In the first half of my life, fear was the enemy. It limited what I did and who I was.
As time has gone by, I have come to understand that fear can be a friend that brings about positive change and enriches my experience on this planet.
Fear as the enemy caused me to not risk in relationships. I didn’t ask out girls I would love to have dated. I went to the “safe” college in my hometown.
I lived at home instead of the dorm, so I missed out on the college experience. My life experience was minimized by paralyzing fear of the unknown. I only took chances that were “sure things.”
I reached a point in life where I was unwilling to live that way any longer. It was a crucial junction for me. I was miserable and bored playing it safe.
So, I spent some time evaluating life as it was and life as I wished it could be. I made a list of things I wanted to try. I waded in carefully and started slowly. I tried some things I was scared to try. I didn’t succeed at all of them, but even the failures gave me some satisfaction. I had risked. Taken the chance. Done it even though I was afraid. That felt good. I wasn’t fear’s prisoner anymore.
For the first time, I was running my life instead of letting fear run it for me. Best of all, I was liking myself more and more. I didn’t look in the mirror and see a man who was afraid to live. I saw a man I admired because he took chances and tried things. That’s the kind of person I had always wanted to be.
I also began to realize that my heroes – the people I looked up to – still felt fear. They just did the things they did anyway. They were afraid to fail. They feared trying new things. But fear didn’t STOP them. They did it anyway. That was a game changer for me.
Instead of making my goal getting rid of fear, I made my goal doing it anyway. Time and time I have been rewarded for taking the chances. I’ve fallen on my face plenty of times, but even that is better than being a slave to fear. When I fail, I fail doing something I chose to do. But, the successes have FAR outweighed the failures.
Are there things you desperately want to do, but fear has been stopping you? There’s no shame in fear. We all feel it. Your heroes feel it. Do what they do. Don’t give up. Do it afraid.
Marty Dodson is a songwriter, corporate trainer and entrepreneur. His songs have been recorded by artists such as Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Joe Cocker, Leon Russell and The Plain White T’s. He once bumped Psy out of the #1 spot on the K-Pop charts but that’s another story for another day. Marty plays Taylor and Batson guitars. Follow him here: www.facebook.com/songtownusa, at www.facebook.com/martydodsonsongwriter and at Twitter @SongTownUSA or visit martydodson.com