Growth Begins at the Edge of Fear
With Halloween just days away, I’ve been thinking about fear. Not the holding-your-breath, muscle-clenching, waiting-for-horrors to unfold type. But rather the run-of-the-mill scares we’ve pushed down so deep we’ve forgotten they’re even there.
The idea that I’m avoiding fear has been flitting through my mind for months. It became permanently lodged there when I was nearing the end of “Creepshow 2” and a ghoulish character on screen cackled, “Try to stay scared.”
If you are familiar with filmmaker George Romero, who made the cult classic “Night of the Living Dead” and is king of all things zombie, you’ve heard his “stay scared” catchphrase before. Hearing it this month, it took on a new meaning for me that I can’t shake.
I entered this year with the goal of getting out of my comfort zone. I can always tell when I’ve successfully broken the boundaries because my mind goes into full freakout mode.
Years of managing unpredictable health symptoms has taught me how to play it safe — a little too well. I’m not willing to accept that my best years are behind me because of sarcoidosis.
Romero’s trademark slogan tucked into “Creepshow 2” didn’t come across as some cheeky advisory to enjoy more cinematic horrors. By the time the movie credits began rolling, “stay scared” had morphed into something more meaningful for me. It had become a message about the need to continually challenge ourselves to overcome the fears that are holding us back.
Being pushed back into the job market has made me consider whether fear is dictating my life. I found myself again applying for work I was confident I could do. But until I pursue the path that I dream about, I will remain exactly where I am: comfortable, but not knowing whether I am capable of more.
The uncertainty tied to leaving the predictable behind is how we learn, according to research from Yale in 2018, which Inc. reported on. It’s how we grow.
The message Romero left with me that night was simple: You can either be sidelined by fears or use them as a tool to reach your full potential. Which is why in his words, I’m now trying to “stay scared.”
Brighter side: We all could use a break from bad news right now. So, I’ll be closing my columns with a roundup of positivity until we are able to say goodbye to masks, hug our loved ones, and leave our homes without fear.
- Clever finds: If you always misplace things, your daily double has become mask-wearing and foggy glasses, and you squint to see videos on your phone, there’s help. Elite Daily reports on solutions and other handy products in “62 Clever Things You Should’ve Bought Sooner.”
- Become a Jedi master: A “Star Wars” virtual reality lightsaber dojo experience offered at pop-up locations in the U.S. last year is coming back. According to Jedi News, it will be available worldwide. Immersive entertainment studio ILMxLAB and virtual reality arcade company Nomadic are teaming up again to bring the new segment, “Vader Immortal – Lightsaber Dojo.” VR-headset-wearing fans will battle waves of droids, Stormtroopers, and other creatures with lightsabers and blasters before a final fight with Darth Vader. The studios haven’t announced pricing and locations yet.
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