Facing Your Fear

Power for Today

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

(Nelson Mandela)


From Timothy

There comes a point in our life when we have to make a decision. We can stay where we are, safe in what we know – or we can step forward into something new. Behind us lies the safety of stability, of the known, the comfort of the familiar. Ahead of us, if we choose, lies the uncertainty of the new; the excitement of fresh opportunities and the possibility of failure.

That picture above is when I decided to forsake the safety of a perfectly good aeroplane for the thrill of a leap through the skies, relying on my parachute to open above me….

I suspect you’ve seen those movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark: somewhere, there is always a rope bridge to cross. One one side there is the safety of a secure and stable rock – and in front of you is the possibility of a new discovery, of treasure, of adventure – of possibility. But in between you and your future is a scary, frail construction of wood and rope, swaying wildly in the wind over a chasm cut deep into the earth, where a raging river waits to claim you should you fall. As you gaze out across that yawning divide, you have to decide… go on… or go back?

As you set off across that bridge, the first few steps seem simple enough. But when you get further, it starts to sway, to rock… you find yourself gripping tighter and tighter to the ropes as the planks under your feet threaten to come loose. Your friends on the side might well be urging you to stay behind, to come back to them, to retreat to the safety of the group – to give up the wild dreams of making it to the promise of the other side. What seemed sturdy and safe before you set out now seems frail and insubstantial. As you get to the middle, you succumb to the screaming demands of your irrational thoughts – and look down. A thousand metres below you, the river rages over needle sharp rocks, the fury threatening to sweep you away. The bridge seems more fragile, more threatening, more tenuous than when you started. Do you return to safety? Do you cling, petrified, to the ropes, unable to move for fear? Or do you carry on, hand over hand, footstep after footstep – ignoring the demands of your fears, and concentrating on what lies ahead of you?

Inch by precious inch, you step forward towards a new promise, a new safety… and with a sigh of relief, you collapse, exhausted, onto the other side.

For each of us there will be moments when we have to step into the unknown. We know that on our decision, on our action, lies the promise of our future. In the actions and resolve of one moment in time lies the opportunity to walk, head held high, into our dreams.

It’s over to you . . .

I hope that you take the brave path. Life for you begins when you step out of your comfort zone – when you look into the face of your fears and take hold of the promise – to decide to pursue your dreams. Refuse to die with the song inside you left unsung. It will take courage. It will take determination. But it will bring you into a more wonderful place than you can imagine. It’s your time… to succeed

…and remember – you are amazing!


PS – I’m overcoming my own fears by releasing something that I have been working on for several months – it’s probably my deepest and most intimate piece of work to date, and putting it out there is causing me to draw on more of my internal courage and faith than ever before. Saturday, August 6th, 10am. There – now I’m committed!

original text and images © Timothy Hodgson 2011

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