It can be the biggest motivator or the greatest roadblock.
Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of happiness. Fear of judgment. Fear fear fear.
I grew up in an environment where my parents proclaimed that they had no failures because every perceived failure was a learning experience. Living in comfort in their 60s, I’m sure this felt like an encouraging set of words. While hard to believe in this world and economy, shit just graduating college in 2010, it actually still is encouraging years later. I am undoubtedly a product of my environment; I have an optimism bias. It just is. And I’m thankful for it.
People ride bikes all over the place. Now, I live in Denver where everyone is healthy, thin, environmentally aware, semi-hipster and working towards a healthy work-life balance, which I happen to think is awesome. But, for whatever reason, as I watch these men in skinny jeans and messenger bags basically beat me to work… in my car… on the highway, and I think about my Dad. There was a time when he was a real-deal adult, age 40ish, in a management position or whatever, and rode a bike to work, out of necessity. As I understand it, my parents had just experienced a profound failure. A huge swing and miss. And man, if you’ve been there, you know how bad that sucks. So, they were starting over. Mom had the car and Dad rode his bike to work. Everyone asked, basically, what he was doing. He brushed it off saying he just wanted the exercise. My parents were starting again, and Dad was riding a bike to make it work.
So, almost thirty, why am I still thinking about my parents and their path? It’s actually slightly embarrassing. But I do and it’s honest, and as I enter this next stage where we are just GOING. FOR. IT., I think a lot about fear. How I’m not afraid. How I used to be. How I see fear all around me. How I wish for everyone to not allow it to fester — to not let fear dictate their lives. And, Jesus, I am so thankful to have a different perspective where I am walking into an unknown 100% with all I have and not only hoping for the best, but feeling calm, centered and whole, knowing that I am doing the right thing for me and for us.
OK, therapy session aside, how do I make this productive for others? I suppose I share my experience.
And honestly, I don’t know shit about shit.
But what I do know is that I’d rather go for it and fail than never try because I’m too afraid. And that would be my challenge to others.
When you feel fear, that’s exactly when you bear down, wait it out and go for it. That’s when you decide, I’m not giving up, I’m going to ride a bike, out of necessity, at 40. I’m going to look fear in the face, harness it and take the shot. If I fail, I start over, ride the bike and begin again.
But if it works,
Like I believe it will,
almost Like I know it will,
then the (internal) applause starts and I know it was worth it.
This internal conquering is what I wish for others. It’s what I challenge others to go for.
And at the end of the day,
What’s the worst that could happen?