There is a good chance you’re going to be frightened and scared again. It will happen again and again, and whatever form this takes and when it happens there is a way to prepare yourself to lesson its impact.

Besides the cerebrum and the cerebellum that gives us the ability to think and create, we also have a little brain that serves us by protecting us from danger. The amygdala has no memory. It doesn’t have a memory because it doesn’t serve its purpose. The amygdala has been assigned the sacred duty to warn us of any real or impending danger. It warns us, but it would be a colossal mistake its warnings for marching orders.

When you get scared, when those frightening thoughts bubble to the surface, remember that this is not a time to make a decision or to second guess your actions. You should do that before it comes. Decide before those feelings arrive, before you get scared, and before you want to run home and abandon everything you’ve been working on.

The amygdala has no memory. It doesn’t know what you want, what you don’t want, and how much you long and are willing to sacrifice for something. It simply warns. It overwhelms you. It stops you so that you can be sure.

You need to be sure, but you have to be sure before it comes.

Before, not during.

Making decision while you’re already scared is as useful as taking all your antibiotics at the same time. It is as useful as a nipple on a bull.

You know you’re going to be scared. You’re going to resist in the final moments to do and say what you’ve longed and dreamed of staying. You’re going to chicken out. Time and time again, this happens because it is supposed to happen. It is who we are. It is who we were born to be, but there is a way to prepare and lessen the impact.

Decide at the start what you are willing to do. Decide to persist even when you are overwhelmed with doubt and resistance. You will never be able to run away from feeling scared. You will not be able to defeat being scared. The best option is going through. Your best best is to dance with your fear, to embrace it, to not let it stop you from what you want.

Don’t balk. Don’t quit. Don’t abandon anything. Learn to finish what you start. Forget what it will feel like if you fail, if people will laugh, because chances are with enough time you will succeed and if not this, this will bring you to that, and so on. People won’t laugh either. Yes, some will, but they are on the outskirts of your life anyhow. The people that know you will do nothing of the sort, so don’t balk.

Decide what you’re willing to endure before it comes. Not after. It is very imprudent to do it after. You can’t build an arc after the storm comes, but you can sure endure the storm if you did before it came.


Cover photo generously provided by photographer Chris Lawton via