I’ve heard the phrase “fear is a powerful motivator” a million times… And sure, it can be. If you’re trapped in a burning building, the fear of being burned alive can push you into crawling out the window to scale the outside wall. The fear of choking to death will have you body-slamming yourself into the furniture, broken ribs be damned. But fear can also make us stupid. It can make us selfish. And it can paralyze us. To be honest, I think the whole “fear is a powerful motivator” thing is bullshit.
How Does Fear Affect Us?
Have you ever heard of the instinctive drowning response? Basically, when a person is close to drowning their instincts take over and will push literally anything down in order to keep their head above water. A mother will instinctively push down her child, a husband his wife, and even the rescuer is in danger of being pushed under. Rescuers are often advised to wait until the drowning victim starts to sink before assisting them in order to avoid being drowned themselves.
My point is that fear is selfish. It reverts us to our most primal instincts. Our only motivation is to survive it. Fear often makes us shitty partners, shitty friends, and shitty to the people who try to help us.
In most cases, fear isn’t a powerful motivator. It’s just fucking powerful.
The Illusion of Safety
How is this related to dating advice? Well, dating is friggin’ scary man. It’s so easy to get yourself trapped in a web of fear because you’re too scared of vulnerability, rejection, loss, or facing insecurities.
It’s possible that making a dating profile won’t yield the results you’re looking for, but how is that better than getting no matches at all?
It’s possible that you’ll get turned down when you ask someone out on a date, but is avoiding rejection more important than finding a partner?
It’s possible that you’ll fall in love with someone who ends up leaving you, but is that pain really worse than living without love? The answer is unequivocally no.
One Foot in Front of the Other
I know my blogs are usually upbeat and full of laughs, but this year has been really hard guys. It’s been hard on all of us. Most of us have been touched by loss this year and we’re all probably feeling vulnerable and a little raw. It’s to be expected — we’ve survived a pandemic, and we probably loved someone who didn’t.
My message to you today is this: If fear is holding you back, fight it. Most fear isn’t based in reason and it crumbles under scrutiny. Living in terror of losing the person you love doesn’t make loss any easier, protecting yourself from rejection through isolation won’t make you any less lonely, and living so cautiously that you miss out on life won’t protect you from regret.
Please trust me when I say that fear will never be as powerful as regret. Nothing is as powerful as regret. Regret is agony.
It’s the start of summer, we’re all getting our vaccinations, and it’s a great time for a fresh start. Take a big breath and a small step forward. You’ve got this ;)
If you want to get back into the dating world and you need a little help, feel free to reach out. I’ll get you sorted.