Fear Means You Are Doing it Right:
Plan and simple, striving for our dreams is a terrifying prospect. There is a strange dichotomy that most people seem to grow up with. On one had we are taught that anyone can be anything, that the American dream is real and everyone can go from rags to riches. These are the folktales that we are raised with. On the other hand, the training we get in life tells us that we need to accept our place in life and that our genes, talents or intelligence will only get us so far and we need to be realistic about that in our lives. There is a terrible word “realistic”. It supposedly means that we should see the world for what it is and base our decisions off of that data. Yet reality is what we perceive it, so being realistic is just a convenient way of telling people not to see the possibilities in the world that they can create through their own perception of the world.
This training that we have been indoctrinated in means that as we learn to step outside of that box, there is going to be fear. Fear is a natural part of human existence and happens in everyone when facing the unknown. Even the bravest people in our stories and movies are afraid of the unknown, yet they push forward anyways, just as we need to learn to do. Bravery is not the absence of fear. In fact the absence of fear is insanity. Bravery is feeling that fear and moving forward anyways. We can all be brave, that is a matter of choice and having a Why that drives us harder than the fear can hold us back. What we need to understand is that the fear is natural and is actually a sign that we are on the right track in this road. If we were not afraid, then we would just be living in the box that has been prescribed for us. There would be nothing new or exciting to happen, everything safe and boring. The fear is a sign that we are stepping outside that box and moving along the path to a future that is more amazing than the present we are living in. That fear needs to become an addiction, something we seek out so that we can be certain we are on the right path.
Today is the day that we need to become brave and seek out those things that we fear. In fact, take a trick my wife uses everyday and try it out for a couple of weeks and see how it changes your life. Every day, xiaoyi does three things that scare her. Maybe it is calling a friend to talk about an opportunity to or contacting an organization she wishes to teach at. Every day, three things that scare her. This drives her to do those things that are our side her box and therefore in that realm of wonder we want to live in. The funny thing I was witnessed in her is that the scary things she does one day become the normal things she does a month down the line, so she is constantly striving to find more scary things to do.
Fear is the mile marker on our journey. It is time to get a few more miles under our belt on our road to our dreams.