“What would you do if you were not afraid?”
This is a question that I have heard many times. If you can be able to answer it honestly, it is a very insightful question. Unfortunately, every time I think about it and want to answer, there is a voice at the back of my mind that says, “but I am afraid, what’s the point?”
What is the point of imagining the possibilities when it feels like fear is constantly holding me back from pursuing them?
If only I allow myself to see past my fears, I have some wild ambitions in there. There are dreams I have that would make people question my sanity if I said them out loud.
So, I don’t say them.
There are times I catch myself telling people what I think they want to hear because I don’t think they are ready for the truth.
My fear is constantly talking inside me. Shouting even! Don’t dream too big or you will increase your chances of being humiliated should you fail – the fear of failure. Plan everything to perfection and obsess over figuring it all out or you will be caught unprepared when the unexpected happens – fear of the unknown.
And so, I try to play it safe. But is that what is best for me?
It’s all cool and nice until you realize that there is no way to completely cushion yourself from the unknown. Perfection does not really exist, and you cannot figure it all out. Your dreams do not just die because you have suppressed them for too long, and you have played safe. They will still show up from time to time as if to haunt you and then you will realize, the pain of regret is far worse than the pain of failure. After all, as Trevor Noah says, regret is an eternal question you will never have the answer to.
You can spin your wheels trying to play it safe all you want but you will only exhaust yourself. It is a painful lesson that I am learning. You wake up one day and you realize this is not sustainable, something needs to be fixed.
As I am becoming more mindful of my habits and my decision making or lack thereof :), the cracks are showing. I have had to ask myself why I do the things I do. Is it because I believe it is best for me or is it just me trying to play it safe because I am afraid? Unfortunately, the latter is the case, more often than I would like to admit.
Thankfully, I have developed enough self-awareness to recognize that my fears are holding me back from living my best life. Letting go of these fears is not a walk in the park, but it is something I am working on mindfully.
I am learning to do it afraid, one action at a time. Feeling the fear but doing it anyway.
I want to find out for myself, what would I do if I was not afraid?
Can’t wait to find out!
28-Day Writing Challenge Day 5