Fear and Vulnerability

The greatest fear we have is not that we will lose. Nor is it that we fear success, which is a bizarre idea.

The greatest fear we have is that we will cross all of our t’s dot all of our i’s, try our hardest, put it all on the line, leave nothing out there, fully expose ourselves, execute with complete vulnerability and still come up short. Our greatest fear is that even at our best, with no stone unturned, with no missteps, with not even a shred of an excuse, we are less than what we hope to be.

And so we often set out, consciously or not, to alleviate some of that pressure by leaving some stones unturned even if they are very tiny ones. It’s far easier to miss a few things or try a fraction less or not pay attention to some of the details because when we do this and come up short we can take comfort in the idea that we didn’t quite give it everything…but if we did…well then the outcome may have been different.

And therein lies the complete BS psyche of the ego. The part of you that has both an insatiable appetite for external rewards while at the same time possessing a bottomless pit for self loathing and self pity when things don’t go well or you don’t quite measure up. The ego is terrified of the idea that you can do your best, void of any excuse, and still come up short. The ego is terrified of being vulnerable.

But underneath that nonsense there is a a truer version of yourself. There is still the baby that is not afraid to fall one thousand times in order to learn how to walk. There is still the child that will colour outside the lines because there is no fear of creating bad art. There is still the person that is driven by process and experience and is not held back by fear of an outcome.

When your approach is free of the protectionist constraints of the ego your potential skyrockets. Your greatest untapped strength is the ability to engage in a task and put yourself on the line with complete vulnerability- to be stripped free of any disguise or facade that your ego puts up to protect you from an undesirable outcome- to be ok with an absolute best effort, void of any excuse, that still falls short of the mark- to be ok in your own truth.

About Jasper

Jasper is an Ironman Champion and professional athlete turned coach and entrepreneur. He also has a passion for the philosophical and creative side of life. This is his personal blog.

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