Questioning Fear

Fear is a really funny thing, isn’t it? From the inside looking out, it’s invisible yet paralyzing.  You don’t think about having fear when you’re afraid, you really just think about whatever you’re afraid of.  But it really doesn’t make sense, does it?  Whatever situation you’re in and fear overwhelms you, is it rational?  Of course not, so why do we give it so much priority?  If we could just for a second step outside of our bodies and look at the situation with a clean, fearless, fresh perspective would we act the same?  Definitely not.

This past week while in Flordia, I spent some time in the pool with my little brother Ethan.  He was really scared of the water, and venturing out away from the steps without someone holding him.  Despite being equipped with “swimmies,” he still seemed certain that there was a very real risk of getting lost under the deep blue water.  He was surrounded with people who were actually certain of the very opposite.  We all knew that there was absolutely no chance of him sinking to the bottom because he had swimmies full of air that made it nearly impossible to sink, and in the worst case scenario that he did sink, he would be saved by all the capable swimmers surrounding him.  We knew that he had absolutely nothing to be afraid of in that situation.  The worst that could really happen to him was the occasional splash or dip under water.  Not too bad right?  But fear isn’t a rational thing.

How many times have we been the ones with the swimmies on, surrounded by support, yet we remain paralyzed by fear?  What are some of fears weighing on me now?  Losing freedom.  I’m afraid that moving to New York will steal the freedom I currently have.  Yet I fail to realize I have 100% control over the situation.  If I wish to maintain my freedom, then I will.  I’m afraid of wasting time.  For some reason I have this urge in me to get things done yesterday, and by moving to New York where I may have to seemingly deviate from my current career path, I’m not seeing that this move will actually accelerate my current path…if I choose to let it.  I’m certainly filled with more fears than this, and I could run them all day long, but the point is why am I so afraid of these possible outcomes?  There are a million outcomes to every situation, so why focus on the scariest ones?

You probably don’t realize it, but whatever you’re afraid of really isn’t a big deal to most people.  There are people all around you watching and supporting your every move, making sure you can’t sink to the bottom, and perplexed as to why you’re so afraid.  They can plainly see how great your situation is.  You’re also equipped with “swimmies,” or years of life experience, that ensure you’re truly capable of handling whatever comes your way.

Instead of accepting the fear, embrace it, welcome it, and question it.  Then act without it.

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One response to “Questioning Fear”

  1. Tom says :

    Dan,Beautifully written. I’ve known you for eight years and if there’s one thing you’ve consistently demonstrated it’s an ability to see what you want, analyze the situation and then go after it and get it. You’ve vocalized the fear, but never let it stop you. Moving to New York won’t be any different. The Big Apple doesn’t know how blessed it is about to be.Tally ho.Tom

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