The other day I was rewatching the documentary Broke which explores the unfortunate situation many professional athletes find themselves in. Although they receive millions of dollars in compensation, many of them find themselves literally living paycheck to paycheck. They're paid per game and some, are practically broke come off season. As I listened to their stories, I shuddered in horror. The thought of having no money until next payday, freaks me out. After reflecting on it for a moment, I realized that being broke was a deep seated fear of mine.
Before, if you asked me what my fears were, I'd mention how I don't like heights or spiders, I hate looking at clustered holes (trypophobia) and I used to be afraid of dogs. All these fears are legitimate, but at the same time, they're pretty "stupid." By stupid, I mean that these fears are pretty insignificant. They don't affect the course of my life much at all. But the fear of not having any money has made me an adamant saver which, in turn, makes me work hard so I don't have to experience the reality of being broke.
Then I asked myself, what are the other "fears" that I have which could actually benefit me?
1. There's the fear of failing.
2. The fear of regret. For not having experienced the life I wanted.
3. Fear of experiencing less than what is possible because I didn't try.
These fears lurk deep beneath the surface. They don't come up in casual conversations as easily as talking about being afraid of heights. In all honesty, being freaked out by a bunch of small holes is nothing compared to not having lived to my fullest potential. The normal fears that you and I have are fears that keep us paralyzed. We avoid action in order to avoid the experience. But there are greater, next level fears that serve a much higher purpose. If cultivated correctly, these "elevated fears" can help us become greater versions of ourselves.
Realize that focusing on being afraid of the dark, hating needles, or being scared in a thunderstorm is insignificant in the big scheme of things. Turn your focus to bigger fears, like Will Smith who once said that his biggest fear was being afraid. He didn't want to go through life being afraid to do anything. Now that's a fear that moves someone into powerful action.
It's up to you now to shift your focus and leverage your greatest fears so they bring you the highest good. Take a moment to identify your greatest fears. Not the things you are most afraid of, but the fears that if you faced head on, would create the greatest change in who you are.
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