Fear is an interesting topic in relation to your mental health. Fear often triggers symptoms like anxiety, nausea, increased heart rate, and so on… I’m sure even as I mention these symptoms associated with fear your mind wanders to a life experience you’ve gone through that triggers these feelings once again. We’ve all experienced some type of crippling fear at a point in our life. It could have been fear of failure, fear of death, fear of financial debt, or even irrational fears like of spiders or closed off spaces… All of these fears and worries are so good at keeping depression in place in our lives.
Fear paralyzes our mind. It shuts off our ability to think logically and rationally when we allow it to fester. Fear often starts out small and gradually increases in strength over time. When we fear the future, when we worry about tomorrow, when we doubt the direction and calling placed on our life, we stop listening to that calm inner voice. Once we begin disregarding our internal compass that’s designed to lead us towards our purpose, we give fear the freedom to rule in its place.
We see this all too often with people who are called to do big things, to change the world, to live life undaunted, but instead they never take the necessary steps to become who they were created to be because they were scared of messing up or stumbling along the way. I can think of so many people in history who failed time and time again on their journey towards greatness because that’s part of the natural growth process. Even as infants we were not born walking, we had to gradually build our muscle and bone strength, we had to take literal baby steps that were wobbly and terrifying, we fell countless times, but we also got up and tried again over and over until one day not only were we walking, but we were running and skipping and embracing all of the movements we were created to make.
I consider people like Winston Churchill who literally failed the sixth grade, but never gave up and continued on to lead Britain’s fight against Nazi Germany in World War II. History could’ve been dramatically different if he had given up in grade school and never pursued being a public servant.
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Thomas Edison was told he was stupid at a young age. These words can negatively impact a person, especially at a young age, but if he were to let these labels define his decisions he may have never gone on to be a successful inventor. He was known for inventing 1000+ light bulbs that all failed to work, but he never gave up, he didn’t let fear of what the world said about him keep him from trying again and again and thanks to him we have electric light bulbs to this day that WORK.
“The biggest failure of man is that he gives up before he realizes how close he was to success.”
Walt Disney is another influential great in history, but many people don’t know that he was fired by a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas,” and once again he let no man’s labels dictate his life or cause him to live in fear. Instead, he never stopped writing or creating and thanks to his perseverance and unwillingness to succumb to fear or failure we have some of the most iconic movies of all time and many childhoods wouldn’t be the same without him.
“The difference in winning and losing is most often not quitting.”
This list could literally go on and on because in order for any of us to become great we must first be humbled and there is nothing more humbling than failing time and time again. You see, the purpose placed on each of our lives is needed and it’s significant, but it requires us to give up something valuable in order to attain it.
One of the best examples of this that I can think of is a star athlete. Yes, they may have natural talent, but they did not get to where they are today without some type of sacrifice. It could be the blood, sweat and tears that go into their workout routine, the time spent away from family and friends, or any number of things that had to be given in exchange for that lifestyle. This analogy could apply to people in any career field too.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
Fear has such a sneaky way of holding you captive. When we are prisoner to fear and cannot break free to walk in the calling and purpose placed on our lives there is a true burden that comes with it that is far more suffocating than failure could ever dream of being. This is an easy way for depression to take hold in your life as well because when you feel like nothing you do is fulfilling there is room for negativity to stew. When it feels like there’s constantly a void inside of you, it’s time to look at life carefully and determine what truly brings you joy and fulfillment. It may not be easy, but it is necessary for you to get out of that fear mindset and back on your journey. Otherwise, this growing void will turn into a downward spiral cycling between fear and depression in an infinite loop.
So, what fears are holding you back? Who has shamed you and made you feel like a failure? Who has hurt you and told you that you’re unworthy of getting back up and fighting? Any true calling and purpose in life is not easily stepped into. It is not something that descends upon you and magically falls into place…it is something so valuable and so meaningful that it’s going to take everything you’ve got. It’s going to require a sacrifice on your part, something that must be given up in exchange for something so fulfilling. It’s going to require your whole heart and soul. It’s going to require you to live your life undaunted. It doesn’t mean that you can never be scared, but it does mean that despite whatever fears may creep into your mind, that you still have the courage to keep moving forwards. You’ve got this.
“It’s going to require you to live your life undaunted.”
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