Jumping from a cliff - overcoming fear

Photo by Sammie Vasquez on Unsplash

Question — Is Fearlessness the Goal?

Last month I was interviewed On the Art of Doing Podcast by Hilary Johnson of The Hatch Tribe and I was asked this exact question to which I quickly replied, “Oh no, fear can totally show up, it’s just not driving.”

In my head I picture myself coasting on the highway with the top down, some big ole sunglasses and a smile pasted on my face while the cartoon shadow of “fear” sits in the backseat pouting because I am indeed in the drivers seat. A great image, no?

The biological purpose of fear is to help the human body to avoid pain. Makes sense. Don’t touch a hot pan on the stove, don’t get too close to the edge of a cliff, blah blah. In a biological context fear is useful. But in our everyday life with no cliff around, what purpose is fear playing in our lives?

Fear is designed to keep us safe, yes. But along with the comfort of safety comes smallness. To stick to what we know and shy away from new things because: safe. This is the point it’s our job to evaluate the fear. Current example in my life: I have decided to start posting video’s talking about the same topics I often write about. Whoa, fear busted through the door immediately. He thought I was throwing a party and came in ready to get down! Lights, flashes of WARNING, WARNING spilling onto the floor.

My internal monologue fired up, “Why are you doing this? No one will watch AND you don’t know how to do this,” yada yada. I pushed it all back and moved forward anyway.

My take: Fear shows we care about what we’re doing. If we didn’t, the stakes would be low and the fear monster wouldn’t show up.

Instead of fearing fear, use its presence as a guide, a good omen! Oh goody, fear is here so I have a very good indicator this is something to pursue. I’m not suggesting jumping from a cliff is a solid idea, I’m talking about daily creative thinking, ideas, and concepts.

Remember: Letting fear in to take a (back) seat, is much different than letting it dictate your actions. In a Super Soul Sunday interview a couple of weeks ago I heard Oprah’s guest make a thought provoking analogy, “Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I’d rather see you in better living conditions.”

WHOA. Now that really sticks doesn’t it? Better living conditions than surrounded by fear. Fear in the backseat, pouting? YES. Fear all around you enveloping you in a cheap room? NO.

Now that we know fear can be our (reluctant) friend, next week we can talk about ways to move through it. Wave hello, and just walk right on by. All cool like.

Ciao for now,