I believe Franklin Roosevelt once said this, and it has been quoted so much that I can’t venture out anywhere without stumbling on it along the way…
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself “
I have known this quote for years now. I use it liberally, in my speeches, my essays, on the rare occasion that I have to advice someone, I use it all the time. It is damn impressive. But I never really knew what it meant. I never really practiced what I preached.
Life has been very kind to me but I have always been a whiner. I am by nature a complainer, always bitching and moaning when things go wrong. And when things go right, well, I bitch and moan then too. But lately I’ve come to realize one very important fact – the anticipation of the event is most often worse than the event itself. And this is not another one of the many philosophies floating around there, I have tested this, I have verified it with my own life.
I am not an extrovert. I don’t do good in groups. If the group is my relatives or people I know very well, then I am fine, but in a group of acquaintances, I suck bad. And for years, I tried to avoid such situations, I tried to run and hide. But the old warning issued by many of our fairy tale demons echoed in my mind – “you can run but you can’t hide”. I was always thinking about the next encounter and how to escape, and whether I’d be able to escape. It took months and years off my life, it made my life a living hell.
But not anymore.
No chance in hell.
Fear does not define my life, I do. I still fall prey to my old head-in-the-sand mentality sometimes, but other times, I stand tall in the face of fear. One very important lesson I have learnt is this. You don’t fight your fears feeling 100% confident,you can’t. You fight them despite your insecurities and self-doubts. It doesn’t even matter whether you win or lose on the first try. It doesn’t even matter how you fight. What matters is that you fight.
And today, I am on another one of those missions. I am gonna go and kick fear in the ass again. He may overpower me at times, but when everything is said and done, he will have got the ass-whopping he so dearly deserves…