There's a powerful quote from David Mamet's play Edmond that says: "Every fear hides a wish." Honestly, I've never seen the play or watched the movie, and I don't know the original intent of the quote. But, I love what it says to me.
This weekend I completed an adventure park zip-lining course with my best friends for a wedding. We climbed up wooden ladders, tight-rope balanced in between trees, bruised our arms and legs, and talked each other through near panic-attacks over our fear of heights. In the end, we all completed the course. It was both awful and 100% worth it.
I've been thinking a lot about fear on our trip home. To me, the quote "every fear hides a wish" means that all of our fears reveal some kind of hope, yearning, or wish that begs our attention.
Scared of speaking in public? It probably has something to do with you wanting to be heard.
Scared of quitting your job? It might mean you're scared to fail at the thing you're most passionate about.
Scared of changing your appearance? It probably means you're worried about pleasing other people instead of yourself.
Scared of tight-rope walking across trees in the woods? It means you're scared of heights, scared of death, and scared that you could miss living out the rest of your gorgeous, amazing life that you cherish so much.
It's beautiful to recognize what your fears really mean.
Fears are uncomfortable and messy. It's normal to want to run in the other direction. But if you just pay attention, your fears often hold a wish or a clue that tell you exactly what you need to do or release to gain deeper happiness and peace of mind.
Take the leap and inspire yourself to do more of the things you're scared to do. Follow your fear.