Keeping fear alive

A few weeks ago, my dad and I were working on the roof, and he had to leave to do something. It was my first time on top of the house, and before long, I was facing climbing down the ladder by myself.

I’ve always had a fear of heights, and the climb down is always harder than the climb up. But it was either face the fear of climbing down or wait until my dad returned and helped me get down. I decided to go with the first option. Scary, but necessary.

Sometimes we find ourselves in places where we’re scared to move forward, but the alternative is standing still and letting circumstance win. What do you do in those situations? Stay where it’s comfortable or move forward?

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  1. I think that this is precisely one of the qualities that separates the action-oriented, ambitious risk-taking leaders in the world from the rest of the pack. We almost all let our fears control our choices to a certain extent. But then there are a certain few that we would, for lack of a better phrase, follow off an edge of a cliff. Their passion, dedication, ambition and desire is so unwavering that it builds trust from those around them.

    Looking down really deep inside, I think I’d like to believe that I am one of those leaders that move forward. However, I’ve come to realize that there are many times when I’m not like this at all – where I completely let the circumstance control my actions.

    The question that I have. The one that really makes me wonder is, can this quality be taught? Can we learn to take these situations in which we find ourselves paralyzed with fear and take action, as opposed to letting the fear overcome our abilities? To me, that is the one that I’d like to answer.

      • wheretigerswill
      • October 22nd, 2011

      Thanks for the comment, Dave!

      I think you raise a good question – can this quality be taught? I think it can, but I think it’s something that mainly has to be self-taught, and through practice.

      A lot of times, we see people doing great things and moving forward in spite of fear and uncertainty, and we think there’s something special about them, as if they don’t have those feelings of doubt and second-guessing. But the more I look at the people who have done these things, the more I see that they’re no more immune to those feelings than we are.

      I’ve heard it from the mouths of people who have done great things, so I have a basis for saying that those who do great things aren’t any less scared than we are when we think about the things in front of us. They enter into the arena with all the self-doubt, the uncertainty, the fear. They move forward despite those things, not because they’ve been able to shed them.

      That’s what I need to learn to do. Do things that scare me, even as they scare me. Move forward even though not everything is firmly defined. Accepting the possibility of failure, and accepting the possible consequences of it, but entering with the resolve to push through the challenges that come.

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