My friend and light-you-on-fire writer, speaker and prophetic voice, Danielle LaPorte provides a provocative perspective on fear:
While we‘re busy managing fear, fear can be managing us. It‘s still creeping in, grabbing at our pant leg, begging to be paid attention to. And fear can always find a reason to get your attention—that’s it’s job—to get you to feed it. But what about the flu? (feed me!) But what about the market? (feed me!) But what about ten years from now? (feed me!) But what will they think? (feed me!)
Beyond coping with fear, there is fearlessness. Because here‘s the white hot truth: if you go bankrupt, you‘ll still be okay. If you lose the gig, the lover, the house, you‘ll still be okay. If you sing off-key, get beat by the competition, have to hand in the keys, you will still be okay. Ask anyone who‘s been through it. They‘re more than okay. People survive and they learn to thrive. It‘s life. It‘s business.
I’ve been aware of what I fear the last few days. This is not new. Fear creeps in – unbidden, unwelcome, and often unstopped. It doesn’t sit idly on the sidelines. No. It demands far more attention. Center stage. Spotlight on. Narcissistic emotion that it is.
Therein lies the truth: it’s an emotion.
Fear is not an entity. The monster under the bed or in the closet is not real. That thing lurking around the corner is a creation of my wild imagination. Fear is a feeling, a premonition, a twist of jumbled nerves and spinning hamster wheels in my brain.
It’s an emotion. Albeit a real and sometimes powerful one. But, as Danielle reminds, mine to manage – not the other way around. I am keeping it in perspective.
Don‘t manage your fear. Lead your fear. Take charge. When fear climbs on your shoulder and starts nattering in your ear, here‘s what you do: You stand as a master. You tell Scaredy Cat where you‘re going—risks and all—and you convert Scaredy into a champion to help you get there. You say, lovingly but firmly (because ultimately, the Scaredy Cat in you just wants some love and you‘ve got plenty of it to give):
―Yep, we may fail, it‘s possible. This is risky shit. But we‘ll still be okay. Because that‘s who we are. We‘re the kind of people that are okay, no matter what.
I’m OK, no matter what. That’s provocative. That’s truth-telling at its best. That’s what I need to remember. Yep. Thanks, Danielle.