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Friday, March 15, 2013

Embrace Fear

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself," quoth Franklin Roosevelt.

In some sense that's absolutely true, our fears are based on our imagination far more than on reality. But what if we didn't perceive fear as a negative emotion? What if we decided that fear was simply a barometer pointing to the reality of our lives?

What if fear stopped being something we avoid and started being something we embrace?

Not that we should become fear junkies who seek the next fright-fix, nor that we should hope to encounter terrifying situations, those aren't helpful.

But fear is. Helpful, that is. It tells us when there's something that we want to avoid, and often that thing is something we really ought to do.

Think about it. Top fears - once you get past spiders, snakes, and rats - are public speaking, dealing with conflict, and pursuing dreams.

We fear what we need to do. We know what's good. We're easily able to determine what is good, but we have a hard time moving to do the good that we know we ought to do. We're afraid. We run from the fear and so we don't do the good that we ought to do.

Instead of running from fear, we should embrace it. As Brene Brown says, "Lean into the discomfort."

Growth is uncomfortable; it's scary. But that doesn't mean we should avoid it.

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