"Use your fear... it can take you to the place where you store your courage." - Amelia Earhart

We've all felt it... that deep, soul-crushing fear that compels us to fight, flee, or just freeze and hope it goes away. It clouds the mind, dulling reason and reducing us to an animalistic state in which we can no longer act with any semblance of sanity. Right?

Wrong.

Fear is energy. I'm not talking about New Age fluff (not that there's anything terribly wrong with that), but rather the very simple fact that fear is a motivator, one that gets your adrenaline running, makes you able to move and think much more clearly, if you don't allow it to overwhelm you.

If you can control your fear, and thus prevent it from controlling you, it gives you the reasons and means to act instead of simply reacting.

The internal script is pretty simple. You start out with, "I am horribly afraid of x. If x were to happen, it would be horrible." The trick is to add, "Therefore I will do everything within my power to make sure that x does not happen, while still accomplishing my goals."

I fear failure more than anything else. At various times in my life this fear has crippled me, leaving me afraid to attempt anything out of fear that I would fail horribly. It was only when I harnessed the fear and acted anyway that I discovered what an asset fear can be. Once I made up my mind to act, to get off my ass and do something, my fear made me better, stronger, faster. I was afraid of doing something wrong, so whenever I did something, I put everything I could into it. My fear made me faster to catch tiny mistakes. It gave me the endurance to keep working long past the time I thought I would collapse. It made me do my best, because the thought of failing was so terrifying that I would do anything to keep from feeling it. Every bit of effort went into being perfect. And even if I didn't achieve perfection, I generally got a result that was pretty damn good.

Granted, this is an incredibly exhausting way to live. There's only so long you can live on fear and an adrenaline-high. However, once you're no longer paralyzed by fear, you have a better chance of realizing that what you fear may not be so bad after all. Once you have accomplished something, you can look back on your fear and think about how silly it was.

To get there, however, you must stop wringing your hands, paralyzed by something that might happen, if things don't work out well. You need to get off your ass and do something. Do anything. Just make it your choice, your action... Your life.

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