For Fear’s Sake

A common question that comes up:

How do I find my voice?

But it’s really the wrong question.

Voice may not come fast, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, you just have to embrace one essential truth, and the rest takes care of itself. Not to mention it makes for some damn fine business, too.

fearssake

Picture this:

You wake up. You’re hungry. It’s 10,902 B.C.

The first trace of light cuts deep into your cave, as the night chill fades. Your stomach growls, and you spot a big, juicy apple dangling from a tree in the distance. “Mmmm….apple, good,” you think to yourself.

You peer out to see if any big, nasty predators are lurking. You’re in the clear.

You look left. You look right. Your muscles tense, and you dart out like a gazelle. You’re so close. It’s nearly within reach, when just a scant couple of steps away from your oh-so-juicy prize, a bear pounces, Revenant style. Game over.

THIS is why we have fear.

Lodged deep in our lizard brains is a primitive and powerful instinct that knows one small misstep can make mincemeat of us all. Or bear food.

But, we no longer live in that world.

And what fear isn’t for is anxiety over which brand of toilet paper to buy, whether wearing the wrong shirt will destroy your social life, or the idea that posting the wrong picture or saying the wrong thing will be the end of you.

Is it really going to kill you if you post the shot you secretly want to post? Will it really ruin you to just say what you think?

Of course not.

But fear is a powerful instinct. Unfortunately, it’s also death. It will paralyze you, telling you to run from the hard calls that define you and show people who you are.

But you have to make the call. Business only gives you two choices:

You can choose not be hated. Or you can be loved. But you can’t be both.

You’re either hired for doing things different or doing them the same. One raises your value. One lowers your value. One makes you remembered. One leaves you forgotten. One is you. The other is everyone else.

Because we may not all be able to be great. But we can all be exceptional.

Being exceptional is nothing more than being willing to embrace your own glorious differences. Differences that are always there. Already in your possession. And availed to every person on the planet.

In other words, you don’t need to find your voice. It will find you.

But voice is fragile and delicate thing. You have to nurture it. It won’t survive in a world ruled by fear and doubt. Build a habit of boldness, daring yourself to constantly embrace your own unending change. If you do, voice will simply pour out of you. You don’t have to find it. If not, it withers away.

We may worry about lions and tigers and bears.

But what’s really lying out there beyond the cave is ourselves. Why not go out and get it?

—Spencer Lum

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