I have often heard fear described as False Evidence Appearing Real. I am not certain who originated the statement but it is probably the most accurate definition of fear I have ever heard. Fear is often just a bunch of lies and half truths. If we believe them they can hold us back from reaching our full potential.
I am currently going through what can only be described as a shifting. I am finally pursuing my passions and my dreams. Which of course means there are a lot of opportunities for fear to rear its ugly little head.
Fear tried to keep me from starting this blog and even from writing this post. Before that I almost let fear steal my love for dance.
I danced salsa for a year and a half (after dabbling in jazz, ballet, Horton, and African dance off and on for years) and was feeling pretty good about my progress. Then one day I had a class that was way over my head. Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if our instructors didn't have us perform in front of all of the other students, some of whom were pro and semi-pro dancers. I left that class completely disheartened.
In my mind the other students were judging me as being incompetent. I was convinced I was horrible and should just quit. So I did. I went from taking classes 2-4 times each week and going out to dance 2 or more times each month to absolutely nothing.
I told my friends and myself I quit because it wasn't fun anymore, I was too busy, or I had other things I needed to dedicate my time and money to.
All excuses. All lies and half truths.
The truth was I was afraid. Fear of what others thought of me and the fear that I was not good enough plagued me and pushed me away from something I truly enjoyed.
That's the thing about fear. It steals your present and future joy.
So, for the last couple of months the itch to shake my groove thang on the salsa floor has been begging to be scratched. And wouldn't you know it, fear popped up again. This time it was a fear of being left out.
While I was gone, all of my salsa buddies kept dancing, they kept learning new skills and gaining more confidence. Some even went semi-pro. Yet one more thing fear can rob you of: time and a opportunity to develop into a better, more accomplished, and stronger version of yourself.
I had a choice to make. Would I continue to let fear make me cower away? No, not this time. This time I am armed and ready. This time I have words of truth and faith to counteract the fear. This Sunday I am attending a salsa workshop and by April I plan to perform with a student choreography class.
Can you relate? I am sure you can. We all have that thing that fear has talked us out of. The good thing is fear only has as much power as we give it. We can choose other words to believe. We can choose to keep going and prove our fears wrong.
That's what I am choosing to do and I hope you will join me.
What fabulous experiences has fear tried to rob you of? What would you do if you weren't afraid?