I have a confession to make; one that always makes me uncomfortable saying out loud. I had a crippling fear of clowns. It was awful. I would literally freeze in fear at the sight of one when I was younger. I’m a bit embarrassed about that fact because I am very aware of real life things to be afraid of. Nevertheless, it was something that I had to deal with at some point.
That point was this year. I had become tired of letting things like this level of fear control what I did and didn’t do. And what better timing! The new IT movie just came out. I guess it was somewhat ritualistic to face what was possibly the oldest fear I could remember. I dropped everything I was going to do and purchased a ticket to see it. Of course I accidentally purchased a seat that was right up front, but the experience was gratifying. I mean, it was somewhat scary, but like most fears I made it out to be far more than it actually was. I learned to let go of that fear. I was proud of my 1st step in being fearless.
People act as if the path to being fearless is not only complicated, but damn near illogical.
No, you don’t have to go from being nervous about your first day at the gym to cage fighting 3 Bengal tigers (Drake would call this 0-100). Our general societal level of being without fear is that of a full-blooded warrior, adorned with a sword and shield. No, that is not the only path to being fearless. That would be bad-ass. However, those of us who want to live to see tomorrow can find things in our lives that can help us fear less. As an athlete and health and fitness instructor, I’ve watched people both consciously and subconsciously give in to their own fears. I’ve seen fear stop people from attempting a movement differently than how they are used to. I’ve also seen it when speaking with those who have yet made their health and fitness a priority. Some fears were justified, and some were like mine.
Either way, those fears created barriers that prevented them from achieving potentially great things. Fear can be a good thing.
If I stand on the edge of a cliff, I should have at least a little sense of fear that the next step will send me to my death. Unfortunately, there are some fears that we perceive to be of the same threat level. These are fears that have manifested themselves in various ways, and no matter how small, they all feel insurmountable
I am not special when it comes to being fearless. I can certainly empathize with fear. My most recent fear were the fear of starting over after my injuries, as well as the fear of failure and not meeting expectations. We all experience some varying degree of fear. I mean, I have been scared of clowns for most of my life, so I certainly wouldn’t want to downplay anyones version of crippling fear. However, fear doesn’t have to engulf everything that we do in our lives. My fear played a significant role in other things I had done. You/myself/we have to learn how to fear…less.
The true definition of fearless should go from ‘without fear’ to ‘free from fear’.
Fearing less means to not give power to every single thing that we could perceive as frightful. Remember, there are many situations we are frightened by that are only scary in perception (like my fear of clowns!). We only need to take a deep breath and confront them to truly realize that they are not as bad as we have made them out to be. It is at those moments when we can learn to trust our growing abilities to make things happen.