For as long as human beings have been able to speak, we have had words.
Words that inspire.
Words that uplift.
And of course, words that offend.
Words that caused strong emotions, words that push us into uncomfortable places. Words that caused negative experiences.
And there is no word more shocking, more confronting, more taboo in our culture than the ‘F word’.
The ‘F word’ is one you’ve known your whole life. Your parents didn’t want you to say it, your friends didn’t dare talk about it, and to this day, you probably still feel uncomfortable when you hear it.
The ‘F word’ is Fear.
Fear is something you can’t learn, it’s just inside you. An inbuilt safety valve that stops you injuring yourself on one hand, and stops you becoming your best self on the other.
It creeps up on you, catches you off guard, and cripples you at the most inopportune moments.
Fear sits directly in the path of the goals and dreams you have in your life. It fights you, fatigues you, fractures you, and fools you into believing fiction about the person you are.
Left unchecked, your fear will form you, and eventually it will freeze you. Sadly, it’s the foundation upon the which most people build their lives.
Here is the truth: fear is a fiction; a false perception.
It’s a fickle friend that fools you into feeling like you’re making a sensible decision. When what you’re really doing is avoiding feeling alive. Without you knowing it, fear fakes you out.
As I write this today, I am riddled with fears.
Fears that people will think I’m a fool, fears that I might not be a good enough writer.
And I have bigger fears too. Fears of losing all my money, fears of being alone in old age, fears of losing the last few strands of hair that still persist on my head.
Fears of not being important, of being forgotten, of being ordinary and wasting my life doing things that didn’t really make an impact in the world.
These fears, the big fears, these are the reason I am still striving in my life. They push me to try to do something of worth, something significant, they force me to push myself to get better as a writer, better as a speaker, better as a human being.
You see, fears are a double edged sword. They drive you and they keep you in place.
If you focus on the bigger fears, of wasting your life, of not becoming the best you can be, of not giving everything you have to life, then they will help you overcome the small fears.
Whether you realize it or not, the fear you have inside, it affirms your being.
Fears of failure, fears of rejection, fears of making mistakes. These are small fears that have no real effect on you once the moment has passed.
Left unchecked, fear can fuck you up.
But fear can also drive you, it can forge you into a stronger person, if you have the courage to face it.
On the other side of your fear is the future. On the other side of fear is freedom.
When you face your fear, that is the moment when you’ll feel alive.