Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Follow Your Fear

Joseph Campbell used to tell people to follow their bliss.

I think that's great advice. There are things that emerge, deep from within us, that simply must be done. Paths that must be taken. Our inspiration, at least most of the time, doesn't care if we're afraid, or worry about what others might think.

But sometimes there's something really, really big that cries out to be done. Something that's over the line of what you have done before. Where you really don't know if you can do it.

You may not even recognize your inspiration, because every time you get close to thinking about the really big thing, the fear kicks in and you shut down. This is your amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for the fight or flight impulse. Any time you don't feel safe, your amygdala floods your system with chemicals that tell you to get the hell out of there.

This fear is your friend. It's a roadmap that shows you the boundary between what you're comfortable doing and where you really begin to stretch. Work with this fear. Flirt with it. Go right to the edge of it. Push through it, and you'll see there are no limits.


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