Updated: Mar 15, 2020
We all have experienced fear in our lives. Fear is a natural defense mechanism created by a chemical response in the brain known as the “flight or fight response.” Fear is meant to protect ourselves from danger...aka keep us the same.
As children we learn from fear and the lack thereof. For example, my three-year-old daughter stood on the back of our couch and jumped to the floor. Initially, she was not fearful of the jump, but once she injured her knee upon landing, she chose not to try this again. It was the fear of injury that kept her from repeating this action. This is one example or perception of fear: we choose not to do something because we don’t want to get physically injured.
One fear we are often ashamed to admit or recognize is the fear of failure. I bet you are a go-getter. You are reading this article so, I am assuming you are not average nor are you unsuccessful. Am I right? I bet I am. However, are you pushing yourself to your highest ability Or are you comfortable? Are you going after that graduate degree or striving for that promotion? Are you starting that book you’ve always wanted to write or learning a new skill? Are you training for that race or taking that cooking class that you keep thinking about? If not, why not? What is the barrier between you and your goals? Is the fear of failure or the unknown keeping you from achieving your dreams? Is the idea of change or sacrifice scaring you? The reality is that the most dangerous fear we have is choosing to live a stagnant life with resistance to change. When we stay the same we actually increase the aging of our brain because it is when we are trying and doing new things that our brain starts to increase activity. It is like giving your brain a workout at the gym every time you try something new or learn something new.
Take a moment to identify what you want to accomplish and the reason why you haven’t. If you have not made any life changes, admit what is prohibiting you from the changes. What are you REALLY afraid of?
Challenge yourself and remember this: we only learn how to do something RIGHT from doing something WRONG. Challenge yourself just as we challenge our youth and don’t stop until you are successful. You can do it!