Can I be honest about something?
Fear kicked my ass the other night.
In the dark space of my room and of my mind, I tossed and turned and groaned in frustration for four hours before I finally drifted off to sleep.
At one point, I turned on my lamp and grabbed my journal to write out all the fears that came to me: I’m afraid of being laughed at, of discovering I’m not who I thought I was after all, of financial insecurity, of unexpected change, of believing in something wholeheartedly just to find out it was a lie, and especially for a risky move I’m making to a different state in just a few days.
Without hesitation I filled an entire page of fears. Afterward, I looked at it with a sense of bemusement. For most of my life others have perceived me as being fearless and yet there I was, held hostage by it in the middle of night.
The next morning I pondered that word—fearless, to be without fear. I’ve held an expectation for myself throughout my life to move forward with as little fear as possible. But the other night as fear shouted itself to me, I realized that it was never the case that I was withoutfear. I’d only silenced it in an effort to be fearless.
There's a plethora of things in life that are scary–terrifying even. Our fears aren't outlandish. They always come with a reason and they deserve to be here—they’re simply trying to protect us. Most of the time, fear only wants to be heard. And once it’s done its job by informing of the potential dangers involved in a situation, it can relax.
Let your fears speak to you; engage them in dialogue even. Get to know them. Where do they come from? What are they trying to communicate to you? Can you hear them without allowing them to shut you down?
You can acknowledge fear without an obligation to let it lead the way, and you can carry both fear and courage with you simultaneously. Even after all the listening and acceptance, you can still put your pen down, turn the page, and proceed anyway.