I have seen a quote on Facebook recently that said, “All decisions are made from either love or fear.” When I first read that I thought, “Meh, not sure I believe that” but as I thought more about it I realized how often fear rules my life. Making any kind of change in life is scary even if it is a change from a situation you don’t really like all that much. Any kind of action takes courage whether it is a small, momentary event like having a difficult conversation with someone or a momentous occasion like moving across the country.
We are programed by our egos to step back, stay safe, play small and not rock the boat so we won’t get hurt. Maybe we revealed our true feelings about something to a friend as a child and got laughed at or spurned. Ever since then we have kept our real feelings to ourselves, hidden inside, agreeing to points of view or the status quo that we are not quite comfortable with but it feels safer than being ridiculed. Maybe we moved across the country once for love and the relationship didn’t work out and the whole thing turned into a big mess. Now we fear moving anywhere because moving is a huge endeavor and you could be left flying in the wind all on your own with no support system.
When I look back on my life the only things I truly regret are the opportunities I missed out on because of fear. When I was in college I really wanted to do a semester abroad but at the time I had a boyfriend that I was crazy about and I didn’t trust him enough to leave the country for 3 months. I thought he would cheat on me (which he did even though I stayed) so I stayed home and gave up my dream of living in another country.
I made up other excuses:
I didn’t get the application in on time
I couldn’t afford it
I would have to live with strangers and I was too shy
but deep down I knew it was because I was afraid of losing this guy. I don’t regret much in life- I have lived a full, wonderful life- but I do regret that.
My other big regret in life is not pursuing a dancing career. When I was about 12 years old I developed a passion for dance. I danced at an elite dance studio and excelled. I made a trip to North Carolina to audition for the North Carolina School of the Arts. This would be an opportunity of a lifetime. I would be in a boarding school dedicated to the arts, dancing fulltime and trained to be a professional dancer. I did not get in. After that I held myself back. I danced in college, was a part of the dance club, performed when possible but I did not major in it and did not believe that I could make a living from dancing. I settled for less than what I truly wanted convincing myself that only the best of the best actually make it into companies and I wasn’t good enough. I am sorry now that I gave up out of fear.
With age and life experience comes wisdom and I see now that the successful people are not always the most talented. They are the ones who are the most dedicated, who are willing to move forward and live their passions irregardless of what anyone else says. They have failures but they forge ahead. They may not be the best but they do it anyway. They feel the fear and say, “so what?”
Everyone feels fear at times. You cannot get what you want in life without feeling fear because if you are invested in something you know it is going to hurt if you lose. You will feel disappointment and crushing sadness when you fail. But, you will never have success or what you want if you do not act, if you hold yourself back or make yourself small because you are too afraid of loss. If you never try, you will never live your passion.
No one else is going to say, “You know, I can tell Roo really wants to be a dancer. Let’s invite her to be a part of our company, hold her hand when she is afraid, encourage her to practice, give her the star role and praise her every effort.” If you want something you have to go for it. Pull your shoulder back, lift your chin up high, wipe the sweat off your palms and GO FOR IT!
I am here to witness for you.
- You will feel afraid, do it anyway.
- You may fail at times, do it anyway.
- Others may tell say you are crazy, do it anyway.
- You may decide you are not all that passionate about it after all, do it anyway.
- You may think you can never make a living from your passion, do it anyway.
F your fears and do Epic shit.