If you’re like me, you have mixed feelings about fear. On the one hand, fear is a kind of self-preservative. It can keep you from doing something stupid, like jumping off a cliff or driving way too fast or trying hallucinogenic drugs.
On the other hand, fear can also be a prison. It can keep you from things that could be fun or even life altering. Like skiing that extra steep slope or leaving that spirit-crushing job or dumping that boyfriend who’s no good for you, anyway.
I’ve been thinking a lot about fear lately, and how it can hold you back. Not long ago I heard someone on the radio say, “Everyone is scared. It’s doing it anyway that takes courage.” And it really hit home.
Believe me, I’ve had my share of fear. I’m as guilty as anyone of looking at a ski slope that I know I can ski and saying, “Ahhhh, I think I’ll go another way.” This is something I’m working on. The head can be a powerful deterrent to all sorts of things.
All the same, I think I’ve done a number of things that some might consider fearless. My husband and I left well established jobs and struck out on our own, starting our own ad agency that kept us going for 19 years. And when his first book, FINN, came out in 2007, we closed this same agency, sold our home in suburban Philly and moved to Vermont, a place we truly loved, even though we had no jobs, family, or friends there.
Yes, these were scary. But you know, they turned out fine. And it taught me a lesson: Sometimes you just have to hold your nose and jump in. Because if you don’t, you’ll never end up doing anything new. And that can make for a pretty boring life.
I found this video on YouTube that I thought made a great case for living fearlessly. I hope it speaks to you, as well.