On Letting Fear Take The Wheel
Fear is a fickle pain in the ass if ever there was one. She's not dependable, rarely sticks to facts and is as quick to interject herself into a conversation as she is to throw her hands up in the air and walk away from one. As if to say, "it's not my problem!"
And the sad part is, I think she really does care. She's been around since the beginning of time to help us avoid nonsensical actions like sticking our hands in fire and eating spoiled food. But her efficiency ends there: with life or death.
The messy stuff in between like leaping into love, going for the dream job, finally standing up for what you believe in or, better yet, acknowledging how you really feel—it's just not her forte.
Unfortunately, this doesn't stop her from trying. And being the convincing, manipulative wave of emotion that she is, we far too often hand her the reigns without the slightest bit of question.
I try not to beat myself up over it. I mean, it's far easier letting Fear take the wheel. Her criticisms are silenced and, at the end of the day, I'm safe. I'm comfortable. I can see everything coming from a mile away. And though I may be sacrificing the thrill of positive surprises in my life, I'm surely eliminating the negative.
Sounds like decent odds to me.
But from experience, I can tell you, that if you choose to become Fear's passenger for far too long—cruising through perfectly paved roads of normalcy and routine—another presence will surely make herself known. She hates Fear with every fiber of her being, deviously engineering potholes and curves in her path. The pastures of predictability you have once enjoyed will grow scarce—weakening Fear's hold.
Her name is What If?
I can't call her a hero. That would be far too generous of a term. She has a vivid imagination and unlike Fear, remains partial to carving paths of her own. Sometimes to a dangerous fault.
But as much as she hates Fear, the truth is she can't survive without her. A fact, I would reckon, both know to be true.
The two have been my steady partners for years now, battling for my attention, never taking defeat lightly when I choose one over the other.
However, as I age, I'm finding my role more defined. Rather than being swayed by the quick bite of insecurity or the slow burn of regret, I have welcomed deep conversations with both. Weighing the arguments as they come.
Then with full confidence, stepping forward: one as the lead, the other close behind.