The Power of Fear
Every few months there is a new song that I just can’t stop singing along to every time I get in the car. Right now, that tune is The Breakup Song by Francesca Battistelli. With a bluesy vibe and girl-power lyrics, Francesca breaks up with fear by telling it “you don’t own me…there ain’t no room in this story…I ain’t got time for you telling me what I’m not”. If you keep a list of power songs to pump you up on the way to an important event, you will want to add this to your playlist.
About the time, I had all the words to The Breakup Song memorized, a new perspective on fear crossed my path. I had the chance to attend the Story conference in Nashville and listen to several inspirational speakers encourage their creative listeners to be change-makers in the world. I thought creating change was impossible without breaking up with one fear or another, but a comment made by Don Hahn, producer of Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, made me rethink my new power song. He said, “Fear is the smell of opportunity.” Let that sit with you for a hot second…The idea that is so grand that it keeps you awake at night and causes tight knots in your stomach, is actually an opportunity calling your name!
So, who is right? Is fear an enemy or a friend? Maybe it’s neither. Maybe it’s a catalyst, causing us to change or move, spurring us on in one direction or another. The power to determine the direction is ours, and that is where the real power lies. Fear may be the wind in the sails, but we are the captains of the ship. We have the power to capture the energy associated with fear and channel it to help us seize those once-in-a-lifetime chances that come along.
If you stop to analyze a favorite story or movie, it is likely that you will find the hero of that story had to conquer some kind of physical, psychological, or emotional fear. It’s part of what makes a great story. The same is true for our own personal stories. We don’t have to erase fear from our lives, or even break up with it. We just have to show it who is boss. Take a chance in spite of fear. Harness the power. Maintain control of the journey. Enjoy the destination.