“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action.
You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”
”We never lose our demons.
We only learn to live above them.”
Maybe I should say I think I know some things about fear and living with it.
First thing I think I know?
A fearless person is a lie.
No one is fearless.
Everyone feels fear.
You either accept it, deal with it and do whatever you are going to do with it … bringing it along for the ride … or you do nothing because of it.
Second thing I know?
You cannot avoid it.
In fact … I believe it was Jaime Lannister on the Game of Thrones who explained it the best:
So many vows… they make you swear and swear. Defend the king. Obey the king. Keep his secrets. Do his bidding. Your life for his. But obey your father. Love your sister. Protect the innocent. Defend the weak. Respect the gods. Obey the laws.
It’s too much.
No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vow or the other.
He was not talking about fear but he may as well have.
All that means to mean is … well … you may as well take action.
You may as well do something.
You may as well try to improve your station and lot in Life despite whatever fears you may have.
“If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better…”
As I said upfront … the whole concept, the whole idea, the whole belief, of a fearless person … is a lie.
It is bullshit.
Some of the best of the fearless-like people have an inner fear compass which enables them to navigate fear a little better than the rest of us everyday schmucks.
They are born with it.
To be clear.
They are actually born with the guardrails which keeps them from chaos of ‘do anything just to do’ which truly only a psychologically screwed up person would ever embrace. That means they don’t simply ignore fear … they accept it and manage it.
So … this doesn’t mean there isn’t fear. Even the fearless looking people have fear. they may look fearless but they join the rest of us fear-budrened people day in and day out.
“There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them”
I would suggest that not successfully living with fear is probably the biggest impediment to success <even beyond poverty, existing circumstances, etc.>.
I would also suggest we are not successful because we far too often give our fears far too much power by believing they are bigger than they really are.
I am not suggesting that fear doesn’t exist I am simply suggesting we often permit fear to take on superhuman powers and intergalactic sizes in our minds.
And I am suggesting seeking to be successful means not eliminating fear but simply making it into bite sized portions more easily swallowed <or however you elect to deal with fear … that was just a suggestion>.
Here’s the deal.
All people fear failure.
And anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.
It’s just that some people set it aside and strive to seek something that lies somewhere beyond the fear. Across the chasm as it were.
Do most people mind being challenged … which almost always contains some aspects of fear … by attempting to do that which they have not done?
The majority of people do like meeting challenges and that satisfaction which comes from meeting the challenge. I believe it is because you have not only ‘bested’ the challenge but you have also ‘bested’ the fear you couldn’t meet the challenge <even if it was only an inkling of fear>.
So there is certainly a level of ‘dealing with fear” … or maybe better said ‘the unknown’ that all people like. And in dealing with it … it gives people satisfaction.
What about that ‘good fear’?
That big fear. That stepping into the unknown fear?
Fear is defined as the emotional response to an actual or perceived threat of immediate or imminent danger or pain. The capacity to experience fear is part of human nature that has been hard-wired into us.
And it is debilitating to most people. It is a fact that a large number of people suffer the often debilitating impacts of fear and anxiety. They suffer a sense of being overwhelmed and helplessness leading to an inability to take action or make changes.
Interestingly I believe we tend to tie bravery and courage with being able to
overcome that helplessness brought on by fear.
I don’t think that’s right.
In most cases it is more about having the ability to see <or conceptualize> what is somewhere across the chasm and using that as the focal point to step toward.
That’s not courage … that is simply focusing on what is important.
Or, let’s say, an ability to focus.
Or, let’s say, an ability to envision possibilities.
I guess I find some support in my belief in that most individuals we look to as brave or courageous people openly admit that they were not free of fear when they faced the unknown <death or simply stepping into the unknown by doing something with no guaranteed outcome>.
They simply kept going with their plan of action, in spite of feeling scared, because they were generally resolute in their decisions, knew the risks attached to what they were doing and in many cases believed that their actions served a larger cause for a greater good <and they had chance of eachieving an outcome they could be happy with>.
People like that don’t lessen the fear … they simply accept it … and focus on the objective.
Patton once said this about equating bravery with a lack of fear:
“If we take the generally accepted definition of bravery as a quality which knows no fear, I have never seen a brave man. All men are frightened.
The more intelligent they are, the more they are frightened.”
It is a Life truth that the inability to overcome fear translates into a lower quality of life.
Really. Quality of life <and, me being me, I have some proof to back this up>.
And according to a psychologist quoted in a 2009 Psychology Today … “the inaction that stems from excessive, irrational fears or fear-based thinking often shows up as a decision to live life from a “safe” position and not take risks, even if that means forsaking opportunities that might provide greater joy and expansiveness to one’s life.”
Circling back … people who have overcome fear have learned to focus on what is truly important … they have either faced their monsters or decided that they were less important then what they really wanted.
And I actually believe most successful people have done exactly this … these have faced their inner demons, monsters, and have asked them to come along for the ride instead of hiding from them. In other words … they live with their fear. or, as Dr. Strange said, “we learn to live above them.”
I imagine the best we can do with regard to loving with fear is that we may actually find the objective, the idea of the outcome, as something more significant than fearing the thing itself.
I imagine that thought encapsulates most good things in life. Envision the positive outcome to overcome the fear of ‘not doing anything’ and live above the fears we have.
As for you & I?
What’s important is the action.
We inevitably take action all the while seeking our own version of fearless.
And maybe that is the important closing thought.
Living with fear is a personal choice, personal decision and personal attitude. Comparing fearlessness is stupid and wrong.
You version is yours, mine is mine.
We may all live with fear but how we do it isn’t comparable … it should only be judged by your reflection in the mirror. That is the only judge that counts.