I was recently introduced to a movie by Will Smith called After Earth, essentially about the world ending. There’s a line in the movie that Will Smith says that says “danger is real but fear is a choice.”
This statement, if we tell ourselves when we face fear, we are all going to face these moments that seem dangerous to us, maybe physically, emotionally, mentally, where we are going to struggle. Fear sets in, we are prone to have fear, to be scared of the outcomes, to be scared of walking on a stage, to be scared of doing something new, scared of rejection, scared of being not good enough, fear of not reaching our goals… Fear is a real thing. But it’s also a choice.
Fear is one of these things that I think we grapple with in really owning and recognizing fear and working through it. Usually the fear we face is not something that is dangerous, like our lives are not being threatened, our children’s lives are not being threatened. There are obviously exceptions. Most of the time we are not actually facing dangerous situations, we are facing situations that feel dangerous but really aren’t. We are in fear. We are living in a state of “what if I can’t do this, what if I can’t do that?” That fear represents itself as danger. Recognizing that danger is not real and fear is a choice and if we can constantly remind ourselves of that, we can address and approach our fear with strength, with vulnerability, with accountability, with empathy. We have tools in our tool chest that we are slowing learning.
Empower yourself with the tools so that when moments of fear grip you, you allow yourself to be vulnerable and to work through that moment to get to the other side where you’ll have accomplished and gotten through the fear. Usually you’ll learn from it.