How to be fearless?
I received the sweetest message the other day from a sweet woman on social media who I have never met. She was telling me how much my fearlessness had inspired her but she didn’t think she could ever be “fearless like me.” So she asked me how I lived my life without fear and if I could help her too.
So of course this inspired a blog post cause #writer.
After being more flattered than I had ever felt in all of my life I quickly reassured her that I do not live my life without fear.
Fear is a funny thing. Everyone has it, everyone feels it and in many ways it is one emotion that unites all of us. Fear is used to manipulate people, to overpower people, and to ultimately get what you want. There are books and classes and a whole entire technique that teaches people in power how to pinpoint and act on people’s fear in order to gain their trust, their money, their votes or anything else you want from them. We are easily fooled because they are VERY good at what they do. Promise us a fix to our fears and we will do anything you ask of us because ultimately we want relief. We want relief from this anxiety, this crippling emotion that keeps us up at night. We want everything to be easy for us and we want to be extraordinary as long as we can feel good feelings all the way through it.
So what does living fearlessly really mean?
Well, I have my own definition. Living fearlessly does not mean you DON’T HAVE FEAR it means you DON’T LISTEN TO FEAR.
There is a huge difference.
Fear is nothing but a voice. It’s a soft and lovely voice that is like that of a lover. It sings us comforting songs, it tells us to be safe, it tells us to stay in our comfort zone and it promises it will bring us good feelings if we just stay. It’s why fear is often paralyzing. We get into a scary situation we often paralyze ourselves because we think if we don’t move or react or make a decision it will all just go away. Clearly this is hardly ever the case.
Fear is nothing more than an idea, a concept, an unrealistic thought that we have made real.
It is a LIE.
Those of us who “live fearlessly” have figured this out. We finally figured out that fear isn’t real. It’s not tangible, it’s not anything that is even realistic. It’s lies we tell ourselves in order to keep ourselves in our safe zone.
Think about a time you really wanted to do something but you just couldn’t find the courage to do so. How did you feel? Miserable, exhausted, sad, regretful?
Now thing about a time you did something that scared the crap out of you? Maybe it was finally asking that cute boy in 7th hour to prom, or you finally asked for that promotion, or you stood up and gave a speech in front of hundreds of people, or you finally signed up for that exercise class, or you moved across the country by yourself or you jumped out of a plane. How did you feel then? Joyous, energetic, full of life, happy, like a gladiator?
You see fear does nothing but hold us back. It keeps us from actually living and doing the things we were born to do. It keeps us from sharing our gifts with the world, which is a shame because the world could use all the gifts it can get. It keeps us from ever living to our full potential.
It’s like throwing poison on a rose bush. You’re meant to bloom and produce beautiful roses for others to enjoy and love and nurture. You’re meant to plant a seed in the garden of the world and take care of it and contribute to society in meaningful important ways.
Every time you allow fear to win you’re poisoning your own garden. You’re stifling your growth. You admire others for their beautiful blooms but you yourself remain small and sick.
To live fearlessly means to acknowledge the fear. To say hello and then immediately say goodbye.
It is to know in the core of your being it is a LIE and you don’t listen to lies. You don’t dwell in a world of “what ifs” you dwell in a world of “when.”
You feel gratitude for the ability to know the truth behind fear and you simply move along.
Give it a name. Give it a face. Make it real so that you can say “Bye, Felicia” or “Boy Bye” whenever it rears it’s ugly head at you.
Hear me when I say life is about RISK.
Yes, just reading that word made you uncomfortable. It probably sent a little bit of fear up your spine because risk is uncomfortable. It’s not a fuzzy, feel good word or feeling. You could jump out of that plane and break every bone in your body, you could die, you could live the rest of your life in a wheelchair. Or you could fly. You could see a view of the world most people can only ever dream of. You could feel the wind and air on your face in a way most humans never will. You could feel like you are unstoppable and huge and like nothing on earth actually really matters as much as just enjoying the feel of the sun, the wind on your cheeks, and the feeling of absolute and complete freedom.
Risk is scary but necessary.
Risk is the cure of fear. It is the antidote you seek.
I’m not special.
I feel fear. I have fears. I have things that I want to overcome but I KNOW what fear is and fear doesn’t hold me back anymore. Fear doesn’t stop me from living my life. Fear doesn’t get a voice at my table.
Fear is no longer a blanket that keeps me warm and cozy. It is a chain that holds me back from my true authentic self and I guarantee it is holding you back as well.
Don’t imprison yourself to fear. Don’t be a slave to it’s lies and it’s stories. They’re not true.
Be bold. Take a risk.
Jump out of the plane and fly!
I promise you you’ll never regret the risks you took but you’ll always regret the ones you didn’t.
Live fearlessly, friends!