This post has been a long time coming and, in the thinking, it came from two very separate occasions when fear and more importantly invincibility were mentioned. One, a sporting occasion, by a man i massively respect and one in a medical diagnosis – a situation I’m not as comfortable in. Fear vs Invincibility?
As a child we have no fear and a great sense of invincibility. However as we grow older life experiences can gradually chip away at this sense, but sometimes it can be slashed in a second by fear. This slow erosion may be little irrational fears growing over time, the fear of clowns, fear of deep water, fear of the dark etc. We then start experiencing slightly bigger more rational fears that may happen; fear of rejection, fear of death, fear of pain or injury which then slashes away any feeling of that invincibility.
There are rational fears that are there to keep us safe (Don’t go jumping in front of any buses) and protect us, those fears are what we need to hold on to not the fear of clowns, or having a conversation with that stranger on the train.
I definitely, up until a certain age, felt and experienced for large parts a sense of invincibility, well especially on the outside, my fears were more internal and didn’t stop me doing crazy things. Often, at times, i perhaps should have feared more; those tackles where it was definitely 80:20 to the opponent, the crazy cliff pools and disused lighthouse station jumps and perhaps more recently the morocco experience, but most of these times i remember feeling scared but carrying on anyway leading me to some of the biggest adventures and best memories i have!
We are not always aware of the fear or can put our finger on exactly what it is, in that particular moment that we fear, sometimes its subconscious but all of these fears act as some form of roadblocks in our life and can change and do alter the paths we take. Sometimes forcing us to lose things that are important, not try things that may lead to better things or take another option missing various opportunities. that’s not saying that all these things would have worked out perfectly, but we also don’t know that they wouldn’t have.
What if you were never too afraid to walk up to that stranger and say hello? What if you were never too afraid to interview for that job you didn’t feel qualified for? What if you could commit to a relationship and didn’t go running the other way every time?
You would never know but as Mark Twain said “I’m an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened”. Most of our worries and fears probably never transpire.
Why do we fear some of these simple things, or is it that we fear the embarrassment, discomfort. Embarrassment is not dangerous. Discomfort is not dangerous. Awkwardness is not dangerous. So why is it that we fear it so much?
You could meet people that will change your life for the better. You could get the job you wanted, meet the partner you dreamed of. Limit your fears and act invincible. You deserve that much.
My diagnosis has, at times, and still does fill me with a huge sense of both fear and invincibility. I had numerous fears at the beginning starting with my initial fear of Dr’s and Hospitals – my subconscious fear was always that i didn’t want to go to these places as i didn’t want to hear any bad news, so i feared having to visit these places. Well here i am i heard that bad news, so now i guess that has filled me with a sense of invincibility around it, nothing much worse can happen. Don’t get me wrong things still scare me about it all the time but i don’t fear them.
Yes i still have worries and at times i am scared about life and my illness, but i also have a huge sense of invincibility to go on and enjoy everything and experience everything. Surrounded by the people that support me and love me, i can still smile, achieve, laugh, love and experience none of these are things to FEAR!!
Our life is determined a lot by fear and it leads us to the path we have taken. Although the lack of fear may have altered this path, we are here and on that path which i massively believe we shouldn’t regret. I do also feel that we should try and limit the amount of fear we have, or feel or allow to control and alter our lives. However, fear for some does and often decides our destiny…. SO GO OUT TODAY AND DO SOMETHING THAT SCARES YOU!!! Talk to that stranger, have that conversation with a loved one, try new food, try a new activity… do something outside your comfort zone, however small that task or activity may be!!
I couldn’t say it better than Albert Camus, who wrote:
In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that…
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.