All We Have to Fear

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The rest of the saying goes; is fear itself. But my version is. All we have to fear, is ourselves.

“Right on the edge of fear was where trust could grow.”
― Cherise Sinclair

My life has been full of fear. Fear that I would be beaten, at home, at school. Fear that I am not good enough. Fear that the people I love will leave me.

Even at my most successful I have always thought that soon enough I would be found out that I wasn’t actually good at what I was doing.

Fear has led me to make horrible mistakes and decisions that have had terrible consequences. And I was taught by everything and everyone in my life that showing that fear was not acceptable. That to show fear was to show weakness and to be branded as a coward.

You take those unrelenting messages to heart, they become part of who you are. So you spend all of your time appearing to the world as if you know that it is all going to be fine, even when you know it won’t be fine. Because everyone else is at least as scared as you are and it is your job to be the rock on which they can rest and count on.

Fear has enabled some of the boldest things I have ever done. Fear of my bullies and my father taught me to fight back because accepting that fear meant it would never end. So it was scarier to live with that fear than the fear of the unknown.

Fear kept me in relationships that weren’t good for either of us because I was unsure that anything else was waiting for me, but again staying where I was would have been worse than going. So overcoming that allowed me to take a giant plunge into the unknown

But I took that bold step and did the brave and risky thing, what made it brave wasn’t that I was afraid. It was brave because I was afraid.

And now I have had to do it again. I had to step blindly into the future unsure of where it might go or even if it had a place to go. So I find myself at 60 when I thought that I would be settled and coasting to reinvent what I need to be.

I am starting to learn that letting fear dictate my choices means that I am not trusting myself, or the people I have placed my trust in. That is never going to take me anywhere. It will always keep me in a place where I never move forward until forced to make a choice.

So late in my life I am starting to learn to trust me and make those choices not because I have to

But because I no longer choose fear.

Michael

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