Fear of the one thing

“What you are afraid to do is a clear indicator of what you need to do next.” ~Anonymous (from @Intentdotcom)

I had a short conversation with a friend today on Facebook about why the thing we want to do most is so often the thing that we are most afraid to do. Although our exchange was very brief, the thought has stuck with me all day as I have pondered the ways I repeatedly avoid doing the thing I most long to do … the thing that is very much on my mind after a different Facebook friend asked me last night exactly what I’m doing about this one thing.

I always have some justification for why this is not the best time for me to do that one thing, and my justifications usually sound quite logical. Very practical and reasonable even! The truth is that I’m just scared. Terrified, really.

What if I do this thing that I long to do, and I fail at it? The very thought takes my breath away. It’s easier to just not try than to think of failing at what matters most! But I’ll never get an A for adventure if I stay on the safe, practical, reasonable path. (And incidentally I’ll just note that my “one thing” was very much on my mind as I wrote yesterday’s post too.)

With this topic on my mind, I paid a little more attention than normal when a Facebook announcement crossed my wall about a group starting up later this month to focus on precisely that scary thing I so want to do. I have carefully read the entire website through several times, and I find myself equally attracted and terrified by the idea of participating.

I can think of all kinds of reasons why this is not a good time—Fall is a very time demanding season in my yard, I really can’t afford any more unnecessary expenses right now, I’m busy trying to start a business and don’t need to add anything else to my plate right now, I need to spend more of my time creating a social network and support system instead of holing myself away to work on this, I’m just not sure I’m ready to commit to tackling this just yet. These are all very reasonable, practical reasons for not doing this now. And they all really just boil down to “I’m scared!”

I even had another friend do a card reading for me this evening with the general intent of trying to determine whether I needed to move in this direction. The intent wasn’t as clearly formulated as focusing on this particular group opportunity. It was just a general inquiry about what I needed to be focusing on. The reading started with a focus on the anxiety around doing something, moved on to assure that victory was on the way, and then mentioned the help of others in getting there. (A very condensed version of the reading, mind you.) All of which would seem to point that this group may be just the thing.

And then the opening quote appeared on Twitter just as I was sitting down to write this. “What you are afraid to do is a clear indicator of what you need to do next.” Well, that’s certainly direct and the to-the-point, wouldn’t you say?

I’m still not quite ready to plunk my money down and commit. (What can I say? I’m REALLY scared!) But it’s pretty clear with this many synchronicities showing up around this message that it’s time for me to stop making excuses and get moving. Time for me to look the fear right in the eyes and do it any way.


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