I am not talking about fear holding us back from doing dangerous and crazy things that scare us, such as jumping out of a skyscraper window on a dare. I am referring to the little voice in the head that stops us from fulfilling our potential because we are too scared to fail, get hurt, or look like a fool trying. The fear takes over ands somewhere we feel less of a person because we backed down.
Your mission in life may require you to speak in front of large groups and anxiety stops you. You would rather give up. It is then that you can realize that everyone feels fear about public speaking but they go ahead and do it anyway, in spite of their stage-fright. They find out they didn’t die from the experience and end up trusting themselves more. Next time is is easier. But if you quit just because you feel jittery, you will never fully realize your goals.
If you are a world class downhill skier, I am sure natural fear kicks in as you face the steep descent. But you know that this fear is an automatic response and you can get past it. Then, once you allow yourself to “feel the fear and do it anyway” (as Susan Jeffers said) a triumphant feeling replaces the fear. You can even use the fear as fuel for extra adrenaline to sharpen your skills.
Everything great that has ever been accomplished by people (and animals) was because they “felt the fear and did it anyway.” Otherwise, life is about cowering away in our shells, protecting ourselves from all kinds of imagined and real threats and never fully living free lives.