Do you ever experience fear?
I can hear you laughing at that question from across the internet. You’re probably laughing because I just asked an ultra-obvious question. Asking if another person feels fear is like wondering if they breathe. The answer is, “OF COURSE!”
We all experience fear - probably everyday. It’s this annoying nag like the mosquitoes at twilight on a summer evening - constantly bugging us and even when we forget it’s there it leaves these lasting impressions on us. Some of these impressions are big and some are small.
When talking about fear, it likely isn’t some grand revelation that this is something that we all experience regularly. Something else that also isn’t a new idea? Getting rid of our fear isn’t really an option, but learning to approach it differently may just change our lives.
Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” If you’re like me, maybe you encountered this quote for the first time in The Princess Diaries (and maybe that moment in the movie made your eyes well up with emotion). However cheesy it may be, Princess Mia and her story can teach us something about fear. In a moment when her fear made her feel like running away from something scary, she decided to stay even though it was scary.
Before you close out this post because this is old news, let me tell you that I have to remind myself of this about 74,940,028,420 times a day (okay maybe not quite that many). Maybe we could all use a reminder that fear will always be there, but we can learn how to live in spite of it. We have the power to overcome it. We can change even if it’s scary and hard and awkward.
And you know what? It won’t always be some big movie moment where we defiantly stand against fear as the soundtrack swells in the background. It’s in the everyday little moments of fear and decision that we make progress. In these moments we get to decide to do the uncomfortable or weird or awkward thing that is scary, but is the right thing. These little moments are often how we show fear who’s boss.
My mom had this magnet in our kitchen for a while that said “Do one thing everyday that scares you.” I experience these small moments of fear all throughout my every day, but this reminder always feels like an achievable goal. I don’t have to fully conquer every fear right this moment, but I can do one scary thing today.
Maybe that means striking up conversation with the neighbor I have never more than smiled at. Maybe that is reaching out to someone who could help me with my business. Maybe it means having an awkward conversation with a friend. Maybe I could just start the writing project I have been avoiding for fear of failing.
We allow our seemingly small fears to impact our decisions. A bunch of small decisions made in fear add up to a big impact on our lives. Perhaps, doing one scary thing everyday could have a big impact, too.
Maybe overcoming our little fears and refusing to allow comfort to control us will change the world, one little scary decision at a time. Think of it as an experiment. Who knows? Our world could look a lot different if we all tried to do a small scary thing each day.
Hi, I'm Emma!
A Maryland girl who moved to Washington state seeking adventure, I adore writing and delight in sharing my favorite things. I celebrate whimsy and you can find me doing a happy dance when something really strikes my fancy.