The gift of fear

Fear can save your life.

When what I’m up against deserves a legit fight or flight, I’m glad fear exists. The adrenalin it produces is a quick-burn fuel that can get me going.

But, what if fighting and flighting weren’t our only options when fear came to the party?

What if that feeling of fear existed for a higher calling… like a clue to a hidden treasure?

When I take time to pause and consider, I am amazed at how much more resource I have available to me in the face of fear. Add some humility, a willingness to work hard, and better still, a willingness to fail – or as Sun Tzu says… a willingness to die before you go into battle – fear will lose its hold.

What if fear was a sign that opportunity was knocking?

If I’m scared of my “not being as creative as that person over there” or “my business failing” or “the economy can’t support me“, I can attack the disabling part (fear) and embrace the objects in creative ways (the colleague, the prospects, the real opportunities in the existing economy).

When Emerson suggested to “… always do what you are afraid to do” I don’t think he was kidding. I think he was giving you and me our marching orders to unprecedented possibility.

7 comments
Julie Gayler
Julie Gayler

You have no idea how timely this post was for me...and I just discovered your page! Turning convention on it's head is never a bad idea. Historically, the percentages of things done exactly the opposite of how they appeared is probably pretty high. Talk about motivating! Bring it on scary stuff! :)

Dane Sanders
Dane Sanders

Melanie and Tamara... you two should be friends. Great insights and questions. Without a doubt, fear is a force to be reckoned with somehow. Seems like we could be a little more resourceful than current strategy.

Tamara Lackey
Tamara Lackey

i find it curious that fear can often be so uncomfortable that we only think of fight or flight - but can also sometimes be a draw, a shot of adrenalin that we not only seek out but can get completely addicted to and even long to experience often. why do we sometimes process it as a deterrent and sometimes as an invitation? do we have the capacity to re-program our instincts to see it as an invitation first?

melanie
melanie

I was just wondering if their was any good purpose to fear due to all the dramatic fear mongering thrown around from extreme political groups... Then your thoughts came up on my FB feed. First they made me think of a heated RD staff conversation (circa 1999) in a 15 passenger up at Wildwood RA training about the difference between "actual fear" and "perceived fear." I believe your thoughts on fears was a catalyst for a unique conversation then, as they are now. =) If we send our fears through that filter first, we'll have much less than what we began with. Then we can attempt to make the actual fears work for us rather than being slaves to them (Romans 8).

Dane
Dane

Thanks Julie. Your words resonate with me too. (we should be friends :)) Searching #trust30 on twitter is a great resource too. Nice call.

Julie Jordan Scott
Julie Jordan Scott

I don't believe Emerson was kidding, either. I believe he was 100% devoted to his words... which he shared in conversations regularly... (I am a long time, huge fan! lol as well as a participant in #trust30). I often talk to people in my coaching practice who turn and run from fear. I say stand next to it, be curious with it, engage it with wonder instead of constantly wrong-i-fying fear. Sometimes fear is the best friend we have. I am grateful I found you today via #trust30

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