Fear of falling increases with altitude. At one foot I have no fear. At 10 feet I begin to get cautious. At 15, I’m afraid. The tipping point to fear is about 11 1/2 feet when I have one foot on a rung and the other foot reaching for the next.
Last week when I first attempted to climb I almost quit. The job appeared big as well as high. With a little guidance from a guy who knows something about ladders, I managed to begin cleaning and staining the highest points of my house. My fear of falling subsided when I made it past the horizontal mid point. From there I could see the end. I also discovered that my chance of completing this job without a tragedy were higher than my mind told me when I first inched my way up to the top. I realized a life lesson as the fear of failure evaporated and the feeling of happiness of completing a job I thought could not be done was within reach. Happiness is on the other side of fear, and fear has its place.
Fear is a choice. Once we decide if fear will keep us planted where we are, run, or inspire us to proceed with caution, we have a commitment to make. Reminding ourselves there is happiness to be had we press on learning to navigate in the risky areas. Sooner than we might expect, the fear gives way to confidence (and a healthy respect for the real danger) and confidence with competence takes us to the goal. Even if happiness is fleeting, it may be worth overcoming the fear to feel the happiness.
Memorable outcomes of my fights to be right serve a purpose when I look at them and ask, “What did you learn?” It’s so easy to rush to battle, and so admirable to watch people who first seek to understand and then to be understood (Melanie Trump said that…no she didn’t, Steven Covey did in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People).
The art of understanding is in listening. When I’ve been most respectful I am shown the the feelings rooted in fear which may be a contributor to an attitude of battle. Respect is served with space and patience. In my rushing to results days, impatience bowls through the space and rumbles over respect. I know what patience looks like and accomplishes. I’ve seen admirable patience in my sons, young people who let go, seniors who know what life is about, and other well adjusted people who probably have faith in the power of Karma.
I was just told that a person believes I’m not trying hard enough. She may be right. Trying hard is not a path I will walk. I’m being patient. I’m being gentle. I’m listening and understanding. It’s freedom to be at peace with the world. I choose to not fight today. Let’s see if the universe accepts patience. I believe it does.
Embrace fear and wrap it in creativity. Use fear to improve your creative idea, not to extinguish it.
Great ideas become popular internet Apps, inventions, tools to improve life, amazing books, and movies. Chances are the person credited with the Great Idea probably wasn’t the first to imagine the potential. What the person who made it happen did was overcome fear. Fear is placed in our minds by imagining the idea will fail, be rejected, we’ll be ridiculed. Kind of funny to think that the same idea we imagine to be clever and worthwhile has two faces. One bright and optimistic, the other gloom and doom.
People who set out to make a difference have fear nipping at their heals right up to the date of launch. What they do that allows them to move forward is probably a combination of ignoring the fear and embracing it. Fear embraced for what it is helps the creative person think about areas of opportunity, weakness, areas to be enhanced. When fear derails a creative idea fear succeeds in undermining a person’s pride, ego, confidence. commitment, desire to make a difference. Want to try it? Think of a social issue and suggest a creative solution to friends. They will show you what you should fear. Suggest a business idea to your spouse. If you get an enthusiastic “let’s do it!” you’re one of the fortunate few.
Seth Godin points out that the enemy of Fear is Creativity. Willing to learn from failure allows a person to be creative in face of fear. Fear can not stand up to creativity. Creativity will attract creative people.
Embrace fear. Be creative. Be as fearless as a child who only knows imagination. Wrap that fear in creativity.