Don’t be scared. We hear that all the time don’t we? I’m certainly guilty of buzzing that one liner off to my toddlers OFTEN.
The truth of the matter is that we are always going to be dealing with a certain level of fear. Telling people to not feel that way can just lead them to isolation. They start wondering why they seem to be the only one dealing with fear. Why isn’t she or he scared? Then things can begin to spiral out of control.
I’ve personally struggled with fear my whole life. I can distinctly remember being about seven years old sitting in my mom’s car and her asking me to go take a letter inside the post office. I was terrified. I didn’t know what to do. I had never mailed a letter before. What if I put it in the wrong place? My mom was super frustrated and shouted for me to get out and do what she was asking me to do. So in fear I hopped my gangly legs adolescent legs out of that car, and I mailed that letter.
Was I scared? Heck yeah I was scared! Did I know what I was doing? No I had no idea. Up until that point in time I had fully depended on my mom to navigate the post office and do all the mailing. This required zero energy or attention to detail on my part. I would, however, need to learn how to navigate both the fear and the post office if I wanted to ever be independent of my mom. I mean think of the alternative. Thirty year old me calling up mom every time I needed to mail a check to keep the lights on. Silly right?
As you can imagine and probably relate we continue to come upon situations in our lives in which we have zero experience. That uncertainty creates a sense of fear. The fear isn’t the part that matters though. It’s what you do with the fear that matters. We can choose to shrink back and become paralyzed by the fear, or we can let it propel us into messy action.
So to wrap up my story, I was an absolute mess. I scrambled into the front door of the post office with sweat on my brow and a few tears welling heavy on my eyelashes. I scanned the lobby searching for a hint of what to do next. THEN boom, my eyes hit the small metal sign labeled outbox. Victory. I slid the envelope into the narrow box and bolted out the heavy glass doors.
That story may seem silly, but it drives home my point. You will feel fear and uncertainty in this life. However big or small the task is, if you’ve never done it before you may feel scared. That is NORMAL and it’s human and nothing to feel ashamed about. However when we let that healthy sense of fear and uncertainty cause us to retreat into hiding or inaction that’s when we have lost the battle. You have got to do it scared. You have got to jump out of that car and into the unknown because whatever it is that needs to be done requires action. So sometimes you gotta do it scared!