Fear is a very powerful demotivator. I’ve noticed that in large part, our lives consist of a network of fears. You, of course, have the little fears like fear of the dark, fear of dogs or sharks… We then have bigger fears — those that go deeper and influence our everyday decisions. These fears are not subconscious; we may not be capable of admitting to ourselves that they exist, but we are aware of them. These fears that make up our lives act as roadblocks. They deter us from making decisions that would benefit us most.
They prevent us from experiencing new things, prevent us from leaving our comfort zone, and prevent us from living the lives that we want to live. There are two main types of fears: rational and irrational. Rational fears are those that prevent us from doing things that are likely to put us in harm's way or possibly killed. All other fear — fear of anything but death, pain or mutilation — is irrational fear. And for this reason should be avoided at all costs.
Most of our greatest fears we never contemplate over. Why address the issue when you can just ignore it? Addressing our fears would force us to face them and deal with them. Instead, most people prefer to take the cowardly way out, the easy way out. The problem is that such fear acts as a poison. By influencing your decisions it begins to shape your life.
The life that you have right now is in very large part the result of the influence that fear has over your actions. Imagine if you had done all those things that you were too scared to do throughout your life; imagine that you never held yourself back from an opportunity to live. What would your life be like right now? What would you have been able to already accomplish? What kind of person would you now be? The answer is: a better one. Fear restricts our options and forces us to follow certain paths. In a way, your fears write your destiny.
What if you were never too afraid to walk up to that beautiful stranger and say hello? What if you were never too afraid to interview for that position that you were definitely under-qualified for? What if you did walk up to the CEO and start a conversation? What if you could commit to a relationship and didn’t go running the other way every time?
You’ll never know because those moments have long past. You had your chances and you blew them. Living your life in fear is no way to live. Allowing fear to consume you and dictate the course your life is going to take is unacceptable. You cannot allow irrational fear to control you because if you do then you will live a life entirely wasted.
Each of us fears something — usually a handful of somethings. It’s amazing how we can be so cowardly and never have it occur to us that we are living our lives wrong. What we do is tell ourselves that although we do have such fears now, we will get over them “one day” and do all those things that we were too scared to do the first time around.
We tell ourselves that we will get to all of these things and we believe it — we honestly do. Unfortunately, most of us are wrong. Most of us are going to spend the entirety of our lives living like fragile creatures, doing our best to stay out of some confabulated danger. Embarrassment is not dangerous. Discomfort is not dangerous. Awkwardness is not dangerous. So why is it that you fear it all so much?
We are not invincible — we are only human. But we cannot be living lives spent in fear. We must live like we are invincible. We must live like we have nothing to lose. We must relearn to live. Now, don’t go jumping in front of a bus because you will get hurt. But go out into the world and make a fool of yourself. Go out and be embarrassed, feel uncomfortable, get stuck in awkward moments. The more that you put yourself out there, the more comfortable you will begin to feel in your new skin.
You may not feel like being so outgoing and active, but it'll be a lot easier once you allow yourself to get over your irrational fears. As time goes on, your skills will improve. Your conversational and networking skills will improve. Your overall people skills will improve. Most importantly, your life will improve. You will begin opening doors for yourself that you never knew existed.
You will be meeting people that will change your life for the better. You will get the job you wanted, meet the lover you always dreamed of, maybe even start a family. You will be one of those lucky few that don’t add to all the sh*t life throws their way. Get over your fears and be invincible. You deserve that much.