Imagine you’re standing at the edge of a great abyss. You can feel the warmth of the sun on your neck, the cool breeze through your hair. Your toes are weightless as you rock ever so slightly forward, then back again. A wave of adrenaline surges through your body and you feel a pit in your stomach. You take a moment to catch your breath but it’s quickly swept away again. An invisible force is propelling you forward, but your mind pulls you back; a tugowar match between gut wrenching intuition and mind driven logic, and you are the rope.
The Nature of Fear
Throughout each of our journeys we will inevitably face many moments of uncertainty and fear. At the primal level, fear is an emotional mechanism designed to keep us alive.
We’re all familiar with the example of the caveman and the sabertoothed tiger. Our sympathetic nervous system would not jumpstart our body into motion if it were not for the sensation of fear.
However, the problem arises when we allow what we now perceive as fear to control us and ultimately consume us.
In our modern world, most of what we perceive as fear is not fear at all, but rather an irrational anxiety in response to something we’ve been previously conditioned to, both by ourselves and by the world around us. I would be willing to bet that you’re in no immediate danger when a rush of adrenaline keeps you from walking toward that beautiful woman, or when a familiar selfdoubt holds you back from making that bold decision in your career.
So, how do we transcend this sensation of fear?
First, we must be willing to let go of all we think we know. From there, despite all our better judgments, despite the opinions of others, and despite the fear, we must move forward and jump.
Living on the Edge
Standing at the cliff’s edge is analogous to a pivotal moment each of us faces as a man. It is the juncture along our journey where we must choose between the trappings of the world and our innate masculine freedom, between living our purpose or living by society’s expectations, the point of no return. But few make the jump.
Rather, we bathe in the comfort of familiarity and normalcy. But what is “normal” is not designed to support our enrichment. What is “normal” is designed to keep us in a box, to suppress our dreaming, to keep us busy and not asking questions. We are supplied with the illusion of security and maturity in the form of a quality education, a nine to five job, and a white picket fence.
But this isn’t our dream, is it?
The nature of masculine energy is freedom, movement, the penetration of the world by our driving purpose. And for every new moment that passes having never taken the leap, we’re living against the grain. We’re living in a state of constant resistance, because subconsciously, in our minds and in our bones, we know there’s something more.
Imagine again, the anxiety you feel standing at the cliff’s edge. Most of us remain here, stagnant, teetering back and forth; the fear transmuting into frustration knowing we should have jumped long ago.
Taking the Leap
Until we take the leap, we are living out of alignment with our purpose. We each have our own unique gifts to offer to the world and it is part of our mission to deliver them.
In today’s world of black and white, wrong and right, we have lost faith in ourselves to make our own choices. Everything seems to be decided for us. Every time we ignore taking the initiative to face our fears, we dig our heels a little further into the ground.
Think of how many times you hesitate to take action out of selfdoubt or out of a general complacency. Sometimes, the most liberating action a man can take is no action at all, but rather letting go, leaning forward, and trusting that he will catch wind and glide. It is from this point that true action can be taken toward a life lived purposefully and beyond our wildest dreams.
We must live dangerously in the face of our perceived fears, because it is facing this danger that makes us alive, it is facing this danger that makes us a man.
Growing the Wings
It is only once we’ve let go and started our descent that we can start to grow our wings. When we’re living purposefully, carrying out our mission, and acquiring the skills we desire, we can cultivate the resources to take flight. It is up to each of us to find our edge, then live just beyond it. Don’t let the world box you in, don’t live your life against the grain, and don’t teeter at the cliff’s edge resenting the fact that you haven’t jumped.
We can transform the distress and anxiety into the euphoria of purposeful action. By choosing our path, letting go, and making the choice to face our fears each day, we may realize there was nothing to fear at all.