“Do the thing you fear the most and the death of fear is certain.” [Emerson]
Or maybe not.
Maybe that fear never dies.
Action quells fear because it changes our focus.
Instead of experiencing the terror of a hypothetical, negative future, action requires your mind to focus on the present circumstance.
Action shifts our brain from theorizing to creating; from fantasy to tangible reality; from superfluous ideations to the practical manipulation of our environment.
And when we take action on the thing that we fear, we go through this same shift.
But it doesn’t destroy fear.
Stop taking action and fear will most certainly return.
Which isn’t to suggest mindless action as the solution to conquering your fears.
Any robot can follow rules, stay busy, and avoid the fear of real life.
Nor should you detach yourself in order to avoid fear; the detached person who avoids his emotions altogether isn’t enlightened but ignorant of the consequences of his actions.
Because real life is fearful. Living is scary. There are very physical consequences to our action and inaction, and we have to make choices (with physical consequences) daily.
Ignoring this fact doesn’t make you immune to this reality.
The truth is, fear, as upsetting as it is to experience, is necessary.
We need fear because we need courage.
The courageous person isn’t fearless.
On the contrary, the courageous person experiences fear far more palpably than the coward because he takes action in the face of fear, while the coward avoids it altogether.
The courageous person accepts his own fear and continues to fight; the coward lets someone else fight for him.
The courageous person stares down the Enemy every day and takes action; the coward makes excuses and avoids taking action.
The courageous person does the thing that might fail; the coward sticks to things that work.
Without fear there is no courage.
And without the courage of the few, we’d be left with the status quo of the cowards.
So don’t stress if you’re working on a project and you’re scared to death – it doesn’t mean you’re cowardly.
If you’re terrified, then you’re doing something that might fail, that challenges the status quo, that requires courage.
We need you.
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