Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway

Come to the edge,” he said.
“We can’t, we’re afraid!” they responded.
“Come to the edge,” he said.
“We can’t, We will fall!” they responded.
“Come to the edge,” he said.
And so they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.

~ Guillaume Apollinaire

I love the above quote from Apollinaire. It’s so beautiful and so true. Fear of the unknown leads us to play it safe in life, and avoid risks. It’s hardwired in all of us but causes so much pain and regret.

The two biggest drivers in our lives are pleasure and pain. We are drawn to pleasure, and avoid pain wherever possible. This is why we are so risk averse. We stick with what we know, or what we think we know because it’s comfortable and familiar. Taking risks, however, is taking a leap into the unknown, no matter how well researched the risk is. We weigh up what could go wrong, at which point we decide that taking a leap of faith could lead us into a painful, negative situation. So we decide against it and stick with what we know. The fear of loss, failure or embarassment is too great.

The problem is that in order to lead a fulfilled life in which we constantly push the boundaries of that which we are capable of, we need to take chances. We need to step into the unknown. This is where amazing things happen. We either taste success or are left with a valuable experience from which we can learn and grow.

So, stop selling yourself short and dare to achieve greatness. Take chances, expecting success while also being prepared to greet failure as an old friend and wise teacher;

  • Ditch your ego
  • Drown out the negative voices, and just believe in your abilities.
  • Stop taking pride in what you know, and instead open your mind to the possibility of learning and experiencing something new
  • Take that leap of faith.

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