Fear declares its presence in a lot of ways : trembling hands and wavering voice; beads of sweat trickling down your neck; sudden onset of light-headedness; or thumping hearts squeezing blood faster and faster to accommodate the lack of oxygen in your brain. These physical cues from your body will trigger a flight-or-fight response. You might make some decisions that will end up well for you, and you might not.
The thrill seekers of the world extol the virtues of putting yourself in danger once in a while in a controlled situation. “Live a little,” they say. “It will jog and clear up your mind.” And my absolute favorite saying : “You only live once”. While its true that fear sharpens your senses and helps you make quick decision in short time, it does so by kicking your body system to overdrive. Sure, there is the high from the adrenaline rush that will make you feel like you can do anything – ” I am the king of the world!” kind of feeling. But the post party is not pretty. You are mentally and physically drained.
People go to great lengths to avoid feeling fear if they can, and I am not talking about the adrenaline-junkie type who put themselves voluntarily in questionable situations. I am talking about your typical normal human being who have to make numerous decisions every day. Some of the decisions might be life-changing for the better or worse. And most of the time the decision-making process is scarier than taking up a ride on the sky-high roller coaster. We are afraid we will make bad choices and have to live with the consequences.
So, we live a life boxed in fear. It taints every aspect of our life by seeping through its cracks and makes us questioning every judgement we make. We want to be smart in handling fear, so we make a never-ending list of pros and cons and calculate the merit of every alternative. We won’t be defeated by fear,we say. No sir,no. But doing this is sucking up the joy of our life.
I accept fear as a normal,inevitable part of human life. It doesn’t feel good, but it keeps us alive. But this thought of living a life that is free from fear is very tempting.
What it would even feel like?
Will we do what we are doing right now? Choosing a job that we think would feed us but is currently sapping the living force out of us?
Entertaining the thought of that ever happening,I would quit college and take up traveling around the world. First stop: Germany to visit my friend!
P.S: The title of my post is actually taken from the title of the first chapter of “Lean In”,a book written by Sheryl Sandberg the COO of Facebook.