Are you going to confront it or run from it?

Fear is strange. We buy insurance because we fear what might happen. Sales people use “fear of loss” as a closing tool. For most of us, this is the only fear we face. For others, fear is far more intrusive. There are people who will never see an exotic place for fear of flight. There are people who will never see a live ball game or concert for fear of a crowed. And some will never love again for fear of a broken heart. Yet others will reach the pinnacle of success for fear of being failure.

Only once since I was a kid did I face a crippling fear. It caught me completely off guard. A couple of weeks after crashing my bicycle on a high speed decent, I pedaled to the top of the biggest hill near my home. I rested a couple of breaths before pointing my bike back down. I have descended this road many times and when the air is thin topping 50 is common. As the bike accelerated down the hill, fear hit me like a bucket of cold water. It was all over me. I began to shake uncontrollably in my pedals. I felt I had no control of the bike. For months to come, I would battle this fear. Eventually I overcame it.

That experience got me to thinking about and feeling sorry for the people who never conquer their fears.

Songs that you would love have never been recorded because the composers feared you would not listen to them. Best selling books have never been published for fear you would not read them. There are life changing inventions never built and great performers who have never performed for fear of failure. Having never failed, these people eventually die quietly wondering what could have been.

This life is not for me.

I prefer to fail often than to have never tried. Harold Ford thought of failure as an opportunity to begin again more intelligently. I agree with him. A failure is not someone who attempts and fails. A failure is one who never tries, who never tests there abilities. A failure is someone who constantly says “I wish I would have.”

I say do that thing! Be the change you want to see. Do the uncomfortable until it’s no longer uncomfortable. You will always be a better person for it. Fear is strange because it is a stranger. Get to know it and see what you can become.