“What are you afraid of?”
I can distinctly remember hearing my father yell this from a distance.
A long distance, as I picture it now.
Because I was at the top of the “high dive,” slowly inched out to within a foot of the edge.
A lot of answers to that question were racing through my head. Going splat face-first on the water was probably at the top.
If you ask 100 people their biggest fears, what scares them, keeps them up at night or makes them anxious or nervous… there’d be some common answers.
Death. Sickness. Public speaking, probably…
And you’d also have a long list of unique fears, things that are personal.
These days, we have a whole new list of fears. Viruses. Isolation. An economy that’s being battered.
But it may surprise you to know that you and me – and every other human being out there – we were born with only 2 innate fears.
Fear of falling and loud noises.
Every other fear is learned.
That means, all your other fears come from the environment around you. What you’ve observed. You’ve been taught. What you’ve experienced and want to avoid…
Fear can keep us safe. It can help us avoid danger, or stop us from making a big mistake.
Right now, it’s a well deserved fear that’s keeping many of us indoors most of the time. So in this case, fear is doing some good – for ourselves, and for others too.
But fear can also keep us from stretching, from trying new things, from making changes in our lives… even good ones.
Because we’re often ruled by fear of failure.
When you play it too “safe,” we miss out on so much in life.
If you’re afraid of something, you need to ask yourself why. And what’s the worst that can happen?
Often, just asking these questions gives you the strength to try, to improve, and to seek the greater reward.
And step off the edge of the diving board, and meet the water below without much of a splash at all.
Coming up for a gasp of air… to hear a set of hands clapping in the distance.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend as best you can. And stay safe.