"Never let your fear decide your fate." - lyrics from AWOLNATION, Kill Your Heroes

The truth of adulthood is that few people care whether or not you pursue your dreams. Even worse, we rarely share these dreams with others. This leads to a complete lack of external accountability in matters we deem most noteworthy. Luckily, we come hard-wired with a tool to combat this: Fear.

As much as the above lyrics have inspired me throughout the years, I posit they are dead wrong. Letting your fear decide your fate is exactly what you should do.

What do teaching Jiu Jitsu for a living, officiating a wedding and writing a book have in common?

Each of which, when originally proposed to me, brought with them a deep sense of anxiety. Whenever self-doubt arises I know I am on the right path.

Sometimes the hardest person to be honest with is ourselves. Through fancy rhetoric, practicality or poor logic we deceive ourselves from our true desires. Fortunately, nothing stays hidden for long.

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek.” – Joseph Campbell

Everything we have ever wanted lies on the other side of fear. Here we must discern between those fears which keep us alive and those which remind us to live.

Many fears aid our survival. The fear of sticking one’s hand in the fire. The fear of eating moldy bread. The fear of the neighbor’s behemoth Black Lab with the menacing snarl.

And then there are the fears that show us how to live.

The fear of asking out a beautiful girl. The fear of risking security in the pursuit of your dreams. The self-doubt that arises in the face of a great challenge.

These are the fears which reveal our deepest desires and thus must guide our lives.

Spark Your Growth

We have all heard the expression, "Love is letting go of fear." In the context of interpersonal relationships, this is an astounding truth.

And yet, regarding intrapersonal relationships, fear is the opportunity to express love for ourselves. Fear is the greatest indicator of the psychology governing our actions, and its early warning signs come by the way of visceral discomfort.

We tend to neglect the subtle directives our subconscious brings, and so it is only fitting that the most pressing matters in our lives are announced by the loudest (and most painful) noises.

Learn not to run from this feeling. Embrace it.

In my own life, whenever I feel that gnawing sense of self-doubt, I know that I am about to embark on something which will force me to grow and become more. I no longer associate this feeling with pain. I associate this feeling with living well.

Thus, my major decisions in life have already been made for me. If it scares me, I do it.

There is nothing more comforting than leaving your comfort zone.