Why Fear Means You’re Winning At Life

“Each day, befriend a single fear.” -Sam Keen

It’s there again.

You feel the heaviness, the imaginary, unmovable stone that’s sitting on top of your chest.

But it doesn’t feel so imaginary. It feels weighty, restrictive, menacing.

Maybe you don’t feel it sitting on your chest like a boulder. Maybe you feel it in the pit of your stomach, churning and uneasy. Maybe you feel it as a whispered doubt in your ear, telling you boldly that you are not good enough.

No matter how you feel it, there’s one truth we must all accept: we all do feel it. 

It’s fear. 

Oddly enough, fear is something, on a basic instinct level, that we all fear. Talk about irony. We try to ignore it, avoid it, redirect it, and so much more, but in the end, it’s still there.

And maybe, just maybe, the key isn’t to stop the fear, but rather to embrace it.

What? … Why would I embrace something inherently negative? I’m so glad you asked.

It’s simple. Fear isn’t actually negative.  It’s an indication that you’re doing something right (unless you’re cliff jumping like I did all the time as a teenager- then it’s probably saying hey stupid!)

Fear, in its purest form, is an indication that we are actually on the right path- not the wrong one.

Here are five key reasons why fear means you’re winning at life:

  1. You aren’t staying in your comfort zone. What cool things ever happen there anyway? Honestly.
  2. You are thinking beyond just the present moment. Focusing on the future is what some pretty amazing people do, like entrepreneurs, so you aren’t alone. Do you think Steve Jobs would’ve invented the iPod (Phone, Pad, Mac) if he’d just been focused on the now?
  3. You are expanding into a realm that isn’t restricted by your emotions. So many people are controlled by what they feel and only that. It can really be dangerous. The fact that you feel fear simply means you’re human- so, congrats on that. The fact that you keep going when you feel it means you’re high-achieving- so bigger congrats there. 😉
  4. You are [most likely] trying something new. The first time you do anything it’s kind of scary, right? Even if it’s not inherently scary. It’s just the newness of it. When I released my first novel, I was a little terrified. It’s crazy to just open yourself up and share with the world- including people you will never meet. But I just did it anyway. I did it scared. And 100,000 copies later, I’m glad I did. Remember: the world will try to stop you, and you’ve got to fight that. But even more importantly: don’t ever stop yourself. 
  5. You are growing your best qualities in the process- like courage and determination. The best qualities- kindness, compassion, empathy, courage, fortitude, and so many more- come not from life on easy street, but from trials and challenges and fears and grit.

Fear is just an emotion. It can be a crutch or a catalyst. You tell it how to perform. It is your life, after all. 

What is the greatest gain you’ve experienced by facing fear straight on?

Until next time, lifers.

XO,

Emily

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