Is fear keeping you back?

I recently was asked, “Is fear keeping you alive or is it keeping you from living?”

There are different kids of fears:

Good Fears – “Don’t pet the alligator” or “You should go to a doctor for that wound”
Irrational fears – “I swear that garden spider growled at me” or “that clown is following me”
Exciting fears – “Only 13,500 feet? parachute jump? sounds good…let’s do it”
Learned fears – “Bending my knee that way hurts”
Awesome fears -“Oh, we might get caught! Cooool”
Stupid fears – “I don’t think the check-out girl likes me” or “Nurses always use extra big needles on me”
Logical Fears – “Should I get a perm?” or “Is there a tattoo parlor open after 3am?”

So, I started making a mental list of my fears and apparently,  there are a lot of them, which surprised me as I am not a superstitious or wimpy person.  A sampling of my fear list includes, “losing my loved ones”, “aging badly”, “not being accepted”, “not pretty enough” and “pain”.  There are others, noted in the examples above.

Some fears are rooted in actual life experience, as I have lost people,  am getting older, have experienced rejection, have always had prettier people around me and have chronic knee pain.  Some fears are good as they do keep you alive and sane, but many of the same fears keep us from living, doing and experiencing life.

My knees are total jerks and all they do is whine and complain. Since I was 17, I have had surgeries, shots, injections,  literally I now have the knees of a 80 year old woman and replacement surgery is looming. Over the past few years,  I was depressed as I would say “I was an athlete” as sadly now after one event like dancing, I limp for 2 days. I have developed a fear of pain, which has made me use it as a crutch (tee-hee). Recently I have decided that “I am STILL a athlete”  as these idiot knees hurt no matter what. So while I will never Run with the Bulls  in Spain or win the Boston Marathon….now I do yoga, bike and walk and plan adding swimming to my list. Not the adrenaline fix I love,  but I am tired of sitting, anticipating, making excuses and getting fat over “what may happen”, so I will overcome the fear of pain, as overcoming a fear is a adrenaline fix in itself. It’s awesome.

Think of a fear you have.  Airplane travel? Bubbles? Jumping out of plane? Getting a new haircut? Moving to a new city? Leaving a bad marriage?  Taking a tap dancing class?  Making a new friend?  Standing up for yourself?

Is it a major life change or just out of your comfort zone? FEARS! Some fears are natural and healthy…others are not as we create and foster them. We can control and overcome the fears that limit us on our time on this earth.  Maybe swimming with sharks is a good fear, but then again, I have a friend who’s done it. Perhaps you’re miserable in your situation and want to do something new? It you can financially rationalize it, is it a fear that is keeping you?

Fears can keep you alive, but they can also make you feel alive.  Awesome like a roller coaster ride as they can open a doorway to a possibility, build your confidence and set you free.  It may be a lifelong journey to overcome fears, one at a time….but that’s called living to your full potential.

Take note, reflect and ask yourself, “Is fear keeping you alive or from living?

On a side-note, I just want to reiterate that a fear of clowns is completely rationale and grounded in fact. They are out to get us.



Andrea Leppert
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