I have a confession to make. For those that know me, I seldom curse, if at all. But when I am alone with no one to hear me but thoughts, I have found myself dropping F bombs since grade school. Mom and dad, if you are reading this, it’s too late to right the wrongs I have committed. But, I will say I am ready to talk about it and maybe just maybe, you all will understand where I am coming from.
There is a level of uncertainty in every future state you can imagine for yourself. Think of your goals and dreams. Consider life stages like college, family and work. Entertain me for this brief period of time and truly question not just what you want to be when you grow up, but ultimately how you want to live. I am not saying that you won’t achieve everything that you have hoped for, but I will say it may be hard to pinpoint the exact date and things that align for everything to come to fruition. These unknowns, that continue to pile on top of each other the further ahead you think, can make you feel some type of way. But, how you interpret the unknown can ultimately dictate your progress.
So what have I been saying? The anticipation may be killing you, but it is that same idea of anticipation that drives these two constructs at their core. I am talking about faith and fear.
That’s right. I said it.
And I am no longer ashamed to drop them with intentionality because people have been hesitant to say anything that may just come off as offensive. But in the right context, you may be surprised at their effectiveness. You see, both fear and faith, although derived from a commonality such as anticipation, are on the opposite spectrums of how to handle the inevitable unknowns. Because they are so distant, you may find yourself favoring one over the other. You lean heavily on what you have found to bring you comfort. And as it turns out, you have been unknowingly dropping F bombs just like me. Let me explain.
Fear: an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger
Before digging in, let’s just assume that danger is relative to the situation at hand. It can come in many shapes and sizes, but the goal of this post is to elaborate on fear itself. At times, fear can be an ominous immovable barrier that dauntingly stares us in the face. And with that kind of personification, it may seem that it impedes on our only path forward.
The crazy thing is fear comes from a place that isn’t even that big. The heightened sense all comes from the amygdala of your brain. And if you look at a picture, you may think to yourself, “That? That’s what’s causing all my anxiety?” And you would be correct. Because when you pair fear with perception, it manifests into that danger, or in other words the possibility of what could be.
Think of the last thing that you were afraid to do and you may just find that fear generally persuades you to do the opposite of what may be helpful to your resiliency. Fear festers in a stagnated pool of complacency. And with that in mind, it really can be a curse word. Not only that, but fear is reactionary. There are so many instances where we can let our fear dictate the very progress we look to make.
It starts small too. It may just be not hitting up that crush of yours because of a fear of rejection or not truly doing what brings you joy on the account of a fear of failure. Next thing you know, decades pass and you harp on the regret of a person who gave in to fear a long time ago.
Unless you are the 0.00001% of people who just aren’t afraid of anything, fear will always be lurking. There is no doubt about that. Whether we are thinking of a tangible fear of spiders or intangible fear of being alone, the emotion itself can be hard to move or shake. But maybe it was never meant to be moved. Maybe fear plays a foundational role in grounding us on what to do by indirectly persuading us otherwise.
Simply put, if fear overwhelms you in a situation and urges you to stop, the solution is to keep going. The means is to leverage that same fear to exceed expectations. The goal is to grow outside your comfort zone. Fear in every sense of the word is an enabler. It can be just the fuel you need to make the change you so desire. It forces you to act. The catch is that you get to choose in what way.
You may have heard the quote, “The only thing to fear is fear itself.” by FDR. But I want to take that one step further. The only thing to fear, is the inability to overcome it. If you can overcome fear, I promise there isn’t much that you can’t do. So go on and fear it up and just see how far you go.
And what about faith, you ask?