|Public Domain Photo|
As a child I had a wild and wonderful imagination. Probably due to the numerous novels that opened my mind to all of the extraordinary possibilities the world had to offer.
Unfortunately, my imagination also opened my mind to more than a few fears. The list of my phobias included: fear of the dark, fear of social interactions, fear of receiving a poor grade, and fear of failure, to name just a few. Consequently, like so many children, I built a world for myself where the possibility of encountering those dreaded situations was limited. However, all that that accomplished was to limit my life.
As adults we tell ourselves, "Grow up; you're not a kid anymore." However, while our brain would agree with that, our heart might still harbor latent childhood fears. I only overcame my fear of the dark in the last ten years! While I never really thought that nyctophobia would make any difference in my life one way or the other - overcoming my fear of the dark has made a difference. Fear of any kind wraps a harness around your heart. Every time we overcome a fear, our hearts become a bit more brave. The other thing I've learned from my fears is that fear is a cousin to failure. Think about it: If you fear something, you stay away from it; you don't even try to conquer it. Consequently, you fail by default. That's not a very positive way to live life. When we overcome our fears we discover who we were always meant to be. Using our imagination allows us to have faith for the future, so much so, that we can actually change the course of our lives.
When I became a full-time writer I began to use my imagination again. I don't think it's any coincidence that at that same time I began to see my fear of the dark dissipate. Using one's imagination is one of the most powerful forces on earth, and should never be underestimated.
The fringe benefit of fear is the opportunity to find our courage.