So the other day,I was thinking, why don’t I seem to be accomplishing the things that I would like to be in life? Why do I get so close to the edge of the cliff from which I’m about to paraglide off of, then stop. Clearly, I’m ready. I’ve climbed my way to the top, got my paragliding equipment ready to go, feel energized, know my target, but . . . then I stop.
It doesn’t matter whether the goal is personal in nature or professional, there’s an utter reluctance.
I looked deep within the other day, in a moment of stillness, and found that underneath was fear — fear of judgement, fear of being a fool.
There’s a lot of fears I’ve overcome in my life — lots of anxiety: social anxiety which prevented me from dating, health anxiety which prevented me from fully experiencing life, fears about quitting a job for a better one, fears about living abroad and traveling, fears about moving out of relationships that were bad for me and fear of moving forward with ones that were good.
I’m very grateful to see that each time I’ve confronted and pushed into each fear with action and resolve, life took a positive turn. Years of staticness, confusion, and indecisiveness were broken by a clear inspiration to take a certain type of action. The action was always one that I previously feared taking. Yet once I did, I would always see, fairly early on, that it was the right action.
Fear is like this invisible fence. We can see past it to the other side, where we want to be, but often don’t understand what’s keeping us from getting there. We’re often not aware that there’s fear in the way, blocking us from our destination.
Without this awareness of the core fear that’s obstructing our path, we’ll often take easy actions towards our goal that are less risky and require less courage, but are also less impactful and rewarding. These actions can be in the form of ‘idle busyness’ — like making business cards for a business we don’t think we’re good enough to start instead of getting on the phone and calling potential customers.
I wish I could say that I’ve worked through all this core fear in my life; that I’m now a social butterfly that puts himself out there with joy and confidence in each new social situation. That would be a lie though. me to take such actions, even if they were uncomfortable.
Yet, right now, as I write this, I find myself still scared to be a fool. Scared to be judged, whether in person or even online — scared of what others think of me. The fear is so much, that I find myself uncomfortable about taking the kinds of actions in my life necessary to achieve the things that I clearly want.
And this is precisely what I want to embrace — being willing to be criticized, being willing to look like a total fool in the eyes of others, and don’t give a shit about it.