F.E.A.R: Why Don't We Do What We Really Want To Do?

Verb: To be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening.

Forget. Everything. And. Run.

I saw this acronym for fear and it got me thinking; does fear really control that much of our lives?! After some thinking and some inward processing this is what I’ve come up with!

Fear stops us from reaching our highest potential. Whether that be career wise, romantic relationships, or even as simple as missing out on new fun experiences. Fear convinces us that we aren’t deserving, talented enough, smart enough, or simply good enough to get the rewards that our hard work will bring our way. While hard work is more than half the battle, not being afraid to take chances makes all the difference. We fear the unknown. Which is reasonable given our understanding on how the world works. We’re always told that “anything” could happen; but that “anything” is more commonly focused on negative things. But truthfully, in many cases when it comes to our lives, where is the danger? Where is the threat?

When I was getting ready to graduate from college, you couldn’t tell me that I wasn’t going straight to Los Angeles to work, make music, and frolic in the warm weather and opportunities. But as I got closer to that time, I found myself getting controlled by my fears and what could happen to me if I went out there. So much so, that I joined a volunteer corps and put my dreams and true desires on the back burner for something “comfortable and safe”. While I learned so much during my year of service in DC, I was never truly happy. I never fully found happiness because I knew I was holding back. I wasn’t being true to myself. I was so angry with myself for making that decision to do the volunteer corps. Not because it was a horrible experience (even though I had badddd days), but because I knew I was afraid but I didn’t even want to admit it to myself.

After my volunteer year ended, I was hired full time by the same job and I accepted it. Then I realized that my fear had once again taken control. I put my desires to move to LA on the back burner AGAIN for stability and comfortability. It wasn’t until I went to LA and San Diego for a work conference that I realized that I was in the wrong place and that my fears weren’t as real as I had convinced myself they were. It was that day that I decided that I had to take control of my fears once and for all and start living the life I’ve always wanted to live!

With that backstory, there are two main things that I have been working on for the past few months before I am able to truly reach my final form!

“Fear Exists in Your Mind”

A few years ago, I watched the Erykah Badu Visions Of Visionaries interview. During the interview she said:

I don’t have any fears at all. I think that they’ve pretty much dissolved and it was a choice. You choose to be in your mind. I think fear exist inside in your mind. And if you choose to live in there, there are probably a lot of things that would scare [you].

After hearing that, I did some deep reflecting. I had to really think about the things that made me the most afraid and really assess whether it was all in my head. And she was right! I feared so many things based on what my mind was telling me to fear! I also realized that all of my fears were based on me being of afraid of the consequences, not necessarily on the action itself. Something that I call the “What if?” factor:

What if I don’t like it?

What if they doesn’t like me?

What if they make fun of me?

What if it’s not good enough?

What if I’m not good enough?

What if I am good enough?

What if I cause the whole team to lose?

What if they tell me no?

This simple “What If” factor makes us second-guess ourselves over and over AND OVER again! We sleep on our greatness because we fear the answer to that very question, “What if?”

What I do in these situations now, instead of allow that question to linger, is to simply answer the question

For example when it comes to my music,

Question: “What if they don’t like it?”

Answer: Well my armpits will probably start to sweat and I’ll begin to feel uncomfortable as I listen to them talk and tell me that they don’t like it and things I might need to change. After that’s over, it’ll probably linger in my head as I reflect on what just happen and then I’ll go and treat myself to a nice meal and a bomb ass drink!

Need something more relatable?

Question: What if I embarrass myself in front of everyone?

Answer: Well my armpits will probably start to sweat AGAIN! And I’ll feel embarrassed and uncomfortable for a while. Until I leave the situation and go treat myself to a nice meal and a bomb ass drink!

The point I’m trying to make is that how you feel right now as you’re reading this post is totally different than when your parents wouldn’t let you go out with your friends when you were younger. Or how you were feeling when you got into school or even graduated. Like all emotions they are temporary and will leave even faster than they came. So embrace them. Which then leads to:

Confronting the Emotions;

Admit that you will feel sad that you’re going to leave your family and the few coworkers that you actually like behind. It’s okay to realize that you’re going to miss them. Admit that you might actually feel guilty about leaving a situation that you know your presence enhances in someway. In my case, I work with teenagers who act like I’m their father sometimes; like no games. They ask me for money, food, help, guidance. It’s kind of ridiculous. So I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t some guilt associated with my decision to leave. I will miss my kids and I think that they’ll miss me. But I’d be only hurting myself and eventually them if I stayed in a situation that doesn’t bring me happiness or joy.

We get caught up in trying to run from these emotions. Thinking that if we don’t think about it too much than maybeeee we just don’t feel it. But the reality is that all you do is cripple yourself. You give those emotions the power. By not accepting that you feel or in the future will feel some way, negatively affects how you see things that could be blessings.

Will it hurt? Hell Yeah. Will it make you a little uncomfortable? Hell Yeah. But that’s apart of life. That’s what separates successful people from unsuccessful people. Those that try and try and try and don’t give up are the winners. They will win because the fear of failure no longer controls them. They don’t allow their fear of something to stop their process.

The reality is that some emotions can be considered “irrational”. For example, many have a fear of success. We’ve all heard the “I don’t think I’m good enough” but in reality, it’s the “What the hell do I do if I am good enough?” I’ll tell you what happens; Life changes. And you’ll probably go places you never could imagine going. Don’t allow the fear of success and the unknown to keep you stagnant. Singing “Shoulda Coulda Wouldas” is not something I want to be singing in 10-15 years mad because I was too afraid to take that first jump.

So in 2016, make a pledge to yourself that you won’t let fear control you. When you make the conscious choice to take control of those fears, “anything” is possible!!

Forget. Everything. And. Run. is not the acronym I associate with fear anymore. The new acronym is:

Face. Everything. And. Rise.