Conversation with Fear

Have you ever wanted to talk to your fears? Now is your chance.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a real-life conversation with fear?

Over the years, I’ve actually spent more time than I’m willing to admit thinking about what Fear would actually look like if it somehow morphed into a human being. Without fail, I always ended up picturing Fear as a scary (duh), faceless, miserable, and hateful old man.

And he’s insane too–but I’m sure that you already knew that.

That’s why I need to kill this “Fear” guy once and for all, and I’m going to do it right here in this blog post.

As you can imagine, this crotchety old geezer wasn’t easy to kill off, but The Positivity Solution was more than up to the task. Below I’m letting you in on the exclusive transcript of his long-overdue death.

Enjoy!

The Death of Fear

The Positivity Solution (Me): Today is the day when I’ll finally be able to give you the long-overdue killing that you so desperately deserve. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m incredibly giddy about this. <rubs hands together excitedly>

FEAR: <chuckle> Sounds like a lot of empty tough talk to me. So you’re going to kill me, huh? And how exactly are you planning to do that?

Me: Well, uh…

FEAR: Interesting. Clearly you didn’t give this much thought.

Look son, I’m untouchable. I’ve been around since the beginning of time and I’ll be here until the end of time–trust me, I’m not going anywhere. People far better than you have tried to kill me off and failed miserably. But I’ll humor you and allow you to embarrass yourself in front of your readers for a little bit because you seem like you’ve got some spunk.

Me: I hate you, you know that?

FEAR: You “hate” me? How is spreading hate positive? If anything, you should be thanking me instead of hating me.

Me: You really are insane, aren’t you? I should thank you for what, exactly?? You ruin lives constantly, you cause people to die with their hopes and dreams inside of them, and without question you’re the #1 enemy of living a meaningful life. I honestly can’t stand you.

FEAR: Oh really? If it weren’t for me, your silly ass would be running into oncoming traffic, jumping out of 3rd story windows, and juggling chainsaws just for the hell of it. Like I said earlier, you should be thanking me. Without me, you’d be dead–believe that.

Me: You don’t get any credit for any of those things, old man. I learned those lessons from common sense, not fear. Here’s what you do get credit for, though:

Because of you, it took me close to three long years before I hit the “Publish button” on my first blog post.

Because of you, I spent the majority of my adult life running from every opportunity to speak in front of an audience.

Because of you, I almost stayed at my soul-destroying job because I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to find another decent job in this economy.

My entire life you’ve always been there trying to convince me to live a small and pitiful life–and unfortunately, you’ve actually succeeded quite a few times too.

FEAR: You really don’t get it, do you? I was trying to protect you and save you from pain.

Do you remember the other blogs/business ideas you started that crashed and burned in miserable fashion? Do you remember the time when you tried to speak in front of that all-staff meeting at your company, but you were so nervous that you forgot your words and looked like an illiterate fool in front of your colleagues? Do you remember how terrible your life was for 6 months after you quit your “soul-destroying” job and you had ZERO income coming in? Do you remember how stupid you felt? Do you remember how embarrassed you were? Do you remember how much of a miserable failure everyone thought you were?

Well, I remember. 

Believe me, there are plenty more examples, but I’ll spare you the torture of listing out all of your failures in front of your readers. On a “positive” note, by living in fear, you’ll never have to feel those awful feelings again.

That’s why you need to thank me, you ingrate.

Me: So, let me get this straight–in your expert opinion, it’s better to live in fear by never taking a calculated risk? You really are insane.

FEAR: You’re missing the point, again. It’s an inarguable fact that people fail in life far more often than they will ever succeed. That’s why living a comfortable, risk-free life is the only key to happiness. My job is to consistently remind people of their past failures and past pain, so that they will stay safe by doing whatever is necessary to avoid experiencing that pain again.

We actually have more in common than you might think–we both want people to live their best lives. But unlike you, I’m not asking people to invite pain, failure, and misery into their lives in order to do it. Really, who’s the insane one?

Me: The saddest thing about your spiel is that a lot of people will blindly follow your life-destroying advice, and they won’t realize the bum deal you’re selling them until they’re on their death beds full of regret and inconsolable sadness.

You are the #1 reason why people live smaller lives than the one they could experience. The examples are too numerous to mention:

So many people stay in emotionally-abusive relationships because they are too scared to leave.

So many people never set foot inside of a gym and reclaim their health because they are scared that other people may laugh at them.

