I Lived Through All My Greatest Fears

November 20, 2022

I’m not afraid to lose everything because I already did.

I lived through all my greatest fears, plus things I never thought to worry about. And here I am, more than okay.

That doesn’t mean I’m reckless.

I don’t take unnecessary risks (though I’m far less risk-averse than many) or put everything on the line all the time (even if I will put far more on the line a lot more often).

But I’m not afraid where most people are because I know everything is figureoutable and that I’m capable of surviving anything.

A certain freedom and nimbleness exist after having lost everything once before. From having your entire self and life come completely undone and hitting rock bottom so hard, it rattles your soul and leaves bruises on your bones. Risk feels less risky. Fears aren’t as debilitating. There’s nothing you can’t walk through (even if there are things you hope never to experience).

Learning to risk is part of the work.

And we always have to risk first, no matter how long we wait or how small the first step is. We have to come up against exposure, rejection, failure, and judgment first.

Far too many wait until it’s “safe” and comfortable, until the stars align and the circumstances feel just right—things that often never arrive. They hold off for years until they have enough resources (time, money, and support), not realizing that even then, they still have to risk first. They have to lean in, step outside the known and familiar, and stretch themselves in entirely new ways.

Collapsing time means risking, failing, and getting back up to go again more rapidly. Putting yourself out there and pushing your edges more quickly. Facing discomfort and welcoming uncertainty far sooner.

The more you do it, the more capable you feel because you build the kind of trust in yourself and the universe that you can’t find waiting nervously for “the right time.” You learn and course-correct at an accelerated pace. You grow and become who you’re here to be at an exponential rate. You figure it out and find success sooner than you ever dreamed possible around things that stayed perpetually out of reach.

You don’t have to lose everything to create more freedom and nimbleness. You just have to build a certain kind of trust in yourself and move through the world as someone who has complete faith in your ability to make anything happen, regardless of circumstances. You have to cultivate the courage to risk before you’re ready because risk will always come first.

Freedom and nimbleness are always accessible to us.

If we’re willing to do the deeper work.

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