Sometimes I feel like I live in a constant state of fear, that singular emotion wafting from mild to crippling but never really going away for good. You can call it anxiety or you can just call it being human but I think we’re all learning to navigate in a world where the fear of failure dictates every move we make. Some moments I feel like I’m an expert at it but other moments I feel like I’ll never find a way out and as I get older, it gets harder and harder to operate on pure faith. Because the adult in me has responsibilities and the realist in me wants results, although the fear in me just wants to curl up and disappear.
But I don’t let myself. Because here is what I’ve learned about fear.
It. Is. Necessary.
I used to think that fear was inherently evil, that it was a liar, and that it was just keeping me from reaching my full potential. But here’s the truth–fear isn’t the road block between me and my goals, fear is the fuel to getting there.
Fear is the fuel that ignites our passions, it’s the key to living out our full potential. And when we learn to step into that fear, to let it push us, that’s when we become great. Here is my biggest fear–living a life without purpose. This means working at a job I hate, being isolated from family and friends, not being able to write every day, not reaching my full potential as a giver. There are people who live this way, who trudge through life without purpose, and seeing the way that misery clings to them, it terrifies me. So I combat it with lists and deadlines and ideas and if it weren’t for the intense fear behind every action, there would be no passion behind it either.
The fear is what drives me. The fear is what gets me out of bed every morning. The fear is what pushes me to keep going even though it could very easily be the thing that forces me to stop. And some days it does, but those are the days when I allow it to overwhelm me, when I forget that I’m in control. But the truth is that I am in control. I can choose to harness the fear or I can choose to let it harness me but it is my choice. MINE. Because the fear of failure will always be there but when I harness that fear for a purpose, my purpose, it’s no longer the thing holding me back. It’s no longer fear at all. It’s fuel.