I was out on Sunday with my favorite riding partner and we passed this word – the only unnatural thing on the expanse of this wall along the train tracks. I told him I wanted to stop, and he waited patiently for me while I took this photo.
We started off again. He was quiet this morning, so we rode in silence for a bit. But I was thinking about what I had just seen. I turned to him and remarked that such a small word could have such powerful implications. He nodded in agreement.
Fear keeps us from experiencing new things. Holds us back from new adventures. Enduring relationships that may be less than healthy. Stops us from standing up for ourselves – or for others.
It keeps us stuck in the past or from a different future. More often, it keeps us stuck in our own head.
It takes on many forms: Public speaking. Asking someone on a date. Changing careers. Moving to a different city. Embarking on a physical challenge. Not wanting to be embarrassed. Failure. The list goes on and on.
Of course, some fear is justified. Those spider senses you feel can keep you from physical harm. Learning the difference can be empowering.
Fear can both save your life and keep you from experiencing it.
I envy those fearless people that I encounter – including my riding partner on this day. How I wish I could be more like them. They embrace every experience, and are never afraid of being embarrassed or of failing. They learn from it and move on.
So I’m going to remove the stigma from this small word, and put it in perspective. Take chances. Jump off the proverbial cliff.
Wonder what I will encounter…