Fear can inhibit or unlock your potential.
It can be a fuel source or a full stop.
Fear is a forcing function for those who know how to dance with it. You want it to inform you of what not to do. You want fear to show you where to steer clear of. You want fear in your life to keep you in check.
It isn’t to be dismissed or minimized. It’s to be looked at with open, honest eyes. It’s to be soothed via preparation.
It isn’t going anywhere.
It evolves with us and grows as we do. As we learn more and gain more experience, fear is right there with us, keeping up with the latest things to be fearful of.
Fear doesn’t want to be the reason you don’t do something. It wants to be the reason you’re able to keep doing something again and again. It calls it as it sees it. It isn’t worried about upsetting you. Fear is as honest as it gets. Sure, not all fears manifest into reality.
Not all fears come true, but maybe that’s because fear did its job.
The goal isn’t to decrease fear, the goal is to increase bravery.
Use fear to your advantage. Hear it out, what is it trying to tell you? How is it trying to make you better and more prepared?
Once you’ve made your fear-based adjustments and checks, you then proceed forward with a bit more bravery. You know what could go wrong and thanks to fear, you’ve done what you can to mitigate those risks.
Fear can make or break you depending on where you place it.
It always arrives in front of you, up ahead. In front of you, fear is an inhibitor. It blocks the way. It keeps you stalled. This isn’t supposed to be where the path ends, no. It’s your job to integrate that fear.
Take that fear into consideration. Understand where the fear is coming from and why. What does the fear want you to do in response? Once you integrate the fear, you put it behind you.
What does that mean?
It means you let fear push you.
Yes, it’s something to be afraid of, but it’s also not in the way anymore. You are working your damnedest not to let those fears come true. Fear has you running from it and towards betterment.
Not a bad system to have for yourself.
Again, fear is a forcing function.
It’s not that if you’re not growing you are at a neutral plateau. No, if you’re not growing, fear is there to eat you alive. The downward spiral is a path to hell that you want to be FULLY aware of. If you’re not, you may end up walking down that path with good intentions and pitiful behavior.
Fear isn’t hell. Fear is simply the street sign explaining where the path leads. It’s the messenger. Take fear’s message and it points the way.
Fear can keep you hunched over like a shivering hobbit or it can inspire greatness. Fear is the flame under your ass.
Fear gets you off the couch and jogging - you don’t want the diseases of a sedentary lifestyle. Fear gets you to call and check in on that family member - you don’t want to potentially have your last words end on such a negative note. Fear gets you to speak up at work - you don’t want to be walked on and stuck doing something you hate when there’s a better way. Fear gets you to triple-check your gear before jumping out of a plane - you don’t want to get hurt or die because you didn’t take the extra 45 seconds to verify.
Anti-goals are those things you definitely definitely definitely don’t want to happen.
Like a magnet, fear’s pole pushes away from these anti-goals while your dreams pull you forward towards your goals. Not everyone has a dream to work towards. Not everyone has an inspirational drive towards something great. But we ALL have theoretical versions of life we are terrified of having to live.
We know what lots of bad decision-making will amount to. We know how quickly chaos can devour all that we’ve built up. We know how hard it is to regain momentum for positive behavior. Yet we still forget from time to time and need to be reminded.
We need our reality checks.
Turns out there can be a lot of overlap between building design and building a life. John Ruskin (unknowingly perhaps) tells us how to live life better.
It's never too late to stumble upon an underlying principle of reality. (Especially one that can be put to use immediately)