Fear as a Guiding Compass

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” — Salvador Dali, born May 11, 1904

We all know what it is we need to do to get what we want.

People before us left guides, clues, and directions, and it’s all over the internet.

From A-to-Z, the checkpoints are marked out.

So why don’t some people just go for it…?

Well, if you’re anything like me and most other people who’ll admit to being human, there’s this small part of you that can sometimes make things way more complicated than they actually are.

Blows things out of proportion, adds variables that don’t belong, and flat out just makes things… hard.

You might agree with me when I say that this “small part” is acting out and clouding our judgment because of some underlying fear.

Maybe it’s the fear of being criticized. Of being rejected. Or maybe the fear of failing. Of success. Of coming up short. Not living up to expectations. Letting others down.

Whatever it is, left unchecked, it can cause a person to give up on what they want.

Society conditions us to view fear as a weakness, as something a “strong person” shouldn’t experience.

As a result, people repress those fears, and they avoid anything that can cause them—unaware of the opportunity they’re passing up.

I’ve found fear to be sort of like an inner compass.

I’m not talking about playing dodgeball on a highway kind of fear or fighting a bear with a knife and one arm tied behind your back kind of fear. I’m talking about the fear we face when we want to take action towards something we want kind of fear. It’s the fear we experience when we decide to start a new venture, publish our ideas, or publicly test our abilities.

That feeling of discomfort, of resistance, of fear.

That emotion is our compass. And the stronger we feel it, the more attention we should invest towards the direction of it.

It makes us feel nervous. Anxious. Why? Because on the deepest levels, that thing we want—that thing on the other side of this discomfort—is important to you.

Otherwise, you wouldn’t feel those feelings, would you?

You’re not currently anxious about wrestling sharks, are you?

No.

Because you’re not interested in wrestling sharks.

What you are interested in is the goal you have in mind.

So, take that feeling as a sign to walk forward, to take another step, and keep going.

I mean, you do want it right?