how to face your fears


A life devoid of danger is a coma. ~Chad Howse

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Fear is a difficult thing to face. (Read This: 4 Fears Every Guy’s Gotta Face)

As a species we once had to face it every day. We’d wake up with two options:

  1. Avoid fear and starve.
  2. Face fear and find food.

You have to remember that humans are hunters by nature, just like lions and tigers and bears, we’re designed to wake up and hunt animals. Animals are dangerous. Be they mammoth, elk, moose, deer, they’re all equipped with weapons in the form of size, tusks, or weird-looking swords that grow out of their skulls.

The pursuit of prey alone was a fearful thing. Adding other predators to the mix made life a frightening experience.

Compare that to our lives today. We’ve steadily chipped away at the things we used to have to do that brought danger into our lives. We can sit and complain all day then chomp down a burger at the end of it. Our asses are our most-used body part.

Not our brains or our legs, but our butts.

We can avoid fear our entire lives and still survive, but we cannot avoid fear and live. (Read This: Let Fear be Your Guide)

Living is an action. The experience of life is beyond action, it requires audacity, daring, and ambition.

We’ve all experienced life. It’s hiking to the top of a mountain, both the journey and its summit where we sit in silence and appreciate all that’s around us, beneath us, and above us.

It’s finally getting the balls to go up to a lady you’ve had your eye on, she’s clearly out of your league, but you muster the courage and start talking anyway. Then the numbers are exchanged, maybe a smooch thereafter, and life’s never been so good.

Life is looking over a cliff, not wanting to jump into the water below but everyone else has gone and you’d rather die than look like a pussy, so you jump anyway. Or it’s being bullied until you’ve had enough and one day punch the bastard in the nose and end it right there. Or it’s going on your first hunt, providing for yourself for the first time, feeling the sorrow of the animal you just killed, but also the satisfaction that comes from doing what humans are bred to do.

Life is coming upon a grizzly in the woods and having the wherewithal to walk away slowly, ideally without shitting yourself first.

It’s venturing to a dangerous part of the world and then finding out that even though danger was evident, it wasn’t all that bad.

It’s hard to convince those who’ll do everything but face their fears that fear should be a compass, not a warning sign. The only proof can be found in old age homes or graves, or if you think about your own life, the one you’re currently living from the perspective of who you are 30, 40, 50, 60 years down the road.

Would you regret those fears you faced, the mountains you had the guts to climb, the women you had the balls to approach, the places you had the fortitude for visit? Or would you regret the actions you didn’t take because you let fear grab hold of you, paralyze you, diminish you?

It’s evident what we’d regret most, but coming to grips with the severity of that regret has to be felt in the present, when there’s still time to do all that crazy shit. (Read This: Stop Being a Scared Little Coward)