Crush your fear.
An inspiring rallying cry in the personal development world.
Or is it?
Does it really motivate you to hear “be fearless,” when time after time your dreams and desires are shut down by fear? Or does the call to fearlessness leave you in doubt that you could ever be that bold?
Just because we hear something a lot doesn’t make it right or true, or even helpful. That it is believed and widespread doesn’t make it useful or effective in the reality of day-to-day living.
Because the truth I’ve learned is that becoming fearless isn’t the point; nor is mastering your fear.
That’s just ego talking, doing it’s best to stop you.
Fear has its uses – survival for one – and it keeps us from doing stupid things, but the thing we don’t often hear is that fear can even lead you to a positive outcome.
What if leaning into your fear is what sets you free?
Hard to believe? Challenging your beliefs? Stay with me.
When I launched my business almost 15 years ago, I was afraid.
When I got married after heartbreak in my first relationship, I was terrified.
When I learned how to scuba dive, I was so scared I could hardly breathe.
When I faced a video camera for the first time? Heart-racing, deer-in-headlights fear.
I was wracked with fear every single time.
I certainly didn’t ‘crush it’ or eliminate fear from my life. Instead, I tested it, leaning in to see where it would lead me.
That video recording I mentioned?
Yeah, that happened recently, and I can still hardly believe I did it.
For some time, I’ve thought of doing video, every time coming to the conclusion that it wasn’t for me.
I’m not a video person.
I don’t feel comfortable in front of a camera.
I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing.
A few my logical reasons for saying no.
Then I asked myself what was choosing to say no – love or fear?
Fear – deep and dark – a fear of being seen in a new way. Exposed. Vulnerable. I wanted to run and hide, get away from my discomfort.
So I did the opposite, leaning into it as far as I could. And the most amazing thing happened.
Love showed up and said yes.
Love for my work, and connecting to people.
Love for the friend who offered to record my first video, and help me face my fear.
Love for myself, and my desire to keep growing and stretching beyond what I think is possible.
I chose love, and it said yes.
Two hours flew by while we talked about life, and vulnerability, and why the general advice to be fearless is fucked. I talked about how scared I was to do this with him.
Two hours of recording that showed me that being afraid and being filmed (or being afraid while being filmed) was something I could lean into rather than avoid.
Instead of crushing fear, I chose love.
Can it be that simple?
Simple, and not always easy, but I’m willing to practice.
Choose love, and have it be that simple.
p.s. Video to come, so stay tuned.