Fear is something that I think most of us live with on a daily basis. We care for it, allow it into our lives, and justify our fears until they become that unwanted, but insistent, needy pet.*
What fears are you catering to in your home and heart? What fears are you allowing to form invisible fences around you? Let me tell you, those fears will continue to come closer and tighten their grip, until life is a series of monotonous , habitual steps.
I've always struggled with fear and self-doubt; these are normal! But I also know it's not normal to bow down to those fears either. Sometimes my fear actually acts as a beacon, lighting the way to something I need to do. Scared of it? There's probably a reason why.
I'm not a psychologist, life coach, or any sort of expert beyond being well-acquainted with my own fears and excuses. I do know that when I face my fears headlong and lean into them, I am stronger and happier.
Facing your fears doesn't mean you'll be guaranteed happiness, but there is a satisfaction in knowing you leaped over those fences and refused to be boxed in.
The other part of fear is dealing with others' expectations and honestly, I think that's the root of fear for most people. I see it in those around me, the fear that if they choose a different path than what's normalized in the United States (and I would wager in other countries as well, but this is my personal experience) that others' will judge or criticize their decisions.
I'm truly not sure why many people see it as their duty to shut down someone else's ideas, dreams, or learning process. It may look different from the way others live out their days, but does different equate bad or wrong?
I think Kirk and I have gotten to a point where we've done so many weird things that we aren't bothered so much anymore by others' opinions of us. For the most point, we feel supported by family and friends, and we know that having that support is a huge blessing!
Whatever your situation, identify the fears that are holding you back and consciously choose to move past them. Will you regret at the end of your life that you passed on something amazing simply out of fear? And if you have children, what lessons are you teaching them about fear and discomfort? We may feel some discomfort when we step out of the normal path, but it's simply a sign that you're growing as a person.
Don't fear the discomfort, don't coddle the fear.
What would you do if you weren't afraid? Where would you live? How would you care for yourself? What projects would you pursue? What life's work would you choose?
If you have children: what values do you want to pass on to them? On the contrary, what values do you NOT want to pass onto them? How do you create a better story for you and your family?
Kirk and I will be delving into all of these questions soon, which is part of a new direction for this blog. We are experimenting with vlogging and hope to have the first one up soon! Subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified when the first one goes live! We're pretty excited to share with you in a whole new format.
Don't let your fears determine your values. Don't let your fears stop you from achieving great things in your lifetime. Punch that fear in the face and move forward toward living a life you love!
*If you have shelter, consistent food, and work to support your family, then you are very blessed. REAL fears are serious ones: major health issues, unemployment, food scarcity, unsafe living conditions. This post is talking more of the variety of fears we create from our own insecurity. Got it? Good!