This past weekend I was given the honor of leading a blessing ceremony at a friend’s baby shower. I had done this ceremony before, but this was the largest group I’d ever led in the ceremony. The group was comprised mostly of women I didn’t know, and the ones I did know, I greatly admire and respect. Needless to say, I was a little nervous.
Okay – I was REALLY nervous. Way more nervous than I needed to be, but nonetheless the nerves were there. They were there all night before the event, all morning getting ready, and most definitely as the moments led up to me taking the floor. My heart raced, my palms sweat, and my hands and legs were shaking. But, despite this bout of fear, I chose to show up. I chose to push through. And in the end, I was SO HAPPY I did.
That night I got to thinking about the purpose and the strength of fear. Ultimately, fear wants to keep us safe. The problem is, ‘keeping us safe’ means not trying anything new – especially things that make us feel vulnerable. Fear uses tactics of questioning our worth or our abilities to keep us from showing up, and putting ourselves out there. fear keeps us “safe” by convincing us to play small.
The good news is, despite fear's strength, our mind is stronger. We can be scared and do something anyway. But why would we? If fear is so strong, and brings immense physical and emotional discomfort – why wouldn’t we just go running for the hills screaming ‘NEVERMIND!’ every time we encounter it? I think there’s one big reason: regret hurts worse than fear.
It is during our encounter with fear that we have a choice: to let fear win and stop trying, or to look fear in the face and do it anyway. In the big picture of life, these face offs with fear are made up of mere moments, but the effects of our decision will last for much longer.
I speak from experience, when I say this: we tend to regret the moments when we let fear win. We will spend years replaying the scenarios and wondering what would have happened if we chose courage over fear.
I can also tell you from experience, that when we face fear and do something anyways, it gives us a rush of joy and pride that lights a fire within us, and builds massive momentum towards our dreams.
Everything you’re dreaming of for your life will require that you do something that scares the hell out of you. On the other side of fear is where we find success, joy, love, confidence, and happiness. I have yet to find a person who doesn’t want those things. However, to get them, we have to face our fear, and we have to be vulnerable.
We have to have the uncomfortable conversations, try new things, put ourselves out there, and be willing to fail. Trust me, I'm fully aware how scary that is. But, I choose to chase the dream, over settling and wondering. I choose victory over regret. I choose the other side of fear. You in? :)
Wishing you a wonderful week of being courageous.
With love and gratitude, Robin