Maybe I just notice this phrase more often because I have a tattoo of it on my rib cage, but this saying seems to have been batted around an awful lot recently.
‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’
I even heard it at a soul circle I attended back in January. The way the woman leading the circle described the phrase however, is not even remotely how I personally perceive it. She described it as an abrasive, confrontational group of words, that encourages a very masculine driven, power hungry type of energy.
I had an internalised disagreement with her in that moment, which ending up serving only as conviction in my own perspective. I’d had the tattoo done a while back as a reminder of the kind of person I wish to be and the way in which this particular person interpreted the meaning, is a far stretch from the person I would ever look up to.
Instead of thinking she was just wrong, case closed, I took it as an opportunity to reinforce the value it holds for me. I felt a little piece of me wanting to stand up and disagree with her, to defend the phrase and the meaning it holds but truth be told, it would have been completely unnecessary and a complete waste of both of our energies.
My point here is that it really doesn’t matter what any one else thinks about any decision or opinion or lifestyle choice or value you may carry with you through your experience here on earth. In fact, hearing other peoples views on your choices, is simply a great opportunity to evaluate them.
Hearing an opposing view can indeed highlight how little depth and purpose a particular value still holds in your life; we all change over time so why hold on to things that don’t fit any more? Equally, it can highlight how relevant that value still is to you and how important it is to continue upholding that value.
In other words, if you hear a viewpoint that challenges your own perspective, use it as a chance to really question your own stance on that subject, to see if it is time to let go of that thought pattern and grow from it, or decide if you still want to keep it with you.
In that moment I chose to keep that value with me and still do now.
The phrase I decided to use for my tattoo came to me very naturally and I wanted to dig into it a little to highlight that just because one person sees something in one particular way, it never means that it is the only way, the right way or even something you need to take on board.
Many of us find this difficult and actively avoid people who hold different values to us because it is outside of our comfort zone.
We are so used to being told how to feel by the media, told what to think by science and told how to behave by society and culture that often the most alien thing in any given moment is to simply trust our own intuition.
As a collective we have forgotten how to trust our own gut instincts or that subtle little voice that’s always there in the background trying to talk to us and help us along our way. So we mix with people who agree with us and understand us because it keeps us safe.
What does safe do though? Other than keep us contained in our little safe places?
It’s healthy to question, it’s healthy to debate, its healthy to mix with people who see things in a totally different way, because it keeps us developing, growing and learning as human beings.
I’m sure there will be content on this blog which you don’t agree with, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t absorb it and think about it because the least it will do is reinforce your own conviction in your own opinion.
I am going to leave you my opinion on what the phrase means to me. You can take it or leave it, because I don’t know your journey, but I hope it helps you to continue on the journey that feels right for you.
Feeling the fear and doing it anyway is not about being reckless or aggressive. It’s not about always having courage in the moment or powering through no matter the consequence. It is definitely not about thinking reckless behaviour is always justified and choosing to do things despite advice or that niggling ‘don’t’ you keep hearing.
It is about understanding that we are all just human. We all have fear, doubts and anxieties which are all part of our unique journey and it is how we choose to handle those feelings of fear and doubt which really matters.
Why? Because fear can do one of two things.
Fear can keep you safe and contained within all of the relationships, jobs, friendships, places, belief systems and values that you already know OR it will highlight to you that you are doing a great job of pushing out from your comfort zone and growing as a result.
Fear is healthy because fear helps you recognise that you are doing something a little bit different. Our petrified egos want to keep us in our safe little box with anxiety, depression and a churning gut, but that churning gut only serves to highlights to us that we are continuing our path despite being scared of the unknown.
Do you think that musician doesn’t feel scared getting up on stage?
Do you think that author doesn’t feel scared submitting work to publishers?
Do you think that photographer doesn’t feel scared holding their own exhibition?
Do you think I don’t feel scared posting these blogs?
We will never know who, what or where we could have been if we don’t feel that fear and do it anyway. Fear can be a beautiful thing if you let it be.