When I first heard that we all are constantly governed by fear – I don’t know how much I understood it. Until I started observing myself and realized that most of the time I am unable to do things or say things because I am so afraid of various consequences. Fear, in fact, is one of the major players in your life. So often we choose the fear option because we feel that it is a sound decision.
There are actually only two ways that we base our decision on: Fear or the opposite of it, Love. We quit our jobs and start doing our thing out of love for what we believe in, the product, the new idea, about how it can be done better. OR we stay in a job that we don’t love out of fear that we can’t make a living elsewhere. We move to new jobs, new places, or new relationships out of fear of what will happen if we stay OR we stay in the same situation out of fear of what will happen if we change.
It’s difficult to tell which is which because fear mostly has become our default setting. We almost don’t recognise it as fear. It’s more of whom we have become. One way of knowing will be the decisions we make out of love will be the best thing that one has done. It will come up with the maximum outcomes. The decision we make out of fear will hold us back.
Here are a few ways one could try and figure out what is fear and what is love
Look at what you don’t want and love it
When I was quitting my job yet again because I just could not manage to live another day the way I was. I was hounded by the questions of what will I do to why do I keep moving. The quitting part is easy because you know what you don’t want. But how do we go into a space of doing what you would want?
It took about a month to kind of calm down and not constantly keep doing things to nervously occupy my mind so I remain sane and occupied. To sit with me and love it was something I needed to learn to do. That I actually have lots of things that I need to do without putting it off for other things like meeting friends or people or eating out, the coffee, the unending entertainment of catching up. Which is great to do but I had to learn to love being with myself and fulfilling tasks that were important to me.
Create the job or space I wanted. I needed to sit down and make a proposal and write a document and create the next workshop with all very thoughtful ideas. Where each word needed to bounce out and I had to learn to love it.
It was almost like this workshop I attended which spoke of decluttering your cupboards and homes: Clutter is nothing but postponed decisions. Exactly, I thought while I sat through the workshop and visualised my cupboard, space and my thoughts which were all postponed. “Look at the stuff you have and see what gives you joy,” says this pleasant voice holding the workshop. There is a glow to the things you like and the ones you don’t really care for lose that luster. Such profound thoughts on decluttering your house, which was pretty much what I needed to do to focus on in my life. Find love and find joy within me even before I jumped at the first thing that was offered to me to do for a job.
Settling with fear
Very often you will notice how we almost put up with anything as long as we don’t ruffle too many feathers. Be it at work or in relationships or situations. The fear of if I do something else than what is expected I will not be able to manage or cope.
Unfortunately what you fear, usually manifests. If you don’t do what you love but stick to what you think gets a steady income, or in some cases keeps the peace, in all probability, you are either asked to leave or the situation deteriorates to an extent where you might have to cope in adverse conditions.
This reminds me of my friend’s father whose heart lay in music but he followed his parent's business and took up franchise models of businesses which were fine but there was so much resentment and unhappiness in the house. My friend very wisely told me what she learned was how not to settle. Do the things that you really want to do and stick your neck out to do that.
Don’t depend on Time
We all have this habit of one day I will take a trip around the world. Or when you retire you will pick up your hobby and start with that. Honestly, “time is waiting for no one”. Your dreams will remain a dream until you act upon it.
You’ve often heard how everyone wants to retire and then live that life. When you retire your perspective changes, and lots of things that you want now will not feel the same then. This means if you don’t have the time to travel now, you can plan within a year. You might not do the entire world in one go maybe doing it in small parts, works.
You want to start with your hobby- begin it, do it once a week and you will learn to find more time as you go along.
The things we fear the most aren’t so bad when they happen
This we’ve noticed so often. What we in our heads imagine would turn out to be the worst are not as bad.
These are usually boogies in our minds. You can manage the things you fear. This is important to experience as you move from fear to love you realize that you can pretty much take on risks where you can handle your fears. Fear will feed on fear, if you keep avoiding situations or challenges because you are afraid it will carry on mounting.
Set the example
We do not make decisions in our lives because of love of family and loved ones as we want to give them a stable life. But ask yourself this question whenever you have resisted doing things for the convenient option. Especially for your children, do you want them to also settle and do things that do not bring them joy or they look at you and say “you know what my parent never settled, they just carved their own niche?” Give them the opportunity to choose love over fear by being that example.
If you are looking for an extraordinary life you will choose to do things differently which will have courage, joy, love, and risk to pursue what you want.