So many people don’t start their dream business/blog because they are scared that they would fail in a publicly humiliating fashion.

All of this and so much more is what you have done, and you’re slowly destroying even more lives as I’m typing this. I’ve seen enough, and it’s time for me to do what I should have done a long time ago:

I’m going to kill you right here so that you’ll never ruin another person’s life ever again.

FEAR: <yawn> Yeah, yeah…whatever. I’ve heard that before. I’m tired of listening to you and your useless positivity garbage.

Look son, at the end of the day, I will control more lives and influence more behavior than your silly little blog will ever be able to do. You can share your mindless blog posts with all of your friends and family, plaster your annoying smiley face all over the internet, and tell the world about living their “best lives” until you’re blue in the face (which would be pretty hard for you), and it won’t change this obvious fact:

You can’t kill me because I can’t die.

Me: That’s where you’re wrong. I don’t need to kill you, because you’re already dead.  More specifically, you were never alive to begin with.

FEAR: <nervously> Uh…excuse me?

Me: You’re like the boogeyman that a little kid believes is living under his bed. Once you shine the light on it, even a child can’t help but to realize that it was all make believe and that there was nothing there to begin with. There’s nothing to you at all, because you’re not real. You never have been and you never will be.

Your name actually says it all: Fear is nothing more than False Evidence Appearing Real. There’s nothing to be scared of because you’re just an illusion, a fraud, and a complete lie that is not worth believing in for a minute longer.

Anyone has the power to kill you forever by simply staring into your dead, lifeless eyes and finding the courage to do what scares them.

Once they do that, you no longer have any power and you’re effectively dead.

FEAR: <condescending applause> Okay, okay…so you’ve figured me out. Who cares? It doesn’t matter anyway.

Most people in this world (including you and most of your readers), believe deeply in me. They have given me control of the steering wheel of their lives, and to them–I’m very real. They’ll never find the courage to kill me because they’re too scared, too wrapped up in their cozy comfort zones, and too paralyzed by their insecurities to ever do it.

The only way that you will be able to kill me for good is to convince a world full of cowards that something positive can come from confronting their greatest fears.

Good luck with that.

Me: Thanks but I won’t need it. Your secret is out, and now it’s simply about spreading the word. You had a good run old man, but the positivity movement has already begun and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. The days of accepting a smaller life in the name of “playing it safe” is over as of today.

We’re not scared anymore.

FEAR: Yeah, we will see about that, won’t we?

One thing that I know for sure is that you can never overestimate the laziness, deep insecurities, and cowardice of the people in this world, so I like my chances of keeping my reign of terror going for a long time.

Me: Wrong again, old man. More accurately, you can never underestimate the power of a good idea–and finding the courage to overcome our fears by feeling the fear and doing it anyway is the only idea that makes any sense.

I guess that I like my chances too.

Your Turn

Have you allowed the insanity of fear to control your life for longer than it should? Have you broken free from your comfort zone by doing something that really scared you? Either way, jump into the comments below and make your voice heard!

Shola

Shola

Founder of The Positivity Solution
Author, keynote speaker, and kindness extremist who is committed to changing the world by helping as many people as possible to live and work with more positivity.
Shola
Shola

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Comments

  1. Wow Thank you. You truly are a gifted writer, keep writing. I shall forward this to my friends 🙂 xx The timing of this article is superb…Feel the fear and do it anyway – I love that…x

  2. Shola, I love this post, and this blog. The positivity movement is growing, all thanks to you. I have told everyone that you have changed my life, for the better, and it all starts with the no negativity weekend challenge, which I would encourage everyone to try 🙂 Thank you Shola for starting the positivity solution.

    • Tessa, that is HIGH praise my friend–thank you! You are such an inspiration to me and it’s an honor to know that I’ve touched your life in a positive way. Thanks so much for being here and for being a key part of the solution!

    • Tell me more about No Negativity Weekend!

      • Hey Peter–it’s basically going an entire weekend without complaining about anything. Trust me, it’s a lot harder than it sounds, but the long-term effects can be life-changing. Try it out and see for yourself!

  3. Again with the perfect timing!!! I’m getting everything together to be the team captain for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Colorado Springs, which is going to involve some fundraising. I’ve never been good at asking people for things. I don’t like being turned down and told no. It was always easier in the past to just avoid the situation. I put myself into the Team Captain role to face this head on. You can’t raise money for cancer research if you don’t ask for it. And guess what… People are going to say no. I have to learn to say thanks anyway, and move on. Thank you, Shola! You are truly an inspiration!

