Fear… most of us know that word.  We’ve experienced that emotion at some point in our lives.  It can hold us back, keep us down… give us an excuse to not do the things we really want to do or need to do.  It can keep us in a holding pattern that isn’t scary, but isn’t going anywhere either.

Fear can be a lot of things and I think many of you immediately think about spiders and snakes, or roller coasters or serial killers, but the fear I’m talking about is the fear to live.  When we get so scared to try new things, we stop trying and stop living.  The fear of failure is right in the front of the line.  Most of us can relate to the concept.  No one likes to fail, especially at something they’re really passionate about.  We want to fly, to excel and climb, but sometimes we can’t.  We get so scared that we freeze up and believe it just isn’t going to happen, so we move on.

Some of us do climb and we do succeed and all is well, until we try again.  This potential failure is worse than the first.  Now, the pressure to do well is increased and the potential to fail, also expanded.  I find that this pressure can be stifling.  Suffocating my creativity and keeping me stagnant and distracted.  I know that I’m scared, but I also know that I will never succeed if I don’t try and I’ll never be able to break out that box I’m keeping myself in.

I guess the hardest part of overcoming the fear is to convince your subconscious that you are ok and don’t need the protection.  That you can survive the fall out.  That you will be better for it.  All these things are true.  We can do nothing to control our future anymore than we can control anything around us.  We can set a situation in motion and we can hold on tight to see where it goes, but we can’t make it go or stop it or move it.  It will go where it wants.  So we have to be brave.

Bravery… I wrote about his before… bravery is not the absence of fear, but rather knowing you’re afraid and moving through it to the other side and do what must be done.  If we are to succeed we must find the courage to climb within ourselves.  Embrace it and move forward.

My success is dependent on one thing and one thing only… and that’s the ability to try.  To put forth my best effort and allow it to run it’s course.  There will never be a guarantee that I will win, but at least I will have the respect for myself that we should all have.  I will know that I did my best and even when I get knocked down, I’ll get back up and dust myself off and try again.  And with each step I take, I will come that much closer to the the brass ring.  Then the silver ring and then the gold ring… I could continue, but I think you get the point.

It’s time to fly, to jump off the cliff one more time and pray for the soft landing we believe is waiting for us… but be prepared, because although we will more than likely land on our feet, it’s distinctly possible that we may hit a few trees on the way down.

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