What is Fear?

"What is a fear of living? It's being preeminently afraid of dying. It is not doing what you came here to do, out of timidity and spinelessness. The antidote is to take full responsibility for yourself - for the time you take up and the space you occupy. If you don't know what you're here to do, then just do some good." - Maya Angelou.

Today Maya Angelou, the great writer, and thinker passed away. Even beyond death she inspires me to examine fear in my own life. What does fear look like to me and do I let it dictate my actions or lack thereof? Maya reminds us that fear holds us back from doing what we are meant to do or doing good in the world. 

I want to live my life unafraid of fear. Fear is inevitable, part of the human condition. But we don't have to let fear control us. What exactly is fear anyways? Fear is your brain imagining the worst case scenario and then deciding it can't deal with that. But it's wrong. You can deal with it. Your fear does not have to stop you from taking leaps. 

What if fear had held Maya back? She never would have gone on to write one of the great literary works of our time. What if fear had held Neil Armstrong or Buzz Aldrin back? A great human achievement would never have happened. What if fear had held Nelson Mandela back or Gandhi or Mother Teresa or the countless other people who have forged on despite any reservations and changed the world? 

We are capable of amazing things! If not on a global scale then on a personal one which is just as important. Fear can strengthen but it should not control. It is my goal going forward to allow fear to exist but to push past it and act anyway so that I can do what I am here to do and hopefully do some good. 

Is there any fear in your life it's time you overcame?

Toronto Wedding Photographer