Feel the Fear

Fear is almost tangible. At times, I am convinced that, with some leverage, I could pull off the heavy weight that bears down, most inconveniently, upon my chest. I am fairly certain I have had lengthy conversations with fear. Fear can be a pretty quiet dude, sneaking up on you when you least expect it- often kicking you when you are already down. He can be a bully- overwhelming, persistent and exhausting. He is also persuasive- he can talk you out of almost anything. He can convince you that it will be too scary, too hard or simply impossible. Fear can be a jerk and he tends to be almost impossible to ignore.

Growing up my Dad used to say “feel the fear and do it anyway”. Whenever I was nervous about an audition or completely overwhelmed with a term paper or learning how to drive on real streets in an actual car- he urged me to take a breath, feel the fear and do it anyway. I think about this often. In fact, it may be the single sentence that has gotten me through life his far. When I walk into a room full of strangers or meet someone for an interview, when I go to the doctor, when I submit a blog post or get totally freaked out about a life as a single parent…fear is there.

We cannot escape it. Fear is our body’s natural response to anything out of our comfort zone or scope of knowledge. We should not ignore fear; it alerts us to situations that may be dangerous. We should not silence those instincts, but, the great majority of the time, the little alarm that goes off is only warning us to proceed with caution. Note, I said PROCEED.

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

There are so many opportunities that we miss out on because fear works his way into our brain. We miss out on taking new career leaps, traveling to exotic lands, applying to dream schools, even getting that watercolor tattoo we all covet on Pinterest. Fear permeates into our being, defining the person we ultimately become. Fear doesn’t care if we are comfortable in our lives, if we feel fulfillment with our current situations. In fact, fear tends to hold us back from the really BIG things in life- those scary, crazy, amazing things we would do if we knew that we could not fail.

So, let us challenge each other to take the leap. Make the call. Submit the application. Buy the plane tickets. Say I love you first. Quit your job. Run the marathon. Sign the papers. Put yourself out there. Take a chance. Take a risk.

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

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2 thoughts on “Feel the Fear

  1. Fear does all that and more if we let it. It will have you cowering in a corner of an apartment wondering what the hell you’re doing with the rest of your life. It makes sure you feel abandoned by good friends and family. It hurts your heart, takes energy away, and leaves your body spent as if you’d run a thousand miles. IF Y O U L E T I T….
    If you don’t, it cowers in the corner, waiting for the next opportunity you let down your guard…
    More simple said than do, but you have to. If you live in this world and expect to get anywhere other than where you are, you have to confront it as many times as you have to and live the rest of your life. Then, one day, you notice it took it’s suitcase and moved to another house…for a while…because you ignored it.
    Don’t open the door.

    Like

  2. I am amazed at your integrity in putting this out there. I felt that same way when I moved down to the Galleria area. I still feel it. But I’m still here. Every day I thank Goodness and curse my decision. Then leave it as I walk out the door. It’s amazing how well you wrote it and it’s so realistic as to how you describe it. Thank you for putting into words what this writer couldn’t do.

    Liked by 1 person

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