We all know about fear. We know it thinks it’s big and bad and we know it believes it should always be spelled in capital letters. We’ve learned to laugh in the face of fear, and call it for what it is: a bully. And we know bullies never win, right? Right! Not convinced? No worries. Take a minute and read this and this.
We get comfortable with fear. We know when it will show up. We know when we set the table, it’s liable to pull up a chair and try to force its way into the conversation while eating up all the mashed potatoes. Yeah. We’ve got fear’s number. It’s not that fear doesn’t still show up. It does. But now we know it when we see it, and we know how to deal with it when it shows up.
Then, one day, we set the table and find new little bullies pulling up a chair and rolling up their sleeves. They are greedy and pushy and they drool and slobber. They knock over the milk and they eat with their hands. They blow their noses on the linen napkins and then they hang from the chandelier while squirting ketchup across the room. “Well,” we say to ourselves from our seat at the table, “this is something new.” We park our elbows on the table and wonder what to do next, and then we duck before getting hit in the head with a flying utensil.
Sometimes, when we wear fear out with our courage and bravery, it gets wise and sends in reinforcements. fear calls up his cousins and invites them to your place for dinner. Yep. That’s who’s sitting at your kitchen table, or at your desk next to your laptop, or on your easel, or in the audience where you’re supposed to speak, or in the bed in the middle of your marriage, or in the classroom, or at the gym on the treadmill next to you.
I think it’s best to call these cousins out and let them know we’re on to them. complacency. stubbornness. inferiority. Just to name a few. These little bullies don’t look like fear, but they have the same result. They keep us in our seats, unwilling to move forward, unable to push through, unready to dream bigger dreams that will change the world.
Have you met a few of fear’s cousins? Are they taking up room at your table? Let’s call them out in the comments, and let’s let them know we’re on to them.