The idea of being fearless has been on my mind for quite some time.
And no, I’m not talking about being courageous - which is the ability to do something even in the face of fear. I’m talking about being fearless - which is the absence of fear itself.
If one were to strive for something significant, would it be possible to do so without fear? Is it possible to be completely fearless?
After some reflection and readings, I eventually came to realize something.
We don’t actually fear the thing that we think we’re afraid of. We fear the pain that we believe it will bring. Here are some examples:
People aren’t actually afraid of public speaking. They’re afraid of humiliation.
People aren’t actually afraid of asking for what they want. They’re afraid of rejection.
People aren’t actually afraid to take the leap. They’re afraid of failing.
What does this mean? This means that fear only exists because we are attached to how things ought to go and because we believe (no matter how little) that it might go in the opposite direction.
So how can we use this information to become fearless?
1. Let go of your attachment to how things need to go.
Taking the leap would become so much easier if you genuinely were not attached to how things NEEDED to go.
You might fail? Okay…so what? You’ll start over and try again with more experience. You’ll find another job. You’ll find a way to bounce back.
Now I’m not suggesting that you don’t have commitments for the results you’d like to see in your life. Commitments are important. However, having a commitment is not the same as having an attachment.
There is a subtle yet powerful difference between:
“I am attached to success. This has to work”
“I am committed to being successful and making this work.”
So keep your commitments and preferences for how you’d like things to go, but don’t cling on and attach yourself to results as if it were going to be the end of the world if they did not happen.
2. Focus your attention on the things that you would like to see.
“Where your attention goes, energy flows.”
If you think about failure and humiliation and rejection…it makes sense that you’re going to feel afraid. There’s no way around it.
If you choose to think about success, fulfillment and happiness…you’re going to feel much better.
To continue on the example of taking the leap:
Focus on the possibility of failing. Of losing everything. Focus on years and years of hard work, just thrown out the window. How do you feel, even just thinking about that?
Now, focus on the abundance you can create in your life. Abundance in time, money, relationships, joy. Focus on the lives you can inspire, the people you’ll meet along the way, the amazing lessons you would’ve never learned otherwise. Focus on the incredible person you will have transformed into during this journey of yours. Take a moment to close your eyes and vividly imagine this.
How do you feel now?
Mind your thoughts, and focus on the things that you would like to see.
To wrap around and answer the first question "If one were to strive for something significant, would it be possible to do so without fear?"
Yes. Using the 2 pointers previously shared, I do believe that it is possible to strive for something significant without fear. I understand that it is easier said than done, but it is possible.
For the second question, "Is it possible to be completely fearless?"
No. I don't believe it is. At the end of the day, fear is biologically instilled into us for the purpose of survival as a species. Unless we were to completely hack our biology, neurology and all the other "ologies", fear is going to be something that we will all experience.
So while I invite you to practice the 2 pointers shared above to powerfully pursue your dreams, please give yourself grace for feeling fear. You are not weak, and there is nothing wrong with you for having that experience. We all feel it.
The only question is…will you allow yourself to be driven by the fear?