Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fear Is A Scary Thing

Photo: freeuni.edu

Hello Optimists,

Are you one to mark the pages of books that you're reading...you know, bending the page corners, highlighting a few lines, or using mini post-its to mark a good quote? I certainly am. The book I am reading now is full of little torn up pieces of paper, sticking out of the top of the pages like weeds popping up in an otherwise tamed garden. I find that I always do this in one way or another- if it's not physically marking the location of a line, I'll stop reading for a moment to write down something I thought was interesting...it's a good way of marking the important things that I want to make sure I don't forget. Then when I'm done, I get a little refresher course as I go back through my marked pages, re-reading the pieces I found to be most influential.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I should do this in life too, not only in my books. I should start putting a mental "page marker" on the things in life that I want to remember, or the things that made the most impact on my life or someone else's. I want to be able to revisit the times where something great has happened without having to wrack my brain for the details. We should figure out a way to place a post-it at the exact page, paragraph, and line of an event in life to mark for future reference.

Well while I figure out how to make a literal "mental note" in my head, I thought I would share with you a piece of my book that I marked. Today's featured quote will be a line from a book that I am currently reading, a line that made me stop and think, and one that really got my brain churning.
Fear isn't only a guide to keep us safe; it's also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life. -A Million Miles In A Thousand Years
This is a really great line. Fear is something that we can all relate to. We all know what it's like to be a little scared to do something or scared of something. It's an emotion that can be a good thing (think about how many times that "gut instinct" and a little bit of apprehension steered you out of harm's way) and it can also be a bad thing (think about how many times you played it safe because of the "what ifs"). Fear sometimes can keep us safe. No one likes to be scared, but no one likes to be held back from their greatest potential either. And this is something that fear definitely can do. It can trick us into living a boring, complacent, "run of the mill" life. It can keep us from really living it up or from going out and achieving what we want to do because of that little emotion that makes our stomach flip or makes us give a second thought.

Fear is a tricky little emotion, and quite honestly, fear itself is a scary thing. It walks a fine line of being a helping hand and a hinderance, an enabler and a disabler...and that's why it's so difficult to get a grasp on. We need to make sure that the things we're afraid of are really the things we need to be cautious with. If they're not, then we're letting fear make us boring people, we're letting it take the reigns and hold us back from living a great life. I think it's important for us to all do a fear inventory, and weed out all of those little fears we have stored up inside that are preventing us from living with excitement, valor, and pride. I'm certainly going to do that, and I think you should too. Let's let go of some of those fears that are making us boring.....who's with me?

Keep Smiling,

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