of making a wrong choice.
How do we get on the other side of our fear. I read recently that “we will never see our true selves in running water, it is only when the water is still and quiet in order to discover the beauty within each of us.” That is why we begin our meditation by closing our eyes and becoming still. That is why a great basketball player takes a deep breath before every free throw, and why a slow walk in the woods or on a beach brings a person back to center.
I am not a life coach, but on occasion a person will come to me and ask about an important life decision. On occasion, the decision seems so important the young person is paralyzed by fear of making the wrong choice. I encourage them to let it all go for a period of time. Go for an hour, a day, a week, and find some activity that will allow him or her to forget all about the problem. It might a strenuous workout at a gym, it might be a hike in the woods, or it might be sitting on a rooftop and staring at the stars. There are a million ways to forget about the immediate.
After that time period where you loosen the hold that fear has on you, then take the action you feel you would take but for the fear. Ask yourself, “but for the fear of making a mistake, fear of what other’s might think, and the fear of missing out on something better what would you do, and then do it.” I can’t say the result will always be right, but it will be right for the time and that’s worth a lot.
I have made a lot of mistakes and poor choices in my life, but my mistakes and my poor choices are just as much a part of me as my successes. The mistakes balance out the accomplishments and often teach us more about ourselves. They are who I am, and in the stillness of the evening of my life I’ve led a very good life.
Today, get on the other side of fear. It’s a wonderful place to be.