The Dance With Fear

Seth Godin, a successful businessman and speaker about marketing and ideas recently posted about fear. In that we can try to get rid of fear, but perhaps the real response is that one should learn to dance with fear – fear is always going to be there. Therefore, one can cower from fear or go dance with it. Either way, the fear is still there – we are just reacting differently.

There is a dance of life that we all go through. Part of this dance is fear. Let me share with you some of my fears that stare me in the face every day:

  • I’m afraid of failing in my business ideas
  • I’m afraid of losing people I really care about in my life
  • I’m afraid of losing what money I have and being broke
  • I’m afraid of hurting people I care about
  • I’m afraid of making a fool of myself
  • I’m afraid of rejection
  • I’m afraid that when I die, I won’t be remembered

These are just a few of the fears – I know there are more. When you see me write or do a video, you might think, “Gosh, he’s so confident and sure of himself.” And I do have that aspect of me. I’ve lived 36 years now and done a lot. I am pretty confident in many of my ideas. But there’s a plethora of fears tied in there and I don’t think the fears really go away.

For instance, let’s take the fear of losing people in my life that I care about. Perhaps you have this fear in your life. There is a special someone or a good friend or a family member. And you feel so connected to them. Let’s say you even feel soul connected. And so, you are afraid of losing this connection. So what do you do?

Well, you can focus on how afraid you are. Then you can show this fear while you talk to them and interact. But think of how well that will go over. Reverse it and imagine someone you know well is talking to you, but they are stating how deathly afraid they are of losing you and how much they miss you all the time. Hear their tone and how afraid and unsure they are.

When someone interacts with you this way – from an unsure and fear-based way, does it make you feel drawn to that person? Probably not. Yet, it’s still how they feel isn’t it? Instead of cowering and whimpering with fear, is there another approach that might be better? When you feel your insides like they are being grinded and ripped apart, can you still dance with fear?

What if instead this person got in touch with you and said that they were afraid. They started with the truth. But then they said they care about you and just wanted to be honest with you. And they said that you are a valued person in their life. And then they say some very real and heart-felt things in how they see the situation. And they do it with love and confidence while admitting their fear.

That’s a drastic difference from feeling unsure and needy. Acknowledging difficult and intense truth about situations takes a tremendous amount of courage and faith. The reason it does is because the person you share this with may reject you. But chances are, if your gut is telling you that you need to share how you feel, then it’s the right thing to do. There may even be a time that makes the most sense to do it too.

Of course, you can be quiet, sly, and try and delay the issue. But isn’t that just sitting on the side while fear dictates the pace of things? Why not get out on the dance floor and grab fear and say, “This is what’s going to happen now. Do your worst!” It’s certainly not the easiest thing to do. The results may not be at all what you want initially. But in life, when we make hard choices to acknowledge truth and follow our gut/instincts, I think that’s the universe’s way of saying that you need to do something if you want an unresolved situation to progress.

In addition to the fear of loss of people I care about, I fear rejection. It’s a humbling thing to admit. I’m afraid that if I’m honest with people, then they will reject me. And it has happened to me in my life quite a few times already. Honesty can mean rejection. It can mean people not talking to you. But there’s another interesting twist to that. Honesty means you are NOT rejecting yourself – you are being true to yourself. There’s a great power when that happens. It means that even if everyone in the world rejects you, you can sit by yourself and feel at peace knowing you are true with yourself. And that is both humbling and very powerful.

To dance with fear, sit and reflect for a few days to a few weeks. If you feel something is a certain way after all that time still, chances are, your body is telling you that you need to take an action related to what you feel. And you might take that action and get rejected! The dance with fear is not about controlling other people. It is about being honest with yourself and others and taking to the dance floor and facing that fear. In the end, you’ll have been honest with yourself. And getting honest and right with yourself is paramount to anything else in life.

Enjoy the dance my friends. The dance never ends – it’s just a matter of you deciding that you will take part in it or not.

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