Entering uncharted territory always sparks fear, and only those willing to brave the terrain will ever get the chance to breathe in the view at the top.
However, the path ahead is no walk in the park. Some would rather walk away because the prospect of failure is enough to stop them before they've even taken a single step. This is about as strategic to attaining your goals as it is productive to procrastinate.
Surely, we're all smart enough to know not to preempt failure with failure itself.
If you truly want to see what the rave at the top is all about -- and by truly, I mean live, breath and thirst for it like a blood-sucking vampire -- then drop the unnecessary baggage shackled to your pride and embrace your fears.
If not, then just expect to see the same old scenery because the top is definitely not coming to you.
The unknown makes us feel vulnerable, like an open wound prone to infection. It's understandable to feel this way, but these moments are the portals that open up the endless ways for us to be renewed.
If luck (and lots of hard work) would have it, your efforts will pay off and the resulting satisfaction will fuel your courage to continue embracing your fears, which can even become a thrill-seeking addiction of sorts.
In the case that you slip and fall on your ass (as we all do), you'll only be left with shrewder judgment moving forward.
As you can see, you have more to win than lose by doing what puts your pride at stake because your revivals from vulnerability can make you happier, and if not happier, then braver.
It is this teetering between vulnerability and renewal that leads the way for self-realization and character building. So if you allow it, the experience of fear can become a benchmark for progress in both personal growth and physical achievement, not a prompt for retreat.
Now, I'm not encouraging you to speed like a raging lunatic because you "revel in danger," nor am I suggesting you shoot up heroin in the spirit of YOLO. I'm pointing to all things big and small that are easier to put off than do because it suits one's pride to beat life to the punch when it comes to defeat.
Maybe you're faced with the fear of looking too eager when starting a conversation with someone you've just met, or maybe you fear making the commitment to run in a marathon. Sometimes, however, it's as simple as taking the first step to admitting to a desire you've buried deep down in your heart.
Whatever the result, it is sure as hell less cowardly than not doing it at all for fear of failure and disappointment. In the case that it results in such, the conscious choice you made to tackle these times already means you're going forward. Even if everything goes wrong, trying is at least something you did right.
So how do we motivate ourselves to embrace these fears when we arrive at the crossroads of whether to act or not to act? Well, Steve Jobs put it astutely:
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
Jobs' poignant reminder that one day your existence will be rendered obsolete, should remind you that so will all of your failures and disappointments. Don't let fear be the noise that drowns out your heart's desires and you'll have less what ifs and should haves to ponder at the end of your days.
Keep your eyes forward and your pride at bay, recognize your friend in fear and you will undoubtedly go places.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It