Long ago I decided if I felt fear when I was about to do something, I would do it. It might’ve been when I was younger and tried talking to random girls. It might’ve been when older friends thought it was a good idea to sneak into a school construction site.
But there was a point when I decided the regret of not knowing what could have been was way more painful than the fear of actually doing it.
I’ve never understood people’s aversion to sneaking into places. To doing things that don’t really have bad consequences. If you sneak in somewhere and there’s a security guard, you don’t just go, Ah shit, well I guess the jig is up gang, and turn yourself in. You run. You’re going to be faster than a security guard, especially if you have a head start.
I was playing soccer. At an indoor futsal place with wooden slat floors. This blonde girl walks in. A couple of my friend’s heads whip immediately. Then the guy to my left goes, Dude, she’s hot.
I ask who.
He said the blonde girl over there. I look. Shrug. She was. Then I said, “Go talk to her.”
I didn’t really expect my friend to do it, and he didn’t. I can’t remember what he said to me, but it was something along the lines of, What if she’s mean as shit to me?
And I said, Yeah, but what if she likes you, and you guys hit it off?
The point is: you can hypothesize as much as you want. You can say she looks like she’d be a bitch. This bad thing could happen, or that bad thing could happen.
But you’ll never know unless you do.
I’m fine with being shot down. I’m fine with running from a security guard at some construction site. This fear? This fear that comes up when you’re about to do something “dangerous”?
It’s all in your head. You believe that if the hot girl shoots you down, that reflects on who you are. That’s your Ego. It’s protecting your “sense of self”. What is this fear protecting? Look inside yourself. Where is the Ego? Can you pinpoint it?
You can’t because it doesn’t exist; it’s a phantom. And yet, it feels so real.
People stay identified with this perception of who they are because they never challenge it. And I understand why; it hurts to challenge it. But that also means you’re the victim of anyone you talk to. If they say a mean thing about you, it’s true. You know it. Your Ego believes it. Someone says you’re a dumbass, how does that feel? You’re hurt because your Ego’s taken a hit. And since you never challenge your Ego enough to realize it’s a phantom, that it’s not who you are, that comment cuts what you believe is your core.
Oscar Wilde once said that everything popular is wrong. Popular opinion says fear is bad.
What if fear showed you the path to greatness instead?