Learning to Stop Being a Scaredy Cat

There is nothing to be gained in fear. You may feel more at ease, protected, safe and unconcerned, but you will only have lost on your opportunity to push past easy, safe and comfortable. We all carry this mouse with a megaphone called fear, judging us, pushing us, or holding us back. It’s sometimes called common sense, but more often than that it is simply complacency. I wrote this to encourage myself as I chase my dream to make my writing mean something to people.

I hope this little piece finds someone and hits them hard. I hope they then somehow find the courage to call this “monster” by its name, and go conquer the world in their own beautiful, meaningful, life-altering way.

I’m done being a scaredy cat. It hasn’t served me well.

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Fear is an instinct, built into us, to preserve us, to protect us from the possibility of pain.

Fear is your mother’s voice in your childhood ear – ‘be careful. not too high. not so fast. not so far’.

Fear is the dark corridor, the blind corner, the drop into the trench and the void that is the unknown.

Fear is insulation around your heart, two ply bubble wrap and a warning label…’Fragile: handle with care”.

Fear is the sweat of your palms, the words caught in your throat, the Doubting Thomas of your subconscious that quietly reminds and reprimands you, “better safe than sorry”.

Fear is a nameless face with a clipboard and a checklist of all the things you think you “should“. Should be, should have, should say, should do. Fear is checking those off one by one and in the meantime you lose your chance…

Your chance to taste life, to sing, to dance, to write, to paint, to create, to pursue…your change to sashay your spirit into that unknown space of “maybe…”

Fear is the thief that doesn’t even bother coming in the night. Fear walks into your office with you on another mundane Monday and robs you blind in broad daylight.

Fear says “not now”, fear comforts you with “next time”, fear reiterates your to do list and keeps you busy. Fear says, most often and with the most conviction “not you, you could never…”.

Fear is pervasive and strong and condoned by society as sensibility. Fear is acceptable. Fear is common ground with a brethren of people with their clipboards and comparing notes on who has the most check marks.

…but fear is no guarded prison. There are no shackles or irons, no fetters, no chains, no sentence to serve. You can walk out at any time.

Fear isn’t immortal. It isn’t indestructible. Fear isn’t “death and taxes”. It isn’t long winded and it isn’t eternal.

Fear is routed out of life by knowledge – like the little girl who finally looked under her bed to find no monsters, no sharp teeth and jagged claws and in her victory, slept peacefully in the dark.

Fear is dissipated by effort. Like fog burning off in bright, mid-morning light, fear cannot return to the space you have filled with “try”. 

Fear is told to go to hell when you understand the falsehood, the emptiness, and the slight of hand trick that it plays in your life.

Fear, in its true form, is so very powerless.

It begins to lose the moment it’s recognized “I think I’m JUST afraid…”

Its weakened further by the blow of “WHAT IF…?”

Its fully disarmed by “I’m going to try…”

And is devastated completely by “I won’t give up…”

“Action” – Small word, BIG meaning.

I was asked at the birth of this new year to pick ONE WORD to define what I wanted from 2015. Usually I am not much for adorning a new year with some sort of mystical power of change, but … Continue reading