I was watching the trailer for a Will Smith movie coming out next summer – After Earth and Will has an amazing quote in this trailer, it goes “…fear is not real…it is a product of thoughts you create….now do not misunderstand me, Danger is very real, but fear is a choice.” What a powerful quote! I heard something similar a few months back from Kyle Cease a great comedian/speaker and it really hit home for me. I started to think about my fears and what they really meant. I started thinking about what my fears had kept me from doing. I remembered all the wonderful things I had set out to do in the past year and how many of those things I had been too scared to try in the past, fear of failing, fear of disappointing, fear of I don’t know, just general fear. How ridiculous I thought!
Fear is crippling, it really keeps you from being truly happy, the good news is that fear is an illusion. As Will Smith says, it’s a product of thoughts we create. If you look at children, they seem fearless, that’s because they haven’t been influenced by society to fear, they are curious, they will try before creating an opinion. It really is as simple as that.
For example, I have been scared of snakes my whole life. I’m talking 2 feet long garden snakes, really quite silly for a grown woman to be scared of a tiny little garden snake. But the fear is real, I feel it in my whole body, this is pretty much the only time you will hear me scream like a little girl, my body react without me being able to control it, it really scares me. So last summer I decided that I was going to start working on this fear. While I was gardening, I came across a garden snake so I went and grabbed my snake stick (an 8 foot stick I found in the back forest and decided to bring home as my snake stick, it was long enough that I felt comfortable being at that distance from a snake) and I started to play with the snake. I would lift it up so I could see it’s body moving, and I felt safe because I had my 8 feet distance between us, I guided it in different directions, sometimes it would move fast and then it would move slow, but I kept looking at it, and you know something, he wasn’t all that scary after all. I don’t want to hold him or have him as a pet, but at least now I don’t jump and scream when I see him. So that’s one type of fear, one that is really easy to work with, it’s about exposure and the more you see it, the more you know about it, the easier it becomes.
Another type of fear is the fear of experiences. We don’t want to try new things because we’re afraid we’re going to fail, or someone’s going to see us screw up and then they’ll think less of us, gosh if anyone was to find out that we’re not perfect! it would be the end of the world! We have this fear that is keeping us from being authentically ourselves and what people often don’t realize is that your authentic self is the most perfect version of you. Once you decide to be yourself, you don’t need to worry about pretending anymore, you don’t need to keep up the charade and do you know what you can do instead?!? be yourself and have fun!
I was scared to do the Spartan Race, I really was, but I told myself…what’s the worse that can happen? it takes me 5 hours to complete it, whoopy do! who cares! I won’t be able to do all of the obstacles? maybe, but I’m going to try and I have my pal Stacey here with me and we’ll encourage and help each other, and that’s exactly what we did, we were there for each other. Stacey pushed my butt over that wall and I did it! It really is that easy, all you have to do is tell yourself you’re going to do it. and then go do it!
Be true to yourself, let go of the need to impress, let go of the fear of being rejected, ridiculed, judged, be confident in who you are and what you stand for and show the world who you are. Show them your light. Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage…
here’s your 20 seconds of courage
Now go do something great with it!
Let me know what you decide to do with your 20 seconds, I’d love to know!