Once upon a time when I was younger and full of more idealistic views about life, I believed that fear was just a concept. I told myself, and anyone else who hung around long enough to be forced to listen, that if you decided not to be afraid of something, that something simply wouldn’t scare you anymore. I thought that if you pictured fear as another thing, like excitement or opportunity, then POW – you’d beaten it.
That was a nice time to be me. I did things that I wouldn’t normally have managed, like trying my fringe over the other side of my face and wearing tighter fitting jeans. Success became my best friend, simply because I was telling myself it was, and my junk looked fantastic. Phwoar.
Anyway, in short, I’ve spent a long time hardly ever getting scared by things. I was getting excited by them and occasionally watching horror movies on my own just before bed time instead because I’m a maverick.
That was, until, very recently. Because in the last few weeks stuff happened that was way out of my control and I got scared because there was naff all I could do about it. Without going into the kind of details that strangers on the internet like you won’t care about, I spent a shit load of time in hospital next to old men who didn’t understand how trousers worked. There is little more terrifying than a pensioner’s balls.
So that kind of fear pushed right past my bullshit about it being just a concept and shook me up a bit. I woke up each morning thinking, ‘Hey, there’s a whole load of stuff I want to do with my life that I’m yet to achieve. If I keep seeing balls before I go to sleep, I’m never going to get round to doing that.’ It made me see things in a new, mildly more colourful light, and I think that was only in part down to the strong medication I was being placed on.
Now I know what you’re thinking: What the bloody hell has this got to do with me and my life, Ash? We didn’t click this slightly misleading link for your sodding life story.
Well I am happy to say you will not leave entirely disappointed. Sure, you might leave a little disappointed, but that still means there’s a chance you’ll take away a slither of joy with you and if all I can offer is a slither then so be it.
The point is, for me, for you, for everyone else, that we don’t really have a great deal of say over what scares us, ultimately. We can conquer some fears, but when we face massive ones that seem all daunting and impossible to tackle we have no real option other than to sit there and cry.
What we do have control over, and I mean all the control in the world, is the stuff we do that makes us happy instead. When we face those dark moments in life and think, ‘There’s all this crap I want to do yet,’ well, what’s stopping us? A fear of failure is nothing compared to the sadness you’ll experience if you simply never try. So fuck fear and embrace possibilities. If you have a dream, don’t put it off until tomorrow; start chasing today. If you want to do something, start this very second in planning for it to happen.
Was that motivational enough for you, or did you just see it as a load of hot air from a man who is still on pretty powerful painkillers? Either way, go out and get shit done.
Only you can do it and now seems like a pretty good time to start.