    “Courage is not the lack of fear but the ability to face it.” ~Lt. John B. Putnam Jr.

    • Valisa, I am SO with you on this! Asking people for things has always been a challenge for me, and it only got easier once I faced the fear head on and just did the damn thing. Interestingly enough, I found that it was always easier to ask for things if the cause was something that I deeply believed in. That’s why there is no doubt in my mind that you’ll wildly succeed in the Team Captain role for the American Cancer Society. It’s a cause that anyone can fight for, and most importantly, it’s a cause that’s so much bigger than the possible “No’s” you might receive along the way. You got this, mama–and as always, I’ll be rooting for you!

  4. You really are a great writer… I’m going to tell Oprah!!! Fear is so silly!

    • Thanks Sharon! Tell Oprah that I’ll give her a free Positivity Solution shirt if she has me on her show ;). And you’re right–fear is silly, and it’s time for us to stop believing in him and start believing in ourselves instead.

  5. Shola, what a powerful post! Thank you! I was afraid of failure for decades. My greatest achievement in life was total mastery of playing it safe. But as I got older, and my grandparents and then parents died, I realized, it doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do, or how well any of it turned out. You still die one day. Along the way, failure is a natural process, just a normal part of life. You fall down, you get up, you go on.
    I’ve been learning to fail, look stupid, make people shake their heads…and I am finally really enjoying life. Hey, I didn’t kill the Fear guy, I left him in the corner talking to himself! Hee hee!

    • Thanks Donna! I have also feared failure for years and I can definitely relate to playing it safe too. You said it brilliantly–no matter what, we’re all going to die eventually, we’re all going to fail at something, we’re all going to look stupid at one time or another…that’s a normal part of life. The key is to get up, dust ourselves off, and keep it moving. That’s what life is all about, right? As for the Fear guy, it’s okay if he’s not completely dead–as long as he’s not bothering you, then I’m good with that 🙂

  6. One of my favorite quotes is, “Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.”

    We give fear power. The little cautions that our brains issue to keep us safe are not supposed to prevent us from living our lives! Impulse control is healthy…. refusing to try is not.

    Thank you for sharing your conversation with us. I am sure that some people out there will continue to live in fear… but not me! 😉

    • Kathy, that’s one of my favorite quotes too! Everyday we’re presented with that choice: we either believe in ourselves (faith), or we believe in our fears–but we can’t do both. And like you said, there’s nothing healthy about refusing to try due to fear. I’m glad that you’re with me by committing to not let fear control us!

  7. That was quite amusing! I have many fears that I have yet to conquer. The only fear I killed was death.

  8. Wonderful post, as always, Shola! I just love reading your blog every Monday and I love the way you make me analyze things. I’m still analyzing this fear thing and I may always be analyzing it, but I wanted to leave you a quote from one of my favorite authors.

    “Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.”
    ― C. JoyBell C.

    • That’s so nice to hear, thanks Spring! If I can make the most dreaded day of the week something to look forward to, then I have officially done my job ;). By the way, I absolutely LOVE that quote and might have to use it on The Positivity Solution Facebook page–stay tuned!

  9. Thank you for doing what you do and putting it out here. I found your blog by searching about being one’s own hero. I realized a couple months ago that being happy is REALLY a choice and one that I can make over and over again every moment. It is not easy to convey the gravity of that. It’s life changing. It is a dawning. Anyway, seriously been dealing with fear lately and my prayers have been two: I want to be unafraid (so removed from fear that I can’t find the word unrelated to fear to express it) and I want to cause myself no harm (does anyone harm us besides ourselves really?). I’m over fear! I get how much I Rule Me and how this is My World. So, I’ve been reading through your posts and they are succinct, funny and provide real-life ways to keep it moving towards being a real example of a positive being. And, I am “one of those people” that rarely “comments”. Thank you.

    • Hey Nin! It’s always awesome when a long-time reader, but rare commenter, jumps into the fray! First of all, thanks for the kind words about the blog, it is greatly appreciated. Also, I’m with you 100%–it is life-changing once we realize that we are 100% in charge of our own happiness. Not our boss, not our significant other, not our bank account balance–it is up to us. I also liked your point that no one really is able to truly harm us besides ourselves, that’s an excellent point that I never really thought of before. Thanks again for your comment Nin, and I hope to see you again soon!

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