Being Afraid Can Help You
So you realized something about yourself recently: you realized that life is slipping you by while you sit back afraid to take it by the horns. Well it’s time to turn that new outlook to your advantage!
Where you were once convinced by all the lines and ideologies that told you it was better to numb yourself from the fear of life and its uncertainty, now you know better and feel differently about things. Hidden in this new struggle is strength, and if you know why it exists and where, you might be able to figure out your own struggle a little faster.
And that’s why this article is here: to give you a start on finding strength in that struggle and your newfound connection with fears you never had before.
For the first time in a long time you feel a twang of fear, and you know it matters, and that makes more difference than you know.
The Unwelcome Visitor
I was once here too, stressing and struggling against the denial prevalent in our society, and overcoming the guilt and blame it puts on us. But in the end, that guilt only means one thing: it means you are starting to pay attention, starting to care, starting on a path to thinking for yourself.
And while facing that twang of fear, you also have to face that you’ve been put in a corner, neglected, and expected to accept mediocrity.
Fear – our unwelcome little friend – causes us to panic, act stupid, and in desperation abandon our good sense. We start blaming ourselves, we start doubting ourselves, we start asking for someone else to tell us what to do.
We blame that old crush, we are more willing to snap at girls we don’t know in some way, we give up in small or sometimes big ways; playing video games, getting lost in work, telling ourselves it is better to be numb and comfort ourselves in our own internal world.
And when a girl finally falls into that web we jealously guard her even though she “is not enough for us”, while at the same time we blame her for the condition of our life not being like it could be.
We are consumed, overwhelmed, and seemingly stuck in this bind… But is there a hope in this fear we overlook?
At first sight it seems like this fear is as destructive as anything ever could be, but that isn’t entirely true. This fear, while very dangerous left unattended, is actually a powerful ally if you come to challenge it and let it pull you out of numbing yourself from life’s risks. If commanded, this fear is the key to a larger-than-life you!
This little twang can cause you to put value on the details of your actions and help you apply instantaneous effort rather than delay your efforts. Focusing on details, caring about how things turn out, and applying instantaneous effort, are hugely impactful to lasting success, especially if they become habits.
We’ve all had those times in our life where we just couldn’t stop blaming ourselves and wanted to be different, but when our habits are shaped by instantaneous effort and attention to detail, those kinds of holes cannot hold you forever.
What Good is Fear?
This fear running over you is just hormones, and, if you have the habits that lead to getting back up rather than numbing yourself, nothing will stop you. No one is going to count how many times you got knocked down.
And if you capture that little twang of fear and face life courageously without it overcoming you or you numbing yourself to it, it is going to speak louder than words can about how you feel about yourself.
Carrying a small twang of fear is the beginning of strong interpersonal confidence.
That little twang of fear is a tool, and so long as you respect it, you can learn to master it, control it, and stop it ever running you over or causing you to lash out. And it is when you can do this that you will feel truly capable of taking control of your own life, and with it you will be able to call your own shots and improve everyday for the rest of your life, happily knowing that you’ll never let it command your life again.
So let’s get back to reality a moment and ask, “How does this actually work with women?”
I have this little story that comes to mind: I was sitting in a bar with a friend, and at this point I was affluent when it came to talking to women, and I said to him “None of these girls here are really enough to make me afraid”, and he replied, “That is a good thing isn’t it?” and I said in response, “No... It isn’t”. We eventually got up and walked through the crowd and these three girls surrounded us and were talkative, but my friend and I just smiled politely and ignored them as we walked past.
This little story shows exactly how we operate when we refuse to be
on our toes because we lack fear – we
not only don’t act on opportunities,
we discourage them!
We start preferring to be in our own world rather than be surprised and discover what is around us, and it is exactly that attitude that leads us to box ourselves in and place ourselves and our own life in a little corner. There is always a reason why acting on your toes matters now, IF you look for it!
That twang of fear is crucial in that process, and by extension the process of interaction itself.
Fear’s Great Secret
The secret to fear is, when you recognize there is something to truly lose, you remember the worth of what can be gained... and if you step up to that task you may have a shot at helping it come to pass.
If nothing is on the line, you will not perform; but if things are on the line, you will and had better bring your A game.
Okay, so now that you get the idea, let’s boil this down and look at the example of a college student who has bitten into the belief that college itself would bring him women if only he showed up.
This guy is fortunate enough to have read something that expanded his mind and made him realize that he has to get out there and do things or the opportunities of college are going to pass him by.
This guy has a few options:
He can say “Screw it, college isn’t everything, I have the rest of my life to get around to this, I’ll just nibble at the edges for now and see how that goes” and instead of actively work on getting girls, he just coasts.
He can rush out there to learn game with blind enthusiasm and get weird looks from people and go back home at night scratching his head and find out how hard it is.
He can stop a moment, gulp, and say, “Oh no.”
“Oh no” is the correct option here because he feels the uncomfortable welling up of fear and all the burdens it carries. In the other two options he escapes this somehow – he postpones accountability, either by saying “tomorrow” or by saying “anything will do”.
But in the third option he is smart enough to realize that neither of those are going to work, and after figuring that out he instantaneously (if he applies effort) can come to understand the importance of time pressure and intelligent approach.
Now of course our college student has no idea what an intelligent approach is nor how to resolve this time pressure, but he is on the right track, because he is juggling the balls and keeping them in the air, and this keeps him safe from the dangers of deluding himself into a placid state of mind.
Welcoming the Unwelcome
Let’s catch up with our college student weeks later.
Perhaps we expect him to be out and doing things right because he was afraid. But instead we find him on the couch, one hand down his pants, a movie on his laptop, and the other hand in a bag of chips.
At first we might think he has made a huge error, but that isn’t true, because suddenly he gets this twang of fear in the back of his mind again, and while he considers pushing it away and continuing watching the movie, he shuts the top of it, face palms, and says “What am I doing!?”.
He rubs his face, takes a few short sharp breaths and gains some resolve: “I’m supposed to be doing something”. He tries to frantically figure out what to do, and eventually just decides to put on some pants and go out.
He is at the bar all alone, calls up his friend, texts a few others. Some say they might come, others are at home watching a movie. He orders a beer to not look too out of place, and the girl behind the bar makes an off-hand comment about something, which he politely smiles to and responds back.
He isn’t a hero, or some remarkable guy instantly, he is just out there instead of at home alone, and he is put out of his comfort zone getting pinged in small ways he never would have been if he wasn’t afraid of where he was going.
If he sticks to those little twangs of fear and continuously acts on them, learning as he goes, he’ll eventually turn around and realize that a year has passed and the reason he was learning and doing while others weren’t was because he cares, was afraid, and saw a little bit of hope in going out there and facing what others usually don’t.
Without him knowing it, his fear already changed his life, and it is in small ways like this, not huge and obvious ways, that going with that twang of fear will separate you from everyone else and give you a chance to make it, even if you have to find a lot of the way on your own.
Mastering fear like this can also be taken a step further when you start to realize that the times when you are afraid of talking to women are the best times to not delay accountability. If the fear is in your control, and if you don’t get desperate or irrationally entitled or sour, you have a real chance of actually paying attention to details and applying instantaneous effort, and by extension encouraging good things to happen!
There is a lot of wisdom in this idea if you can find it. That twang of fear isn’t hopelessness, it’s the seed of a new strength you haven’t yet completely built up. It is in your ability to start connecting with others and to start creating habits that will help you do right by your life. By extension, that little twang of fear can help you grow.
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