What what I do if I were not afraid?
This is a good question, I read it in a book*. It sparked a lot of thoughts and emotions inside of me, as I have struggled with facing my fears my whole life it feels like.
My fears are all over the place it seems, but when I step back and take a look at myself; I realize that many of my fears have the same roots.
Lack of confidence, fear of embarrassment, they seem so petty; yet they have a hold on me. What we tell ourselves about ourselves is very powerful.
What would I do if I were not afraid? This question was then followed later with a statement: When you move beyond fear, you feel free.
Wow. So what this means, is that my fear is a choice. I can choose to step outside my door, look around my world, and choose to be still or to move. What would I do if were not afraid? Personally, I would be a better man; and potentially have a bigger impact n this life; not potentially, definitely. I think we all would if we all asked ourselves this question.
I would say yes more often. I have a tendency to overthink opportunity. Here are some small examples from my life; I feel silly writing them, but that’s probably fear based as well!
Music: I love to play guitar. I mean looove it. I love to write songs, instrumental and sometimes add words. I enjoy performing, but I don’t pursue it. I enjoy sharing my songs with others, but I don’t do it. I find myself being so critical of what I make, I imagine people not enjoying the songs, and I assume that they will be considered lesser songs when compared to others. Though, that is not how I feel about them. I love them, and I believe they can impact others as well. Music has always impacted me in a deep way, it has got me through a lot, and it has inspired me. I guess my fear is not playing in front of others; rather, it is fear how it will be received which will never be known if it’s never put out there.
Sporty stuff: This fear was easy to define, embarrassment. When I consider playing basketball, softball, or snowboarding with friends; all I can think about is people seeing me suck. This makes me say no a lot when asked to join. The funny thing is, I wouldn’t suck 100% of the time, I might actually do pretty well most of the time (51%).
Fathery stuff: Is it fear, selfishness, or both that keep me from diving in 100% with my kids and their dreams and imaginations? I have many examples of this, but maybe that is for another blog post. Basically, kids are full of dreams and have huge imaginations. I don’t want to quench their passion by placing my fears on them.
My hope is this: that my openness about my fears will help others open up about theirs; because I believe that this world can be a much more loving caring and inspiring place if we did so.
I would probably listen to Man in the Mirror by MJ right now if I were you.
What would I do if I were not afraid? When you move beyond fear, you feel free.
*Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr. Spencer Johnson is a book about change, and living with a purpose.