Fear - an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
Fear is natural.
Fear comes from both internal and external stressors.
Fear is a preservation warning system for survival.
Fear is a safety mechanism that keeps us safe, sound and trapped.
Look, I am not lobbying for the idea that fear is bad.
It is just not a good god.
To be alive is an incredible opportunity, and how many of us have spent years of our lives in situations that were not good for us? How many of us chose the devil we knew instead of the opportunity that was scary? How many of us have sacrificed our passions, our dreams, our gifts and purpose for a slice of “security”?
I would submit to you that security is the threat and fear is the indication that maybe we need to think different about where we are, where we are going, and how we are showing up.
Fear is not a good god because it only has part of your best interest at heart, not the whole.
People do all kinds of crazy things when they are fearful. We make decisions of self preservation without a thought for those around us. If we are drowning, we try to drown the one that is rescuing us. If we are struggling, we tend to wish ill against those who are thriving. It is carnal at best.
We are selfish creatures that do not exist for the good of others unless we choose to not let fear drive the bus.
To live for others and choose community in all things puts our desires last and well fear will not have that. What if I fail? What if I don’t have enough? What if they do this? What if so and so says this?
We can do this all day. We can rationalize fear, weaponize selfishness, and steal the ability to actually live and replace with a guarantee of failure.
Sure, you may have what you need for a time but that will only last until it runs out and fear will cause you to react again.
When we are led by fear, we react a lot. We never actually respond: In fact, our thoughtfulness just vanishes. We lean into worst case scenarios, yell, kick and scream until the pain is passed and whatever is left is left.
Maybe it’s conversations you couldn’t have honestly.
Maybe it’s lies you have left covered up.
Maybe it’s actions you never fessed up to.
I don’t know what that is for you.
What I do know is I have lived this way.
I have been a human that lived in fear, that chose the weak path, chose to hide, chose to lie, and chose to give into the belief that change was an outcome not worth risking.
One day I realized that living in fear, had made me a failure.
It made me someone I was not proud of.
It made me someone I didn’t like when I looked in the mirror.
I chose the cost of growth instead of comfort.
I chose the the uncertain.
I chose to be ok with the outcome that made me look a fool if I failed.
I chose to risk what I had known for what I did not.
Not just once.
I began to live on the edge of truth and desire.
The truth was, I wasn’t living, I was surviving.
Living - to be alive
Notice the differences here.
Survive - Exist
Living - Alive
You can live in spite of danger or hardship and truly be alive, or you can just exist.
To recognize fear, let it inform us and help us evaluate our next steps in an honest, rational, calculated manner is of good use and leads to a life that is fully alive regardless of the outcome.
To let fear run our lives, to be shaken by outside sources and told how we will react by our internal thoughts is a life guaranteed full of failure.
Both versions I have lived.
Both versions I have failed.
Only one version was I failure.
Only one version was I proud.
You have a choice.
You can live in fear or you can use that fear to help you chase your dreams and purpose.
What will you choose today?
VP of Student Experience
(Former Fearful Human)