I Hope You Do The Thing That Scares You

By Kirsten J Robinson

I hope you do the thing that scares you. We don’t grow by carefully avoiding what we fear, circling around it and hoping it will eventually disappear. We grow by walking straight up to it, looking it in the eye and saying, I am here. Show me what you’ve got. Help me understand why I am afraid of you.

We were hard-wired once, many hundreds of years ago, to feel fear as a protective mechanism against perceived threat or pain. Fear says to the gazelle being stalked by lions through stalks of grass, run. Flee. Survive.

But somewhere along the way, wires got crossed. We began mistaking survival mode for mental and emotional safety. We began building walls around our hearts to stay within our comfort zones. We began believing that not all rewards were worth the risks.

I want to tell him I love him, I say. Fear says, he might leave. I want to try something new, I say. Fear says, you might fail. I want to learn to fly, I say. Fear says, you might fall.

He left. I failed. I fell. It hurt. It hurt. It hurt.

But here’s the thing: I am still here. I learned. I grew.

The things we fear—pain, change, heartbreak, loss—are not always comfortable. They frequently hurt. But what breaks us can also build us back stronger.

It has been said that the only thing we should fear, is fear itself; and with good reason. Fear will hold you back, if you let it. Fear will paralyze you, if you let it. Fear will crush your confidence, if you let it. Fear will keep you in safety zones—yet fear will also rob you of the most beautiful experiences in life, if you let it.

Today, I hope you learn to lean into your discomfort. I hope you do the thing that scares you.

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