Lean Into Fear For a Full Life

Oftentimes, we know just what we need to do to get what we want.

The path is almost labeled for us in steps.

Our minds tell us: First, X. Then Y. Afterwards, Z.

Except there’s this part of us that makes the path seem way more complicated than it is.

This part of us comes from an emotion we feel—an emotion we call fear.

Maybe it’s the fear of being rejected. Or, maybe the fear of failing—coming up short.

Whatever it is, it’s the cause of so many unfulfilled desires, to so many crushed dreams—to so much shame.

Why shame?

Because society has conditioned us to view fear as a weakness, as something a strong person shouldn’t experience.

As a result, the average person pushes that emotion away, hides it, and avoids it altogether—not knowing the opportunity they’re squandering.

The truth is that fear is our inner compass.

I’m not talking about running across traffic fear or fighting a guy with a knife fear. I’m talking about the resistance one faces when they want to take action towards something they want—that kind of fear.

It’s the fear we experience when we decide to start a business, write something that will be published, train for some competition, or even approaching someone we find attractive to say hello. There’s a general 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.

If we look at fear for what it really is, we’ll realize that it’s merely an act of imagination—a story in our minds of what ‘might happen’.

It has no source outside ourselves.

So, the practical way to go about overcoming this emotion is to do the opposite of what most people do.

Instead of trying to escape the feeling or push it away, we should dive right into it.

That’s where satisfaction hides.

It’s where fulfillment resides.

It’s how a full life is lived.

In the end, our fears are just stories we’ve made up—and we’ve all got some made up.

The more aware we are of these stories, the more we can lean into them.

The more we lean into them, the more we crush them.

The more we crush them, the more we grow.

“Courage is knowing what not to fear.”
— Plato