Fear and two choices

March 13 2014

Everyone has moments of panic.

If you don’t experience fear and anxiety from time to time, I’d wonder what kind of life you’re living. You’re probably not doing justice to your capabilities and talents or testing your limits. But this post isn’t about that.

I want you to pay attention to what you do AFTER those moments of panic and fear.

You have two choices:

1. Press on. 

Step on the gas and move forward (it doesn’t matter how slowly). Call it leaning in, fighting resistance, bucking up. I say you’re just going for it.

2. Ease off.

You’ve taken your foot off the pedal and/or you’ve stepped on the brake.

What do you do when you’re afraid?

Boarding my flight for Nepal, I was filled with trepidation and unease. I wish I could say I knew something amazing was waiting for me. I can’t. It wasn’t that I was afraid to travel around the world by myself; I was afraid of not knowing what the hell I was doing. There was fear and deep sense of anxiety, but I didn’t let it stop me.

I’m not unique. Many individuals have gotten on planes and found life-changing adventures — Scott, Eric, John, Tim, Hannah, Jim. Defining moments don’t have to involve travel, either. I felt this before my first dinner and my first project with Seth.

I’ve recognized panic and fear before many great learning experiences. There’s always something to lose, and your mind will come up with a million excuses why you will fail. The trick is finding a place of creative freedom and alleviating your fears just long enough to press on.