Fear is a Guidepost
This essay is for anyone who would like to transform fear into an asset. We will explore the idea of fear as a guidepost rather than an obstacle. Additionally, I will provide two actionable tools for embracing courage at the end.
It was the morning of my flight to Croatia, and I was unsure if I would board the plane. Simply put, I was scared. I was afraid of the virus, I was afraid of a lockdown, and most of all, I feared the unknown. Yet, one year later, my relationship to fear has dramatically changed. This essay will describe how to leverage fear as a superpower.
Fear is instinctual. Because we cannot control our instincts, they are neither good nor bad, merely neutral. However, our reaction to fear, whether we embrace it with courage or stooper into cowardice, is anything but neutral; It is a decisive factor in the quality of our lives.
Fear is a Guidepost
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
This cliche, attributed to Joseph Campbell, consistently holds true. For example, we may fear approaching a beautiful woman or handsome man, but that encounter may ultimately lead to a family. Or we may fear starting a business or a new project, but those endeavors open doors and create a sense of fulfillment.
Thus, instead of viewing fear as a hindrance, you can view it as a guide to what is worth pursuing. Fear talking to that woman? Great, I have to try now. Fear posting content under my own name? Excellent, I know what my next project is. Sometimes we will stumble, but time and time again, embracing fear produces good outcomes.
Become more Courageous
The more we act with courage, the more it becomes a habit, and maintaining a habit is nearly effortless. We can start building this habit gradually with simple things like cold water immersion and fasting from food — two regular parts of my routine.
A second ‘courage hack’ is to announce your intentions publicly. Want to start a YouTube channel? Tell that girl you like. Plan to finally start learning Spanish? Tell all your friends. It’s tough to go back from such a public announcement, and you’ll be happy you did it — as long as it was well thought out.
To Fly or Not to Fly?
Last August, I decided to board the plane to Croatia, despite fear. That was the right decision because those twelve months on the road made me more than who I was in a way not possible at home. Adventure awaits you, too, if you want it.