Fear. Most people talk about it as if it's a bad thing. I don't quite agree. Sure, being SO afraid of something that you don't do it is a problem. But fear itself, I think, is a great thing.
years ago, I was climbing and rappelling on a rock wall in West
Virginia. Before we started, the instructor looked around and asked who
was afraid. Then he asked who wasn't afraid. He said "you guys are
the ones I'm worried about. You should be scared." It basically summed
up my feelings. There is nothing wrong with being afraid, and in most
cases, it is healthy to be afraid. It means you're thinking through the
risks and the consequences. Fear is good. But only if you don't let
that fear win.
If you compare a list of the most memorable, life changing, happy
moments in my life, almost all of them will also fall into the list of
the scariest times. Climbing Mt. Rainier? Terrifying. Committing to
run twelve half marathons when you haven't even run one? Oh yeah, I was
scared. Hitting 137 mph in a racecar? Scary leading up to it, awesome
during. Getting to the starting line of my first half marathon, and
then eventually my first full marathon just 8 or so months later? My
heart was racing even before I started running!
But those events all have something huge in common. They shaped me
into the person I am today, and I don't regret a single one of them. In
fact, I know I'm much stronger and much happier because of all those
experiences. When I was really struggling cognitively after my
concussion, my fear was so great that it prevented me from healing.
That's the kind of fear I try to avoid, and I hope next time something
scary happens I learn to accept the fear without letting it take over
This fall, I will be heading off to business school to get my MBA. I
have been accepted into a few programs and am still trying to decide
what the best option for me is next year. Was I terrified when I
applied, and am I scared of all the changes that I will face in the next
few months? Absolutely. But there isn't a second where I think about
not going because I'm scared. Scary situations often change your life
for the better.