It’s been said that fear can be a helpful tool. I’ve heard people make the claim that having our “fight or flight” instincts activated heightens our senses, increases the speed of our response times, and makes us sharper overall. The thing is, despite frequently seeing claims like these, fear hasn’t served me much. I can acknowledge that it’s presence has potentially steered me away from potential danger, by whispering softly in the corners of my mind to avoid this place, or stay away from that person, etc. Be that as it may, I can also recall countless times it’s hindered the shit out of me. When I was a young poet for example, I remember getting dry mouth, while on stage, as a byproduct of my stage fright. I would become infuriated that of all things, my ability to speak, would fall under attack, considering that was the most important ability in that moment. Shaky knees, I could handle, but struggling to speak clearly?! No! There were times I couldn’t muster up the courage to say “Hi” to the pretty girl, or it caused me to botch that interview for that job I wanted so badly. Hell, even the social anxiety itself many of us feel, is rooted in fear. I can’t tell you how smooth I am in my head, and how utterly awkward, some of my public interactions have been lol.    

     If fear isn’t checked, it could be crippling. In the wild, it literally paralyzes prey, enabling it to face a less painful death, while being consumed. Is this fate, no different than the way the jaws of life open and consumes us whole ,if we allow it? If we don’t respond to this attempt, with the violent act of self-confidence and movement with asserstion, life will devour us and digest us into oblivion. I’ve learned it is absolutely paramount, I conquer fear in as many ways as I can. In a recent conversation, I stated that, that if I had the power to totally vanquish fear from my life, it would be difficult for me not to. I just struggle to trace ways it has actually aided me at all, versus impeded my progress in life and hampered my endeavors in general. Even something as fundamental as networking would greatly be enhanced, if not for fear causing me to doubt and question things, my mind already knows the answers to. Often, I see exactly what result I desire, or how I wish to perform, but fear infiltrates and taints the outcome. 

     Here’s the thing… A person can be confident in many areas and still be held back by their fears. On the surface, it may seem contradictory, but we know well, more than one thing can be true at a time! There is no shortcut! We must intentionally practice boldness. Yes, for some it comes easily, but for many, this isn’t so, and boldness must be pursued and courted with consistency. I can see the man I desire to be. The characteristics, I crave to embody. Fear causes us to attempt to go around obstacles, that often requires us to go through them instead. This is why it’s important to check-in and hold ourselves accountable, to ensure the necessary work is being done. It’s a journey that I am committed to; as there are many things, like speaking engagements, more TV interviews, and whatever else pops up, that I’d like the strongest and most fully realized version of myself to be presented. As opportunities are revealed, I intend to execute to my optimal potential. Consider some steps that you could begin taking to move past the fear that’s been watering you down. For me, writing this is one. Sharing my thoughts with you on the matter, also challenges me to action. If I am to ever walk amongst great people, I must also be one. A large part of this for me personally, is maintaining humility, while embodying the fearlessness that comes from faith and walking in my purpose. I hope you received a little something from these reflections. With that, I’d like to leave you with one my all-time favorite quotes, which I keep in my line of sight:

     “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ― Marianne Williamson  

Jeremiah Allen