There’s a quote by Joseph Campbell that says “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” I love this quote because it’s so spot on the truth about what fear is. Fear literally keeps us from all the good things in our life if we allow it. We fear failure. We fear rejection. We fear being told no. We fear being shunned, ridiculed or laughed at. We even fear fear itself. Fear can keep us in a stranglehold if we let it.
One of the things that fear does is keep us from taking the leap to do something we really desire to do. We may think we’ll fail so instead we never even try in the first place. When that happens regret steps into fear’s place. As time goes by we are haunted by thoughts of “if only” and “what if”. We wonder what our life would be like had we been brave enough to take that leap. Sometimes that regret turns into bitterness. The bitterness can turn into anger at ourselves for not even trying. It’s a vicious cycle and it’s quite unpleasant.
If we never try we’ll never know if we could have succeeded in what we wanted to do. In never trying we are denying ourselves the opportunity for growth. Letting fear dictate our actions keeps us in a prison of sorts. We need to work to overcome our fear so we can break free of that prison.
There have been far too many things in my life that I didn’t do out of fear. I was afraid to do them because people told me they were stupid. I was afraid to do them because I thought I’d fail. I was afraid to do them simply because I was just too afraid. I’m braver now than I was when I was younger but fear still plays too big a part of my life. I am trying to vanquish it for good. There are a few things I really, truly want to do right now but fear is still holding me back. The only thing I can do is work harder to overcome my fear. When I do it will be quite liberating.
My son is at a crossroads right now where he knows the direction he wants to go but fear and worry has a tight grip on him. I can’t tell him what to do or make the decision for him. Only he can do that. Even though he’s an adult he’s still my child and I want to fix everything for him. That’s what mother’s do…..they make everything ok. Since he is an adult the only thing I can do is offer encouragement and support in whatever he decides to do. I know where his heart lies in this matter and that’s really the direction he should go. He should take a leap of faith and just GO. Go and never, EVER look back. I don’t want him to have the regrets and the “if only’s” and “what if’s” when he’s older. I don’t want him to feel regret, bitterness and anger at himself for having never tried. Even if it doesn’t work out for him at least he tried. I want my son to know this; if you don’t try you’ve already failed. And it you don’t go into that cave you fear to enter then you’ll never find your treasure.