Things I’m afraid of:
- Movies about ghosts.
- People with gun, knives, or other sharp destructive devices.
- Destructive devices.
- Eyes falling out of sockets or losing limbs.
- Out of body experiences.
- Whatever it is that happens when my mother finishes counting to 3.
- Performing stand-up in front of a big crowd.
- Wasting my time.
- Talking to my crush.
- Texting that one guy and asking why he suddenly wanted to be friends out of no where.
- Making the first move.
- Gaining massive success and realizing it wasn’t what I hoped it would be.
Remember this for later.
When I was in training, I was asked to chant the phrase, “Fear is the mind-killer,” while performing an excruciatingly difficult exercise in which I would take a cue from a man banging a stick into the floor, slowly descend my upright body into the ground, while maintaining a sharp emotionless focus out into the abyss, and engaging my core like a mother fuckin’ beast; all without trying not to blink for fear I’d lose my balance and fall over. It looks like this:
It’s a movement technique derived from the way in which the Japanese train their actors, but I’m pretty sure it can also be used for turning humans into weapons of mass destruction.
My point is, because of this continual practice, the phrase “Fear is the mind-killer,” is now forevermore engrained in my mind. A few years later and I can suddenly now do shit like light myself on fire, fight with swords, and jump out of airplanes without questioning the churning sensation in my stomach that says, AHH! SIT DOWN BITCH, THAT’S SCARY!
The funny thing about fear is, it’s all rooted from the same source: the unknown. Most of what we fear is also completely irrational, yet it will completely hinder us from ever attempting to obtain the thing that we really want. We sacrifice our happiness for deflecting the unknown every single day. Isn’t there something fishy about that to you??
When you look at my scary list above there are only three possible negative outcomes: 1) Death 2) Failure 3) Humiliation. Only one out of the three outcomes are irreversible. So statistically speaking, I have a 2/3 chance of not dying. Gamblers would tell you those odds are pretty damn good.
And yet, I still wont text that damn guy.
Let’s break this down: Unlike #2 on the list, the alligator, a text message can’t physically kill me. So whyyyy don’t I just go for it?
I’ll tell you why; and it’s the same why as to why you wont quit your dead end job, why you wont try something new, and why you won’t commit to your significant other…
Because my mind will tell me that this will be the one and only day that a text message will actually cause my phone to spontaneously explode, thus blowing off my hand, simultaneously causing a fire, and me, thereafter, blood running out of my handless arm, will try to escape from my smoke filled apartment, but then finally resort to collapsing on the floor and awaiting my ultimate…wait for it…DEATH. No. I can’t do it. It’s too risky. It’s too scary. Death by text message. I don’t wanna.
You and I both know what I just said is completely ridiculous and obviously irrational, however, this is the VERY same process your mind goes through when faced with an unknown. Your mind will rationalize your way out of the thing and cling to the safest possible outcome; which is exactly where you started, safely in the comfort of exactly where you are, and THAT, my friends, is exactly why nothing in your life ever changes.
You pray and you beg for happiness, but you will naturally rationalize yourself out of it.
Fear is designed to stop you in your tracks. That’s why its a consistent “weapon” used in tactics of manipulation, public speaking, politics, and war zones. If your mind stops, so does your forward progression. It’s the feeling you get after knocking over that starter domino and it being spaced just far enough to have missed knocking down the stream of dominos proceeding it. I’m cringing just at the thought of it.
What I’m getting at, what I want you to understand about your fears, is this: Fear is 100% DETRIMENTAL to your big picture, big dream, success story of a future. Those who are afraid will never change the world. Those who think themselves out of trying will only ever barely reach the gate to their goals, and will still lack the key to open the latch and walk through. Think about that domino. That’s you.
Now, I don’t have all the proper answers for conquering your fears, nor do I have any of the answers at all, for that matter. I don’t know the remedy for fear. I wish I did. I wish I could face even half the things on my scary list, look them in the eye, and tickle fight all of them into snuggly teddy bears and rainbows, but that, too, as you know, is completely ridiculous.
But I will say this: I’ve HAVE been on the other side of fear, I have. Many times. I’ve bitten my tongue often and faced certain things that I never would’ve imagined I was worthy enough to even look at square in the face. In fact, just using the above list alone, I’ve encountered numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 18, and guess what? I didn’t die, fail, or humiliate myself to any capacity. In fact, I even felt happy and empowered from the result.
I’m not going to sit and preach to you about how important it is to conquer your fears. Because that is so annoying; you and I both know it’s easier said than done. But what I will offer you about fear is something that I can genuinely share from my heart:
It’s okay to be fearful, but under no circumstances is it okay to let fear STOP you. Under no circumstances should you let it “mind kill” you. Without your mind, you are nothing; you can see nothing, you can do nothing, you can be nothing.
My solid advice? Ask yourself how rational your fear is; do the math, and if it’s not going to kill you, I say, fuck it. Take the risk. At least then you know that you gave yourself a fighting chance. At least you know you’re not nothing because you, at least, tried. And that’s a far more respectful thing you can be over the thing fear keeps telling you that you are.
You are much more than that thing you think you are. And trust me when I say, it’s much more rewarding to watch all the dominos fall where they may.
That being said, BRB, I’m gonna go swim with some sharks, poke an alligator, and do some stand-up.
…I still wont text that guy though. 😛