What scares us usually pushes away rather than towards the fear. Fear is an indication of danger. It’s a sign we should be running away rather than confront it.

That’s not what bestselling author and well-known blogger Seth Godin says. In his podcast with Tami Simon of Sounds True he debunks the myth of fear and turns it on his head.

Ever heard of Charles Pollock? Probably not. We’ve all probably heard of famous painter Jackson Pollock. But his brother Charles was also a painter. Godin says, he wasn’t an artist. He spent his career painting like his teacher.

…no one’s ever heard of him, and he changed nothing. The reason is simple: because Charles avoided his fear and Jackson danced with his fear.

Fear is now a compass. The noise in our head—the resistance—is a compass. It tells us when we are onto something—when we are about to do something important or personal or real; when we’re about to do something that might make a difference.

So, if every time you hear that inkling in your head, you run away, you will become a wandering generality—somebody who doesn’t make the impact you’re capable of. But—and I’ve talked to people who choreograph ballets, I’ve talked to directors, I’ve talked to people who have built companies, people who have done things that don’t necessarily feel artistic but have worked—and all of them tell me the same thing. Which is: that feeling is when they know they’re about to do something important.”

We all have opportunities to do things that matter to us. But the more important it is, the more it matters, the scarier it is to do them. It’s much easier to give excuses, quit, and run the other way. But you will never fulfill your true purpose if you hide.

Every time we’re scared, we think we’re not ready. We think we don’t deserve the opportunity. But that’s just resistance rearing its ugly head. The truth is you would never have been given the chance if you weren’t ready, talented, and deserving. It’s all a mental game. You just need to go through it to succeed. Be a Jackson Pollock and not a Charlie what’s his name.

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