Sometimes when I’m working on a new post, I don’t do any writing. What I mean by this is a topic or an idea can bounce around my head for awhile before I decide to turn it into something I could share with others. For example, I wrote the title of this post two years ago and am just now sitting down to write about it. That doesn’t mean I forgot about it, or that I’ve moved on from thinking about fear. It’s usually the opposite. It’s usually that I’m not done thinking about the subject, or that I’m still working through an idea, not ready to put my thoughts to paper. Very rarely do I have an idea of something to write about and immediately sit down and start writing.
Many times when I start a draft it’s usually only a few sentences or key words or sometimes even just a title. As I’m writing this, I have twenty-seven unpublished drafts on my blog, twenty-seven ideas that I may or may not choose to actually write about.
I tell you all this because for the past two years I’ve been working through this idea of fear and how we often let it dictate how we live our lives. And quite frankly, I am done with it. Fear has no place in my decision making process.
I went to a haunted house this year with my girlfriend (Hi Sarah!) and my brother and his wife and it got me thinking about fear again, but this time with a slightly different mindset. I’ve always enjoyed scary movies, haunted houses and ghost stories, but not because I like to get scared. I like going to a haunted house and trying my best to not get scared. To some this sounds like a waste of money since the point is to get scared, but for me it’s an exercise in self control. I’ve even found myself laughing in a haunted house, walking through with a smile on my face like a crazy person.
I think the point I’m trying to make is that a lot of the time the things we worry about in life or the things we think we should be scared of are not legitimate fears. Just like staring at a guy dressed up in a scary clown costume, spending time worrying about whether or not we’ve chosen the right major or career path doesn’t get us any closer to reaching our goals (or the end of the haunted house). We must move past our fears to find out where we are truly headed and if we are happy with our decisions or not.
Haunted houses are supposed to be scary, but only because we’ve told ourselves that they are. The same holds true for important life decisions. Because they are important, we tell ourselves that they are also scary. Is this really true? Is the guy in the clown mask truly threatening your pursuit of happiness? I’m pretty sure you can still live a fulfilled life even if you made a decision that ultimately didn’t turn out to be what you wanted.
Many people fear changing their career, or ending a relationship, or even starting a relationship. Don’t you think that staying in the same dead end situation, living a life that feels unfulfilled is more threatening to your happiness than making a decision that could change your life, even if it might be seen as risky? More on that later.
I know that the title of this post is “I’m Done with Fear”, but I don’t think I’m done writing about it. I want to see where this is going and I’m not afraid to leave it open for now. Stay tuned for more on how thinking about fear has shaped the way I live.
Until next time,