Not so long ago, after my graduation, when everyone was heading ahead in life with higher education and exploring various job opportunities, I stood still, took a pause. What did I want to do next in my life? I was uncertain.
Was I going to sit at home all my life? Would I live an unproductive life? I was so afraid to step out of the house and meet my friends and relatives. Because over and over again I was questioned. People craved for a Sunday and I was fed up of living everyday like a Sunday. Doing nothing seemed terrifying. I was immersed in the ocean of uncertainty and there was this high tide of FEAR. Fear of being incapable, fear of failure, fear of losing, in short, the fear of the future.
That feeling really haunted me. It was just a word, one emotion but its symptoms manifested in different forms. Dry throat, increased heart rate, change in breathing pattern, etc.
It set me thinking. What was I afraid of?
The problem was my identification with my desire to lead an ideal life, like every other student. Non-acceptance of my current reality was the crux.
Doesn’t that apply to a lot of us? Rather than embracing uncertainty and enjoying the thrill, we deny it. It’s comfortable to be in our safe zone; anything unknown is frightening. The minute we start attaching ourselves to the results—what might happen? will I fail? will I be rejected? everything begins to look scary.
There are two sides to fear. The first is our memory. Because something terrible had happened in the past, it’s not safe to take that route again. Second is our imagination. What if things get worse? Both are delusions that hold no value right here, right now.
Due to our past conditioning and our negative thought pattern, the bird is forever stuck in the cage, whereas it has the full potential and the ability to fly, free from fear. When we are living adventurously with courage, when we are in the “Let’s see what happens” phase rather than the “Oh! What will happen?” mindset, we are flying towards what we truly desire. And where does this courage come from? When one taps into the power of willingness. Is this how I feel (fearful)? And do I really want to feel this way? If yes, then it’s alright but if the answer is No, then what am I willing to do about it? And once you take that action,suddenly, “fear” isn’t that fearful any more.
Emotion is after all just a form of energy and it can be changed from one form to the other. It is our responsibility to decide whether we wish to go on feeding the fear. Do we make a mountain out of it? Or do we take the risk and take the bull by the horns?
A small step is better than no step at all. Instead of doubting ourselves, why not doubt the habitual negative thought pattern that limits us? And, most importantly, every time we take that small step, a movement takes place, giving rise to change and growth. When that shift takes place, from an immobilized and trapped state to a flowing state, we become aware that we are no longer there where we were once trapped.
I read this somewhere during my school days and since then it has always inspired me. FEARcould mean ForgetEverything AndRun OR Face Everything And Rise. The choice is ours.