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Article 6: Afraid

Fear holds us prisoner.

Fearless and fun sound ideal but I’ll be honest conscious and hesitant are more realistic for me. I don’t let fear win–I jump off the rope swing or ride the roller coaster–but gosh it’s a battle. So what’s getting in the way even when I want to be brave? My obsession to control. I need assurance that I’ll be okay in the end. I constantly wonder if the risk I’m taking is worth the reward.

Last week I instagrammed a video of me jumping off a rope-swing into the Harpeth River. It felt so good to let go–both figuratively and literally. But most of the time our fears aren’t as fun to tackle as a rope-swing. Instead of fun at stake, it’s a career, relationships, reputation, or success. We want the path of least resistance when our life is so unknown. It is hard to make decisions when we are constantly afraid of what people think and how it will turn out.

A new way to overcome fear.

My fear is at it’s peak when I’m really close to success. Success brings fear because I start to ask questions like: What’s next? What if it isn’t worth it? What if I did this wrong? I used to define success as having it all together. (aka… manage the way I am perceived) 

Success is defined in a lot of ways but I heard my favorite definition of success on the “How I Built This” podcast. Tony Hsieh, the man who invented Zappos, defined success as being okay with losing everything. Extreme? Yes. Revolutionary? Absolutely. Hsieh’s definition changed something for me–he made success intangible.

Now I see success through a new lens. Success is an intangible satisfaction and fulfillment with your life.

Be fearless.

Intangible success means no one can steal it from you. Posting it won’t make it valid. Arguing it doesn’t make it true. It’s something only you define. No circumstance dictates your happiness. More promotions, awards, and loves won’t make you love yourself more. Intangible success sucks the value out of “stuff” and you become what’s valuable.

Defining success as something I can’t measure or compare makes me so less afraid of the way I am perceived. What is the root of your fear? Your image? Success? Opinions? Social standing? People pleasing? What lie is paralyzing you in fear? I challenge you to make a fearless decision to call yourself worthy no matter what the world tells you

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