32 before 32- Lesson 18: Face your Fears

Do one thing every day that scares you

Elenor Roosevelt

The above quote…is incorrect. Not in its merit but because the quote is incomplete. Elenor Roosevelt did say something along those lines, but the full quote is much more powerful:

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

E. Roosevelt

It is often said that fear is an indicator, a tool if you will. It is in our very being to respond to stimuli in our in our environment with comfort or protection. We are conditioned from the very beginning of our lives that anything that is dangerous should be avoided for fear of personal harm. And with good reason as well, because there is a lot in this world that can be considered dangerous and harmful to our physical wellbeing. As people mature and get more experiences in life, more of the dangerous situations we stay away from are psychological (emotional and mental). Some people call this guarding yourself against taking risks in which you could end up hurt or embarrassed.

While guarding yourself from embarrassment is a noble quality, but having the ability to discern which risks are healthy and encouraging to take is more helpful in the long run. Not every person knows how to face their fears in terms of risk taking, because on very rare occasions have people seen proper examples of healthy risk taking. To replace this lack of an example, people who want to take more risks will turn to someone who’s an expert in that field. Most commonly, this person is a writer/author. Authors have made this the subject of their writings for decades. Being able to decide which healthy risks will develop you into a more well rounded person has been the subject of many well known pieces of literature in human history. Self-help books like “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Sean Covey (I got the teenage copy when I was in 7th grade), You are a Badass by Jen Sincero, Getting Undressed by David Cooks Daring Greatly by Brené Brown are among some of my personal favorites. How ever my all time favorite self help book has to be Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. You know that timeless classic about not being afraid to go out on a limb to and risk take because you maybe like your new experience (thats totally what it is about, think about it and then you realize how eerily similar they are).

Alternate title: “How taking Risks may Help you Grow as a Person”

Jokes aside, doing something that actually scares you is one of the most courageous acts a person can do in their life. The growth that comes from fear is what can help or hinder someone in the long run. Fear, is a great tool but we mustn’t let fear paralyze us for our entire life. I have a good friend whose name is Nick. He has a Youtube channel called the Tao of Nick which talks about his journey (Tao) through life thus far. Nick and I met at a very vulnerable time in my life when I started a new job at an early childhood center. In our first year together, Nick and I butted heads a lot, due to us being two of the only men in the school and two very outgoing personalities. For some reason, 20 year old Kyle decided to make this a competition as if I was the new young lion trying my luck in this new pride. My fear of being seen as the second fiddle to Nick caused me to try to be more of an alpha male than I would like to admit. Nick and I have since made amends and have laughed at length about us being younger guys who didn’t know any better. One of Nick’s recent videos about Fear talks a lot about recognizing fear, using fear and growing from fear. I want to encourage you to watch his video. Besides being a stand up individual with a great message, his narration of his videos is like audio velvet to my brain. Also like and subscribe to his videos on Youtube. He releases new videos every Sunday afternoon.

As you go this week, I want you to try to do something that causes you fear. Maybe it is small talk (that’s mine for sure) with people. Perhaps it is facing an unattractive truth about who you are. Maybe it is picking up the phone and calling that person who you need to talk to. Whatever the task is understand this: your fear is valid, but living in fear is no way to go through life. Use that fear as a tool to guide your life but also as a way to grow. Expand your understanding of that fear. Reflect on why that fear hits you the way it does. Then try to get a plan together to combat and potentially conquer that fear. You matter, to me and I want you to continue to be your best. Take care of yourself today and always.


Check out “Tao of Nick” on Youtube. New videos are released every Sunday.

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