Fear: The Coward’s Choice

For those of you who know me well, you know that my life is never boring.  Spending my days with pre-pubescent children and my nights flitting around to football, kickball, trivia, friends’ hangouts, beach walks, and pretty much anything but sitting on my ass watching TV makes for a full and active life.

Usually when I tell people what I’m involved in, they invariably respond with “oh my god, you’re SO busy” or “I could NOT do all of that.”  Which isn’t a lie-the first part, anyways-there is rarely a night where I can just sit and relax.  Yet I wouldn’t have it any other way.  When I observe people around me who aren’t involved in hardly any activities, their life seems so very boring and monotonous-come home, make dinner, watch TV, bed.  Every. Single. Night.

When I invite some people to participate in some of the stuff I’m involved in (mostly the sports), I’m usually hit with “ohhh, I’m not good at sports” or “I just don’t want to commit to an every week thing.”  Yet they keep their daily couch commitment with no hesitation.

If you really break it down, all of their responses are ruled by fear: fear of looking stupid, fear of being bad at something, fear of commitment.  Yet it has been proven time and time again that you have to actively choose against your fear in order to make any headway in this world.

I know I’ve written about it before but holding yourself back solely based on fear is not only stupid (unless it’s the fear of dying keeping you jumping off a building-maybe listen to that fear) but it is SO limiting.  The best decisions that I have made have been spur-of-the-moment, and I have rarely wasted time weighing the pros and cons-I just jumped.

(This, of course, does not apply to what to order for dinner–I WILL make a Venn Diagram if need be).

However, lately I have been realizing that I’ve been holding myself back subconsciously from a couple of different things based on fears that I wasn’t allowing myself to acknowledge.  One of them being taking my writing to the next level: I have several novel and screenplay ideas that I want to see come to fruition, but I have yet to take the first step in actually writing them.  Another area is dating; when I find someone I actually like/talk to for more than a week, I always hold back a part of myself juuuuust in case he doesn’t actually feel the same way.

Yet in both cases, there is no real scenario where I would lose by going balls out.  What happens if I write a book and it never sells?  Or everyone who reads it thinks it’s shitty?  Absolutely nothing.  In fact, it will if nothing else hone my skills AND I can say I’ve written a book–which is totally bad-ass.

As far as dating, what would happen if I completely allowed myself to fall for someone?  If they don’t feel the same way back, the worst that will happen is I feel crappy for a few days or maaaybe weeks and then *poof* I’ll be back to normal.

Those “reasons” are hardly enough to keep me from going for it.  And think of the payoff!  I could write the next national best seller, or have a hand in the next blockbuster movie.  I could find the love of my life and spend the rest of my days ecstatically happy.  Just going for it is the obvious choice.

So many of our fears are lions in our heads in and mice in reality.  Unless there is a real chance that someone will die or that you will lose your livelihood, you should never, ever make your decision based on fear.

Think about this: when you decide on a career, you *usually* decide based on what you enjoy doing.  If this is indeed the case, the probability of enjoying your job is quite high.  However, if you choose your career based on fear-fear of not having enough money, fear of having a ‘lower’ career, fear of going off the beaten family path-you will most likely end up hating your job and consequently most of the hours in your day.

Making a decision based on what negative things COULD happen should never enter into your reality.  Think about what you love.  Think about what makes you happy.  Think about the possibilities of POSITIVITY.

If you’re ever tempted to hold back or shy away from an opportunity or just stay in the status quo simply because of what you’re afraid might happen, take a moment to give yourself a pep talk.  We only live life once, and there may not be a second chance to face your fears.

Go forth with courage, and make it a habit to choose out of love.  Love for yourself, love for the people in your life, love for the joy of living!

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…let’s live.

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