Fear is Just Another Feeling in Our Repertoire

Hey World,

There have been so many moments in the past few years where I sit down, think about what I'm doing with my life, and what I want to do with my life, and the choices I've made to make my way from A --> B and think: I AM DEVIATING FROM THE PATH. I AM CRAZY. WHAT AM I DOING? 

That tiny voice that comes out in the darkest of nights as I lay my head on my pillow, or as I walk nonchalantly down the street, or as I board an aircraft that's heading 3,000+ miles away, is my friend Fear. 

Fear, as you all well know, is a scary friend to have. It's the thunderclap that jostles you to alertness right before you make a big jump. It's the person you don't like having around, but can't bring yourself to exclude. It's the blanket that used to be warm and fuzzy, but now for some reason can't do the trick. It's the reason you check behind your shower curtain at night (or is that just me?). 

It's been a big week here in Iringa. I found out exactly what I'll be doing for my job for the next 12 months, and while it's exhilarating to be doing exactly what I want to be doing...it's also made me a nervous wreck. You know what I'm most afraid of (other than butterflies)?! Failure. And my friend Fear has a funny way of always wiggling that other F-word into my mind.

But fear is just another feeling in our repertoire. 

"Sometimes when self doubt takes over, we have to remember that it's not only about us (though it also very much is about us, and that's okay). It's about showing others that dreams are valid, that possibilities are endless, that fear is just another feeling in our repertoire. It's about being true to oneself and the dream, and being the catalyst for others - near and far - to do the same: to shed the fear, to believe in possibility, to try and succeed, to bring dreams to life." 

I wrote that on a friend's blog this past week, and it seemed as much a message to myself in this particular moment as it was a message for her. In addressing her doubts, I also happened to answer my own (to which I couldn't be more grateful). 

My life, to put it bluntly, is about me. It's about my hopes, my dreams, my passions, my mistakes, my learning curves, my interests, my fears, my opportunities for chance and change. It's about rising to the occasion...and the challenges. It's about overcoming barriers and boundaries. It's about becoming the best me I can be. 

Yet at the same time, it's very much not about me. My work is to serve others -- and I don't want to muck that up. I give as much as I can afford to, and probably and then some. I care deeply about close loved ones and strangers alike. And my road to find contentment and stay happy is a path that I don't wish to travel down alone. So while I want to be the best ever-changing version of me, I also want to affect positive change to others too. 

It made me realize that THIS is why I am deviating from the path. THIS is why I am on A Path Unpaved. THIS is why I blog in the hopes that others may have the courage to do the same. 

And I was right: what is fear but another feeling? One that could easily be replaced with elation, serenity, confidence, patience or conviction? 

It's not to say that we should never be afraid, but we cannot let fear get in the way. There are far too many other feelings that deserve our time and attention. 

So let us forge onwards without being beholden to a shoddy old friend.


PS: Have you read the book Start: Punch Fear In the Face? It's near the top of my reading list, but I'd love to hear what you thought of it before I buy it! 

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