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Inertia - Nº116
Being afraid is part of being alive
If you are pained by any external thing, it is not this thing that disturbs you, but your own judgment about it. And it is in your power to wipe out this judgment now.
— Marcus Aurelius
We’ve all heard the saying that “everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear”, but it’s hard to see how important this idea actually is until you see it in motion for yourself.
Between the barren plains and the forest of excellence is a river of either fear or worry or anxiety. Whichever burdens you the most. It runs at a different speed for everybody. But most people don’t see that the river's width is narrower than what we think in our heads. In fact, for some people or situations, all it takes is a single leap to conquer what we need to.
Fear is a natural emotion we use to survive and avoid danger. But not all fear is equal, yet we treat it that way. Sometimes we feel it when our life is threatened, other times when we’re just scared to talk to someone. But our minds sometimes struggle to see the difference between imagination and reality, so it limits us similarly.
Limiting beliefs are dangerous when left unnoticed. Sooner or later, we all have to make a decision. Let them ravage and eat away at the good in our lives, or let them run dry.
You were put on this earth to live a personal adventure. You’re not here to stagnate and float around, waiting for something to happen. The world misses out on the potential that millions of people have because they choose to stay in their comfort zone. And like everyone else, you have a choice.
Good ideas always need more room. And eventually, we need more space to grow and flourish.
We all have built-in defences to protect ourselves from a devastatingly bad day. Like breaking down in the office bathroom or getting into a big argument you really didn’t need right now. It’s normal to be afraid of things going wrong. But part of what marks a well-balanced and healthy adult is your ability to see the beauty in new challenges surfacing and even being forced to overcome them. Knowing how to shift gear or enter new territory is essential when necessary.
Tackling the world isn’t always possible from your comfort zone. You have to imagine it as your house containing all the tools and technology with which you learned to craft and sharpen. Sometimes you can peer from your window to see and learn how to do things. But it will never come out as good as getting up close so you can see what beauty and excellence look like. You have to imagine it as your house containing all the tools and technology with which you learned to craft and sharpen.
Many would love to prance around the world as a mark of unwavering brilliance, devoid of bad luck or embarrassing circumstances. And that sounds like a great to aim for in the medium term. But your long-term goal should be to become a receptive, loving, pragmatic soul, fond of being open-minded, measured, yet optimistic.
It’s okay to be uncomfortable when doing something in spite of fear. A little bit of stress is known to be a healthy supplement. And frankly, there’s no better way to do it. People fear emotion, sometimes as they fear courage. They’re quick to thwart sharp minds and open hearts—even though they might privately crave exposure to it.
There is no easy solution. No one navigates the world smoothly and without fail. So, to feel safe and protected, to feel as if you have the room to change and outgrow your expectations, you must not be neurotic and rigid and punitive about what makes you afraid. Problems may change colour or shrink to the fringes of your peripheral vision, but they never truly disappear until you accept what they are first. You can’t lug them over the side of a cliff and hope you’ll forget about them. In a horribly romantic way, they’ll never leave your side until you confront them wholeheartedly.
And what you earn for doing so is the most beautiful thing. Because what you learn from that is it will simply make you the best version of yourself.