I’ve come to realize that fear has always had some sort of control in my life. Depending on what it is, it’s always there in the back of my mind, creeping in any crevice of my thought process. Whether it’s fear of being late to somewhere important, fear of not being able to provide for my family or pay bills, etc. Fear has come in the smaller things as well as the much bigger areas of my life. Fear of making a good record for the next album cycle, or fearing that the next goal I have in life will come true, or that I’ll be “good” enough to succeed. My fear has put me in a place of constant work and “to do” lists. It has deprived me of sleeping at night, and has brought crazy amounts of stress into my life. At one point, it brought me to depression, giving me the feeling of not being sufficient or knowledgeable enough to fulfill my goals, dreams, tasks, and what I thought was most important.
Fear can dictate a lot in our lives…if we let it. If we fear things, then it has a grasp on our actions, decisions, future choices, and thought process. If fear can tell you that you can’t make it, and you believe it, then you won’t make it. If fear can get you to think you aren’t enough, or you will get hurt or even die, then you won’t ever put your foot in the water.
I use to be scared of the ocean. I fell into it once when I was a kid, right into a pool of stingrays. I landed right between five stingrays, and even though I wasn’t stung, from then on I never wanted to touch the water. I still fear it, however I’ll get in, and once I do, it always seems to be a great time. I had an old fear from an experience, and that fear was concreted into my life so that I’d never get in the water and enjoy it.
I use to never want to fly and was terrified of flying in planes. Being 35,000 feet up in the air just wasn’t my idea of fun. However, joining August Burns Red meant I had to fly, and I now fly about 50,000 miles a year. We just did a tour a few months ago where we flew 24 times in 19 days all over Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Asia. It was crazy!
I’ve made a decision to not to let fear have control over what I am going to do with my life. Fear can take away happiness; it can be a blockade from us furthering our life in the direction we need to go. Let’s be honest: fear is going to be in our lives no matter what we do. We will have moments where we are moving towards being “someone” or doing “something” with our lives. And fear is going to show up right at the moment when we are about to reach a goal. And when it shows up, we often decide to run the other way. And that’s how I know fear is unhealthy, and we must look to something greater to overcome that fear. Whether it’s a belief in God, or yourself, or something. Fear is trying to plant a seed of doubt into our minds that we better not even try because “this is going to happen,” or “you wont make it out alive!”
But the truth is, it’s all in our hands as to where we go, how much we want something, how set we are in being successful, and not giving anything the power to dictate our lives. I won’t stop, and I won’t let fear get the best of my life, my time, or my decisions. We have to be willing to make sacrifices and face our fears not just to get to where we need or want to be, but also to grow and mature. I’ll bet you that whatever “fear” you’ve struggled with and overcame caused you to learn a lot in the process – about yourself, your strength, or even how false or ridiculous that fear truly was. Fear is a mirage; once when we get closer, it fades away and all we see is more of the path we were set in walking on.
Don’t let your fears dictate how you live out your life, and don’t let fear have you turn your back on what could be.
We all have dreams and we all have fears, but look at all the people who have gotten to where they are today! All of the Olympians, the celebrities, the inventors, the philanthropists, the spiritually healthy, the confident, the strong… It’s clear that they all overcame their fears, and that is why they are where they are today. It’s absolutely vital for us to take fear out of the equation, and once we will do that, we will grow and accomplish whatever we put our minds to!