Thursday, February 18, 2010

Your Greatest Fear

Hello Optimists,

I was talking with some friends the other day about watching scary movies. We talked about The Grudge, Paranormal Activity, and of course, The Exorcist. I did not have much to contribute to the conversation, as I try to limit my scary movie intake to once a year- appropriately on Halloween. But as I was saying, I am not the biggest fan of curling up in a ball with nervous tears rolling down my face, waiting for the inevitable shriek that will involuntarily escape my mouth in movie theaters, so I was mainly a listener for this conversation. Though all of this talk about these movies will probably keep me up for the next few nights, it did get me thinking about the being scared of the dangers we face in life.

And as you probably know, it's a dangerous world out there, so it's natural that we be scared of some things. I know people that are afraid to fly- so they choose to remain on the ground and travel long distances by car or train. I know some people that are scared of snakes- we're talking deathly afraid - so don't even show them a picture of one or else you'll be in trouble. Some people are scared of bridges- convinced that it could collapse right at the moment they're crossing. Others fear failure in their jobs: whether their position will be secure, whether or not they can produce the work that is expected, or sometimes people just fear the possibility of not reaching their goals. These are all pretty understandable phobias...these people see the possibility of danger and believe in their mind that it's imminent. And then there's me, scared to watch a horror flick alone in the dark. Pathetic. But I can't help it. Anyway, this all reminded me of a quote I once read about danger and I thought I would feature it for today's assured, there is no mention of snakes, monsters, or ghosts, so I think we'll all be ok!

The greatest danger for most is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that our aim is too low and we reach it. -Michaelangelo

Out of all of the dangers and fears that I described above, I think Michaelangelo trumped me with this one. He pointed out the one thing that we all should be "scared" of, the one "danger" that applies to us all. We shouldn't be shuddering at the thought of a ghost in our room, or at the snake that lives in our garden- these are the little things in life. What we should be worried about is facing a danger that can come about when we don't give ourselves the opportunity to be our best. We shouldn't worry about what failure might come of reaching for the stars, but what failure might come of not reaching higher. Great achievements come in small steps, but they only become great when we continue to push towards new small steps. The good part is- this is a fear or danger that we have complete control of.

So next time your friend hosts a scary movie night, take the blanket down from over your eyes. We don't need to fear the little things in life. But steer clear of the danger that lurks around the corner...the danger that comes from not believing in yourself and your abilities.

Keep Smiling,
Optimal Optimist


  1. Such an insightful and profound post! Thanks for stopping by my blog and becoming a follower :-). I'm now following you too, and I look forward to reading more posts of yours and going back and reading old ones!

  2. Bravo!!! This very nicely summed up how I have been dealing with my anxiety disorder, and why I think it is working.


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