Being afraid…and doing it anyway
How many of us are holding back in our relationships? Who among us is restricting their growth potential or avoiding a change in their career? Let’s see a show of hands from those of us who in some way, shape, or form are limiting ourselves in some aspect of our lives because we are afraid. Yes, I have to admit that my hand has slowly crept up, too.
Afraid of rejection?
Afraid of being hurt?
Afraid of being hurt again?
Afraid of being hurt even again?
Afraid of not being good enough or pretty enough or smart enough or sexy enough?
There seems to me to be a curious double standard when it comes to fear. Human beings have clearly demonstrated time and time again that we actually are not afraid of fear. In so many ways, we are fear-seekers. Just ask the rollercoaster-riders, the bungee-jumpers, the race car drivers, the tight-rope walkers, the lion-tamers, the deep-sea divers, the skyscraper window cleaners, and those who have left the boundaries of earth’s atmosphere to explore what exists beyond this planet we call home. Heck, even I welcomed fear into my life with open arms recently when I zip-lined five stories over a swampy pond filled with giant alligators.
It would appear that in those specific instances, fear actually propels us into our greatness, thrusting us into our highest potential. We desire the rush of danger. We crave the surge of vulnerability. We embrace the feelings of uncertainty. We know there are no guarantees…and we do it anyway.
So why do we not apply that same powerful field of energy when it comes to matters of the heart and soul? Why do we suddenly “need” the guarantee? Why do we suddenly “require” the certainty of a sure thing? Why do we only clear the pathway to our heart when we feel convinced that it is “safe” to do so?
In the meantime, while we are waiting for those assurances, we are not only denying ourselves the gift of those around us, we are denying those around us the gift of us. Fear-based thinking causes us to live small and live prudent, shrinking into an existence of believing we can shield ourselves from our imagined fears by cocooning ourselves in layers of imagined protection.
Imagine if Martin Luther King, Jr., thought, “I have a dream, but I am simply too scared to share it with the people of the world.”
Imagine if Rosa Parks thought, “I do not want to give up my seat on this bus because of the color of my skin, but I am too afraid not to.”
Imagine if Neale Donald Walsch thought, “I had an extraordinary conversation with God, but I’m too afraid to share it with the world for fear of how it or I will be received.”
If any one of those people had listened to and acted upon that voice of fear, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right here, right now. But these are the risk-takers. These are the people who looked fear squarely and confidently and gently in the eye, blessed its presence in their lives, and did it anyway.
And what exactly is the difference between these three individuals and us? What do they have that perhaps you or I do not?
Nothing, except a deep-seated understanding that no matter what happens, no matter how the chips may fall or in which direction the events of our lives take us, we have nothing to lose. The guarantee that life gives to us is that we simply cannot fail. The only “loss” we can experience is the one we personally create in our individual reality when we do not place ourselves fully in the game, the type of loss that prevents us from not only knowing who we really are, but actually experiencing who we are.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
Conversations with God
(Lisa McCormack is the Managing Editor & Administrator of The Global Conversation. She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team at www.ChangingChange.net, a website offering emotional and spiritual support. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)