“Never leave until tomorrow that which you can do today.” – Benjamin Franklin
Grey’s Anatomy. You’ve likely heard of or are an avid follower of this Seattle-based TV medical drama now in its 14th season. Several million viewers tune in weekly for each episode. Millions more binge-watch past episodes on Netflix. And it’s one of the most successful TV dramas ever.
Susan and I enjoy watching this series, but there are two parts of each episode that I enjoy the most … the beginning and ending. This is when the main character, Meredith Grey, shares some lightly philosophical views of the world from her point of view.
For instance, one episode started with this observation:
“I don’t know why we put things off but, if I had to guess, I’d say it has a lot to do with fear. Fear of failure, fear of pain, fear of rejection. Sometimes we fear simply making a decision because, what if you’re wrong, what if you’re making a mistake you can’t undo?”
In our last blog post, titled The Cowardly Lion, we addressed this issue of fear and courage but, the more I research this idea of fear keeping us from becoming all we are meant to be, the more I realize it deserves more than a single blog post. In particular I think it is worth taking the time to consider the implications of how fear keeps us from making decisions that could be great for us.
Do you think this is accurate? Do you think fear actually keeps us from doing things … even things that could turn out great? Take a minute here. Think back over your life. When has fear kept you from making a decision to do something you either needed or wanted to do? For some of us, we may not have to go back much further than a week or so.
Now … think through that decision. What was at the root of that fear? Do you wish now that you had moved forward? Is it too late to reconsider? Should you?
I believe we all desire to experience life as fully as we can and yet we allow fear to keep us from much of it. The more I speak with and coach folks, the more convinced I am that fear is at an epidemic level. This isn’t based on any qualitative research I’ve conducted but rather on the real-life realities I see and hear all around me. I bet you see it too.
What can we do about it? We can start with ourselves. We often have 20/20 vision when we look into a friend’s life and “clearly” see that they are letting fear hold them back. Yet, the mirror seems a bit foggy when we look at our own situations.
Take some serious time … just you and a journal … and look forward at opportunities you are now considering or are about to. How might fear be driving any of those decisions? Then consider how Meredith Grey ends the same episode quoted above:
“Even the biggest failure, even the worst, most intractable mistake beats the hell out of never trying.”
Move beyond fear this year. Start living life the way it was intended for you to live it.
Blessings on your continuing journey,
Author | Speaker | Coach