Why Are You So Afraid? (And Is It Worth It)

why are you afraid?


I think of how much I have held myself back over the years. The number of times I betrayed myself and chosen to take the more complacent, less uncommon path. I realize now that for a long time, I held on to a fear I have had for what I am truly capable of. When I was 11, I forged a story in my head that I was not good at anything, that I was a black sheep, and that there was something wrong with me.

The stories we tell ourselves are infinitely powerful, because they can stay with us for decades and decades, whether they are helpful to us or not. The negative story, the persona that we have not only sold to ourselves but to the world at large is very deep rooted, and is usually very difficult to change, and this is why so many of us hardly find the happiness that we seek. Negative stories that we have used constantly to not only berate ourselves but others are like a slow cancer that is killing us, but we are not aware of it, until the 11th hour comes to pass.

In all honesty, I have done more this year than I have in the past 4 years. Back in 2008, nobody thought very much of me. It made a lot of sense, because I didn’t think very much of myself, and that is what I was selling to the world. I fell into a depression and contemplated suicide, but I knew that wasn’t the route to take. I had to get back up and re-evaluate my life, and my attitude towards it. I had to start taking responsibility… and I had to stop letting fear run my entire existence.

On the 26th of July 2014, I held my very first event, Push Factor Saturdays. It was an event I created to empower people from my generation that we are here to do more than just live an 8 – 5. That we are here to truly live and travel our own individual journeys, and that our Push Factors, meaning our strong, compelling, passionate, motivational reasons for living a better life, is what will propel us from where we are to where we want to be.

Fear has stopped many of us from going too far. Many of us have allowed ourselves to believe that our possibilities, our dreams and visions are dependent on someone or something else making it happen; an employer, the right time, the right person, (investor, lover, mentor) etc. It seems everyone and everything else stands in the way of who we are supposed to become.

Understandably, many of us are scared of the unknown. Nobody wants to walk into the proverbial darkness, and have no idea whether they will make it out unscathed. That’s why we are so scared to take any kind of chance on anything.

But is it worth it to live in constant fear? To stay safe? To lead a boring, secure life that is so predictable, you start to seek all manner of ways to entertain and distract yourself? Don’t you think the life you are leading right now is slowly killing you, simply because you have chosen to live a life without passion?

We are human beings. We have natural born curiosities and instincts. It is evident from when we were toddlers and little children, running around and exploring our surroundings, excited about everything that we saw, touched, heard, tasted and smelled. All these experiences excited us.

Life may have come and punched us in the mouth a couple of times. It may have dealt us one raw deal after another, and because of this, we started doing the one thing that is becoming our biggest downfall as prosperous beings:

We have chosen to ignore our voice, our instinct, our inner compass.

The fact remains that our natural curiosities and instincts we have are still very alive and with us. They are our truest navigators in this life, but we choose to keep them quiet as often as possible. We have neglected them by choosing a life of complacency, of acceptance without question, of constant obligation, and of mediocrity. We are scared to lose the little we have created for ourselves, so we choose to live as risk-free a life as possible, and we proceed to warn the generation after us to keep it safe, and not ‘colour outside of the lines.’ But this mentality is slowly killing who we are. All I see around me are people doing everything they can to distract, entertain and overindulge themselves, in order to numb the existence they are living in.

People like to challenge me about my idea of passion. They say things like:

“Sheila, this is the real world we are living in. I have responsibilities, bills to pay, a family to look after, and a future to think about. What time do I have to follow my passion?”

But my questions to you are,

Is it worth it to not follow what inspires you, what you are truly passionate about and not live at all? Is it worth it, not living by your true, authentic values and beliefs? Is it worth following or complying to certain individuals’ rules of how your life should or shouldn’t go? Are you truly happy to escape all your problems, running away from them every weekend only to return on Monday to find those same problems right there, sometimes with a big sarcastic smirk on their faces?

I’m not saying drop your job and start running towards your bliss. Not at all. I’m saying that it is time to make wiser choices, and to place more focus on the things that do make us curious, that make us come alive and that allow us to flex our creative muscles and stretch our imagination.

I know what you’re thinking: “why should I do it if it’s not going to make me money? I don’t have time to chase things that will not ease my financial burdens.”

Well here is the truth. What you are doing right now, if you are genuinely unhappy, is not working. The story you are carrying around about yourself is strangling you, and your ability to think any further than where you are right now. Your fears have overrun you, and you have a firm belief that keeps reminding you of your limits, insecurities and inadequacies. And for as long as you think and feel this way, you will always get more and more of that.

You do not attract what you want. YOU ATTRACT WHO YOU ARE.

So find a way to move past your fears, and actively change the story you keep telling yourself and others, and as you start changing who you believe yourself to be, so shall you attract what you are slowly becoming. And how do you start? By following your inspiration, your passion, your excitement, your curiosity, and doing and feeling as much of it as possible.

Start there. Take chances. Jump off a few cliffs. And you will be surprised at how well the universe will respond to your new requests!

Find your passion and use it as your Push Factor!