Innovation · Leadership

The places that scare us

“A further sign of health is that we don’t become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it’s time to stop struggling and look directly at what’s threatening us. ”
― Pema Chodron, The Places that Scare You 

Halloween is an interesting tradition.

While there is some debate as to its precise origins, by now we’ve mostly come to see Halloween as a fun way for kids to dress up and score some treats and for everyone to playfully indulge in fantasies of terror and some rather benign scariness.

Perhaps the construct of a day focused on “safe” fear is a way to channel both the conscious and unconscious reality that we live in a pretty scary world and that most of us experience fear each and everyday.

Fear of failure.

Fear of rejection or abandonment.

Fear of injury or death.

Fear of being discovered for who we really are.

The truth is that there are plenty of places that scare us and once the make-believe of Halloween passes, those thoughts and feelings will still be there.

The only way to conquer our fears is to confront them. The only steps that work are awareness, acceptance and action. The only path is through, not around.

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