Cammac Learning Evolution Inc.

Fear: Life’s Biggest Hurdle

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If you ask any person, at any point, “What’s holding you back from…?” they would likely be able to provide you an array of logical reasoning’s as to why they aren’t stepping toward (whatever their goal might be at the time). We will convince ourselves that we aren’t able to leave a crappy job due to financial commitments 💰, or that we shouldn’t speak up because we might ruin the group dynamic 👯‍♂️. Maybe we tell ourselves that we aren’t the type of person who likes to travel ✈, or that it’s reckless to want to have a child 👶 as a single person. Point is, we convince ourselves of a lot of shit 💩 – when it would be much easier to resist all the ego’s BS and simply admit, “I can’t/won’t/shouldn’t do it, because I’m afraid.” Scared of failing, frightened to make a mistake, afraid of choosing wrong… however you spin it, the most prominent reason most people miss out on life’s opportunities is because we are afraid that in some capacity, we won’t be enough

Most of us live in fear, on a day to day basis, that we aren’t enough.

We can’t be blamed for this, however, as fear is an evolutionary mindset that once protected us from a world full of predators, poisons, and purpose (see what I did there 😉!!!) Our amygdala (the area in the brain responsible for fear) is one of the first parts of the brain to have evolved so it’s got a pretty solid head start on the pre-frontal cortex which is used for reasoning and critical thinking. The logic of the pre-frontal cortex is but a fetus as compared to the certainty and strength of the amygdala. And there’s our problem! 

It usually sounds something like this:

Pre-Frontal Cortex: “I really want to go back to school, even though I’m 40 years old. I’d love to learn about that new thing and spend my remaining working years doing something I love.”

Amygdala: “That’s a nice dream… but think of how hard it will be trying to get by without your income. Think of your family and how they depend on you. Things are much more secure right here, right where we know what’s what.”

PFC: “I have been offered an opportunity to move across the world to live with a friend for a year and explore a country I’ve never known. That’s so exciting.”

Amygdala: “Think of all the things that could go wrong while you’re gone – someone in your family could get sick and you’ll be so far away… or what if they lock everything down again and you can’t come home. Probably safest to stay here where things are comfortable.”

While it makes evolutionary sense why we often rely on fear to keep us safe, the reality is that we are no longer exposed to the same risks as we were back in the day of ancestors long past! Most people have shelter, water, heat, food, and medicare of some sort, but until we learn the mental skills needed to keep fear at bay, it will continue to pop in reminding us that there’s a chance we might not be enough!

How to Manage the Fear

When fear comes knocking, don’t just try to ignore it – tell it to turn around and f-the-hell-right-back-off to where it came from! While I exaggerate a little in my wording, I’m dead serious in my recommendation.

If ever you notice you’re trying to convince yourself or someone else as to why you won’t/can’t/shouldn’t do something you are really interested in – take a deep breath and ask yourself “What am I afraid of?”

Make yourself contemplate all the things that could go wrong, and then, out loud, remind yourself that you have absolutely no control over this thing you call life. So while, sure, it might be safer to stick around in the known, or it might be smarter to sit down and shut up, and this new something might be harder than anything you’ve ever done before – is any of that reason enough not to try? 

Most times you’ll find it’s really not.

I’m not suggesting you lie to yourself and take unmitigated risks, but at least take the time to make sure you’re being honest with yourself before you decide not to try something new.

It’s true – you might not be good enough 😮. You might not be smart enough 👩‍🎓. Maybe you won’t be tall enough, skinny enough, brave enough, funny enough, sexy enough, or any of the other enoughs that might hold you back. 

It could easily be argued that I’m not good enough, smart enough, brave enough, funny enough or sexy enough to be in a position to be writing this blog and sharing this message with you. But I’m doing it anyway. And so should you.

Life is uncertain. If you’ve convinced yourself that what you’ve got right now is definite… well my friend, you may be letting that ego tell you tales again! 

Dream big and take the uncertain leaps – because once you do you’ll likely realize that you’re able to do all the hard things, and you are more than enough. Period!

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