Home > Uncategorized > fear is a fork in the road

fear is a fork in the road

What do you do when you’re scared? When adrenaline and worry flood your body, like a river breaking free from its own boundaries? When you’re all instinct, fight or flight? In those moments, you can’t talk your way out of fear. You can’t bargain with it. You can’t reason with it. You may not even be able to quantify it.

 

Sometimes, fear is good, healthy. A warning system, the reason most sane people don’t try to hug snakes. Fear reminds us that heights can be deadly and maybe don’t dangle quite so far over impending doom. Fear is, for all intents and purposes, your inner Hall Monitor. Behave, or else.

 

But being scared, just like being brave, has its dangers. If you always bow your head to fear, then you don’t take any risks. And if you don’t take any risks, you’re closing a lot of doors, each one with a Maybe behind it. And that’s the temptation, isn’t it? The hypnotic draw of an adventure or opportunity.

 

It’s okay to be scared. I was reminded of this last week, when I found myself smack in the middle of something that made my pulse freak out. It made me palms sweat. It made me very careful in that moment. When confronted by fear, it’s not always easy to examine it. The why behind it can come with a lot of baggage, some of it may not even be truly yours.

 

But what if we looked at fear as a choice? What if fear is a fork in the road? The choices aren’t just left or right. It’s stay right there or go either way. Fear means you’re stuck. Fear means not choosing is choosing. And to overcome that fear, maybe you decide to take a step, a single step, nothing more.

 

Sometimes, that single step is enough to shake the panic out of your limbs. If you’re faced with a choice, you get to decide if what you want is greater than what you’re afraid of. The possibility of your dream is right there—do you reach for it, or do you hold yourself back?

 

It’s an oversimplification, perhaps. But when we’re making big choices, when we’re faced with our own insecurities, sometimes boiling it down to the barest components makes it more manageable. It’s easy to take one step, rather than walk a whole road at once. One step is how change happens, how good things manifest.

 

Consider this your reminder that you don’t have to be the bravest person ever. You don’t have to be Ayra Stark. First, you have to learn footwork. Sometimes, the trick is to take a deep breath and begin, not hurl yourself completely into the mess. But take a step. Feel the fear, notice the way your hands shake, but move. You might end up somewhere you don’t expect, but sometimes that’s the best part.

 

I promise, kittens, you’re stronger than you know.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Mark Diner
    September 7, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Timely and amazing. Thank you. I choose to take the next step into the abyss.

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