Are You Letting Fear Lead Your Life?
“Ultimately the greatest service a woman can do to her community is to be happy; the degree of revolt and irresponsibility which she must manifest to acquire happiness is the only sure indication of the way things must change if there is to be any point in continuing to be a woman at all.” — Germaine Greer
This quote gets me every time.
Why? In our world — being happy is an act of courage.
It takes courage to dream + it takes courage to pull off those dreams. It takes courage to stay focused + courage to begin again. It takes courage to tell the truth + courage to know when things can slide for the greater good. It takes courage to initiate big change + courage to trust that everything will turn out okay.
But again, why? Because you can’t control life, no matter how hard you try.
Being happy requires courage because amid the possibility, there are also huge heaps of uncertainty. With all the opportunity at your feet, there are also a bazillion chances to be overlooked or misunderstood.
Alongside the joy, there is also entrenched patriarchy + systemic oppression to face, choices to regret, personal failures to overcome, embarrassments to stew in, mistakes to sit with, unpredictable + uncontrollable disasters to suffer.
Like it or not, this is our world.
And sometimes in the midst of the doubt and the hurt and the overwhelming fear of what may come, you forget your strength. You forget your beauty + unique gifts. You forget your immense capability. You forget your ability to do hard things, to face hard truths, to find grace in the fissures, to choose happiness.
Instead, you spend your days doing anything possible to avoid fear.
Whether you spin in anxious circles or float on the surface of life in an attempt to dodge the depths — your life energy is tied up avoiding scary situations.
You make (unconscious) assumptions that avoiding fear — staying small, protecting yourself from being seen, not fighting injustices, living inside the prescribed box, avoiding hard change, being perfectly pleasing to everyone, fulfilling external assumptions — is easier than practicing courage with your life.
It’s not fucking easier.
When you let fear lead, you’re sabotaging the very spirit inside of you that is capable of courage.
When you let fear lead, you’re using socially acceptable armor of procrastination, perfectionism, self-criticism, apathy, busyness, or self-deprecating humor to avoid the uncertainty of life.
When you let fear lead, you’re missing out on the beauty, the opportunity, the joy, the chance to claim happiness.
You’re saying, “I’m too scared of the consequences. I’m too scared of what other people might think. I’m too scared to fail. I’m too scared to succeed. I’m too scared the grass won’t be greener on the other side. I’m too scared if I say it out loud it will become real. I’m too scared to disappoint my family. I’m too scared that I’ll go broke. I’m too scared I won’t be loveable. I’m too scared I’ll regret it. I’m too scared to look like an idiot.
I’m too scared to be brave, and thus happy, with my life.”
Here’s what I know.
Taking courageous action always teaches you something about yourself and the woman you are + the woman you want to be.
Experimenting with your edge + claiming your happiness always shows you that you are more capable than you imagined. That you can do it. Or if it all blows up + you suffer failure, it proves that you can survive it!
Trusting your intuition by listening to the small whispers of desire or discontentment always strengthens your trust in yourself.
Courage builds pride.
Courage builds self-efficacy.
You don’t need to avoid fear. You can be fearful in the very same moment of courage.
You can learn ways to deal with both the physical and mental triggers. You can practice bravery sitting alongside your worst case scenarios, your inner critic, your cringeworthy failures, your unsupportive family.
You can build belief in your own capacity for happiness through action.
You, dear one, are capable of making completely new choices. Of trusting that you’ll figure it out when you get there. Of taking risk without guarantee of result.
You can stand alone, quite cold turkey, fall in love, do something out-of-character, change your mind, step into your brilliance. You can create your vision, leave the relationship, speak up for a stranger, practice kindness, burn the barn down. You can allow yourself the grace to begin again. You can grow comfortable with uncertainty and doubt. You can belong to yourself first and above all.
You can show the fuck up for your life + your happiness, act of courage after act of courage.
Because here’s the thing…
You do something brave and you become braver.
Courage begets courage.
Can we promise to stop letting fear lead our lives?
Can we gather together, plot out revolutionary happiness + swap best Courage practices?
If this wasn’t already abundantly clear — I AM SO IN.