Anyone can do it, but it’s about determination, it’s about how important finishing what you’ve started is to you even when things get hard. You have to mean it with every fiber of your being when you are reciting your pledge and you say those words — ‘I overcome all my fears!’ Those words have to rattle through your bones and they can’t stop moving through you ’til you’re done. Doesn’t matter what the fear is, a fear of failing, of falling, of heights, of water, of closed spaces or open ones or crowds.”
I wrote these words two years ago, shortly after running my first ever Tough Mudder endurance event. They were part of a longer post about what it takes to run an event like TM, but the gist of it is pretty much summed up in that little snippet.
At the beginning of the race everyone gets together, hundreds of people. You make a pledge to yourself and your team, and at the end of that pledge you speak together, in one loud roar that echoes through the crowd and through your very being:
“I overcome all my fears.”
The energy that seems to emanate from those words, especially spoken as one part of a larger whole, was especially powerful to me; whenever I hear them or read them, it touches me deeply.
This is true now more than ever. There is no room for fear in our world anymore, there is already far too much of it.
We must stand together, respecting and playing our parts as tiny sparks in one, much bigger, brighter light. Life can feel like an endurance event. Heck, it is an endurance event! There are obstacles, and it is tempting, in the face of the challenges that come, to hang back and hide our sparkle for fear of it being snuffed out.
We must soldier on, with love in our hearts. We must put pride behind us — jealousy, insecurity, self-sabotage and self-reproach, guilt, anger, resentment, bitterness, all of it. We must forget to beat the old drums stretched with the skins of stories no longer relevant, stories that hold us back and keep fear embedded in our souls, we must reach out with compassion and love, free from ego, reach as hard as we possibly can.
We must be selfless, which requires letting go of the little voice we hold on to that tells us we are unsafe, unworthy, incapable or unable to do the things we most crave to do, to help and to heal and to grow. Holding on to that voice is in itself selfish, protecting ourselves from the possibility of rejection or failure because it is easier to not try at all than to try and to fall.
That’s not where we are anymore, and that’s not what we are here for. To snuff out the light of just one human being, even if that human being is you, is an act against humanity, because one light shining especially bright is all it takes to change the world.
Even if the light that you dim is your own, you are stealing light from a world that desperately needs it, and you are doing so out of fear of what-ifs and maybes and things that have not yet happened. These times we are in, every life matters; more than that, every light matters.
To shy away and hold back is no longer an option; we need everyone to make the changes our planet needs to see.
Every action we take, wherever possible, must be free of ego and fear. There is an answer to the question you ask, and the answer will be no different if you don’t ask the question at all.
It is scary, and that’s okay. It is scary to step into your power, it’s scary to open your heart and soul for everyone to see. When you follow your passion and try something you haven’t dared to try before, that is exactly what you do — you make yourself vulnerable to hurt and pain, and that is allowed to be scary.
It’s okay to have fear, but we can’t act on it anymore. Fear disables and weakens us when we need strength the most. It spikes through our bodies and paralyzes us, and we make bad decisions because all we can think of in that moment is escaping the awful feeling consuming us.
We say and do things we don’t mean.
So it is okay to have fear, but then it must be set aside. Fear will tell you to turn back, to take the easy road, to withhold your truth and the wisdom that creeps up from deep within your soul. It will tell you those parts of you will be crushed if you go on, and it will tell you to harden your heart.
Please, I beg of you for us all, don’t.
We need your heart now.
We must use it in the little moments we so often crush when that tiny voice rears its head and tells us to hush, keep walking, or turn back, or look the other way, or say what is easy instead of what is right. In the moment when fear awakens within us and it is so hard to be bigger than the small we have tried to pretend to be for so long, we must use our true voice and be strong, not only for ourselves anymore.
This blog was originally posted on Rebelle Society at -