Fear is an incredible force. It warns us of danger and is a hardwired gift that can literally save our lives. Yet too much of it can alter the course of our lives, depriving us of our full potential and greater richness of experience.
When we ruminate in that state of indecision, we create our special hell – a frozen prison. Rather than use the energy of decision to propel forward, we allow fear to churn our minds, our guts, our hearts.
I’m normally able to identify the source of my fear and its validity. I try not to dance around it, but plough through – like taking the plunge into a swimming pool. Without caring about what onlookers will think, I take that leap. Even if the water’s too cold and I scamper out, I know I at least tried. And in that alone, I feel a certain sense of accomplishment.
Yet, when our fear is tied to what others will think of us – those stakes are much higher. Rather than put ourselves out there, we retreat to the safer haven of “do nothing.” I know. I have multiple books that I have written over the years that reside safely on my hard drive. I haven’t shared them because that voice of fear reminds me, “What if no one likes them, or they’re really bad?” Somehow, the merits of my work become the value of me. It’s much safer this way. Fear whispers, “Be happy that you’ve written those books.” But like that tree falling in the forest, will anyone hear?
So, I’ve walked to the edge of the diving board, bringing a book with me. I haven’t completely silenced that voice that says, “Don’t do it.” But I know that my books deserve more than space on my computer. I have asked some friends to read and give feedback. Perhaps my greatest accomplishment won’t be the book – but rather learning how to tame my irrational fear and take that plunge.