Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.
–Will Smith as Cypher Raige in After Earth
One of the things that hold us back from realizing our full potential in this life is FEAR. Fear can paralyse us, immobilize us, it can be irrational and it can be overwhelming. We need to recognize it in our lives and ask ourselves “What are we really afraid of?” A lot of the time we are afraid of failing. We don’t want to risk what we have in life, we rather play it safe and go with what we know.
A televangelist Robert H. Schuller once asked “What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?” In other words think about what you really want out of this life and go for it. Don’t be held back by your fears of failure. I’ve always known I want to write for a living, but as a young adult and even as a kid I was too afraid to put my words on paper for fear that they would not be perfect. How silly is that?
Failure is not the end of the world. We learn a lot from our failures. I failed out of my first year of university from a program I wasn’t well suited to. While I wouldn’t want to repeat the process, the failure did teach me a lot about myself and what I was better suited to.
With the wisdom of a middle aged adult I now encourage any young people trying to discover what they want to do with their life to really think about what it is they love and to try to do that. I only recently discovered Alan Watts (1915-1973) a British philosopher who had the same philosophy about life. See this video below that was made to a famous speech of his.
It is also nicely summed up in this beautiful poster by ZenPencils.com
Its advice that I am still trying to apply in my life and in my writing. Don’t let fear hold me back. Keep moving forward. Life is too short.