Saturday, May 26, 2012

Don't Let Fear Make Your Decisions

"I must say a word abut fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. ...It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always." -Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Sitting in front of my computer at 10pm researching airfare to Kenya a few nights ago, I seriously questioned my latest impulsive decision.

Conversation with self:
"Self, why are you going to Kenya? On your own, nonetheless?"
"Well, I finally have the time and money, I've always wanted to see it, and I have a place to stay..."
"And what if you end up with a place to stay and no one to hang out with... Or what if you end up stranded somewhere?? Wouldn't it be easier to just go visit some place you've already been and hang out with people you know?"
"Yeah, but I'll miss out on so much of life if I allow my fears to make my decisions. I'll figure it out. There are plenty of opportunities to meet people, see new things that will challenge and change my perceptions, and help me to appreciate life more than if I just always stay in the same place because I'm too afraid of the unknowns. I love to travel, and I cannot allow what I fear to stifle what I love."

And there it was. The answer to not only why I decided to go to Kenya when the opportunity arose, but also why I've finally decided to leave all of my familiar comforts to venture out to Colorado to give myself the chance to find what really makes me happy and gives my life meaning. The answer to why I'm going to do all of those things I've always wanted to do, even if it is alone.

For years I had allowed my fears to dictate the direction of my decisions. It is why I stayed at a job for almost 4 years even though I knew I hated as soon as I walked in. It's why I went to a local college to graduate instead of moving away again. It's why I stayed in subpar relationships. I was afraid of letting go of what I knew; I was afraid of change. I was making my decisions based on fear instead of love.

Fear can rob you of the extraordinary life you are meant to live. It will cause you to question your talents and abilities. It will give you a soothingly logical sounding rationale as to why you shouldn't do that potentially risky thing that will have a huge payoff if it works. It can convince you that a good enough life is ok because you don't want to risk giving up a good enough for a great life since going for great involves the risk of failure. Never mind that a failure doesn't mean the end, it just means one way didn't work. Fear won't tell you that- it will tell you if you fail, there's no coming back from it. But don't listen. It's a lie. Don't let fear make your decisions. Trust your gut. Trust your instincts. Trust your heart.  Trust your Self. You won't let you down.

When you make your decisions out of love instead of fear, a whole new world will open up. Opportunities you would have never imagined will seemingly come out of nowhere. Make your decisions out of love for yourself, your future, and those whom you hold dear. Don't let good enough be good enough. Your life depends on it. 

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