Fear is a performance killer. Fear tells us we’re not good enough. Even confidence is shattered by fear. Only courage can stand up to it. Courage gets us moving forward in spite of fear. 

But fear has a secret. It needs idleness. The mountain climber only feels fear when they stop climbing. Excitement, engagement, and flow are in the climb—in the active pursuit. Growth is in the climb. Fulfillment is in the climb. Fear is in idleness, so … keep climbing.

Stay focused on the next step and keep moving. As Seth Godin says, “dance with fear.” Embrace the journey. Love the climb. The view from the summit is nice, but it’s fleeting. It’s the climb that changes us; the climb makes us into who we dare to believe we could be. 

Play it safe or follow our heart (and choose the path that excites us). It’s a choice we all inevitably face. Think about how you’ll feel when you’re 80 years old. On your 80th birthday, when you’re too old to climb, how will you feel about playing it safe today? Is playing it safe really better than the alternative?

The journey to the summit starts with being prepared. Get prepared, but don’t wait until you feel ready. We rarely feel ready. Our fear will always conjure compelling reasons to postpone. Prepare and then muster enough courage to start moving forward. Take that step and have faith that there’ll be another and another and another. 

Your mountain is waiting. Are you prepared?

Photo by Jef Willemyns