Movies and pop culture have given us many false ideas about the world, and the experience of fear is among them. The idea that fear is what happens when a blood-thirsty shark is stalking you under your surfboard or a masked murderer is chasing you up the stairs (why do they run UP the stairs? 😒).
Fear for your life is dramatic, loud and obvious which makes it GREAT for Hollywood. I don't know about you, but my day-to-day fears are much less dramatic. They're insidious, subtler, and quieter, which make their harmful effects more insidious.
See if any of these sound familiar to you:
What will people think?
Who am I to do this OR have this OR be this?
What if _______? Fill in the blank with something bad.
I'm not ready OR I'll do that later when....
I don't know where to start.
I might do it wrong OR it might not be perfect.
There isn't the time or energy to focus on this now.
I might make the wrong choice.
If I do this I'll have to give up that.
This might disappoint or anger someone I care about.
It doesn't matter what I do anyways.
Maybe it won't work
These and so many others is the common language of fear. The real danger is in believing that these ideas that fear whispers to you are true. It lulls you into procrastinating and putting aside the things that matter to you. It does this to keep you from acting because taking action will create a change and that is scary to the fearful part of you.
The more frightening prospect is looking back with regret and never knowing what could have been different if you had taken the courageous step.
In other words...
"Don't let fear paralyze you. The scariest paths
often lead you to the most exciting places."
- Lori Deschene
"Courage is knowing what not to fear."
A good question...
What would I do differently if I disbelieved the whispers of my fear?