The Meaning of Fear

Fear is a funny thing. Well, not “haha” funny… because let’s face it: when you encounter something that you are afraid of, or something that strikes fear into your heart, there is nothing funny about it. Your palms sweat, your heart races, you feel nauseous, and you want to run away… or at least that’s the way it is for me.

In September many fears of mine have bubbled to the surface. Being in a new town, with new people, and new expectations being asked of me I found myself fearful. “Will they like me?” “Will I like them?” “What if I get lost?” “Will I succeed?”

It’s funny, in a peculiar way, how when something that I have wanted for so long is placed within my grasp it suddenly takes on a whole new meaning. It is one thing to sit and wish, lost in day dreams of what my future life and career will look like, but it’s an entirely different thing when it’s right in front of me… and more than that, attainable for maybe the first time ever. And that terrifies me. I’ve spent so much of my life caught up in my imagination, picturing from the sidelines what my life might be like “one day”. But one day is much closer than I previously thought. For me, with the promise of getting what I want and living the life I desire comes the fear that I will get close to it, and then the rug will be pulled out from under me.

Metaphorically, I had all my bags packed, heart locked up tight, and with one foot out the door… Then I came across the following quote:

“You can think of fear in two ways, ‘forget everything and run,’ or ‘face everything and rise.'”

Boy, was I ready to run. Why bother move towards what I want if there is a chance it will never come to fruition? If there is a risk of being hurt, why put yourself out there?

And just as quickly as I turned to run, the answer came to me… Why bother? Because the only way greatness can happen is if you step into the unknown long enough for things to be different than they have been before. If I run away when it looks like things are going well, then I’ll never get to where I truly want to go. I understand my instinct to protect myself, and to run away before there is a chance for me to be hurt or let down, but what would life look like if I went all in? If I gave myself permission to be uncomfortable, and to be outside my comfort zone… then what would my life look like?

So even though there is still a part of me that is cautious and worried about what might happen… it’s time for me to face everything and rise and see how high I can climb if I don’t turn back before my journey even begins.