In short time my legs gave out and I found myself sliding down onto the ground as I sobbed.
I was scared but if given the chance I wouldn’t want it to have been any other way.
People judge fear. Some will think my fear wasn’t worthy of a 20-minute bathroom collapse. Others think far less matters are deserving of such drama. It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks because when you face fear–when you really face it– you face it alone. Even with support it’s you that has to face it– and decide to conquer it or be defeated.
What scares you the most? I used to say nothing scares me, except bees and spiders. However, that wasn’t exactly true. In fact, if I am being totally honest, I’m a little bit unusual in the fact that I like a certain amount of fear. OK, a generous amount of fear. I call it productive fear.
Productive fear is different than the fear you have when you are in a situation that involves physical risk. I’m not talking about fear for your life or fear for your physical well-being. I’m talking about the public speaking fear. The doing something out of your comfort zone fear. The “I don’t want to arrive in nothing but my underwear fear.”
My bathroom meltdown was about choosing from two different paths. For some that’s a dream. Presented two golden opportunities you have to choose which one you want. I tend to put myself in this position often. Still, you don’t know where the path will lead. Sometimes the golden path, turns brassy and rusty the further you travel. I needed to make a decision and it would affect my family and I was afraid of making the wrong decision because too much was at stake.
I like to say that I don’t have those kinds of fears. Except that I do.
I feared making the wrong decision, letting people down and the pressure was so great I cried almost paralyzed to make a decision.
Still, I welcome those fears. I just don’t see them in the same way as other people.
To be honest I don’t know if it’s a learned thing or something I was born with but most of these fears don’t cross my radar. They are still there somewhere in my pschye but for some reason they don’t register. So I probably take more financial risks, life-decision risks and health risks than most, not to mention I often make a bigger fool out of myself than most.
I actually love fear
Yes, I love fear. I love the butterflies in your stomach feeling. It makes me feel alive. It’s seductive. It makes me feel a stirring in my soul like nothing else. Those butterflies can come from something small–like the first time I did a news radio show recently, or something big, like my decision to take job X or job Y. And sometimes the fear is overwhelmingly great. But it’s always good.
It doesn’t matter which path I took that day. That was a long time ago and frankly I can’t remember which way I was leaning. But I do take note of the tougher decisions I have to make and I identify those fears. Better than that though I try to embrace it when ever I can. I like the fear, especially in contrast to the alternative–feeling nothing. Feeling dullness, or complacency or the sameness that we often strive for.
Don’t fear fear
Recognize it. Like the ocean, respect it. Seek it out to keep you on your toes. Embrace it, but like a flaming hot lover, always keep one eye open, alert to where it leads.