If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.

Sir Ken Robinson

This statement really struck out to me when I was listening to Sir Ken Robinson talk. (He’s awesome, by the way. Check out his TED talks to learn more about education and creativity.)

As a child, I was terrified of going to the dentist. I would feel stomach pain, throw up and sometimes even pass out. As the years went on and I became an adult, my fear withered away. Afterwards for many years I thought I wasn’t afraid of anything. Snakes, bears, insects, dizzying heights; bring it on. I was skimming the surface, unconsciously making the judgement that fears ought to be external.

After some introspection I realized that for many years I was afraid of being selfish. Whether it was because of the way I grew up, the way my role models were or whether it came out of my own depths – I don’t know. But I do know that being afraid of being selfish (for me) leads to self-carelessness and burnout. Once I got a few slaps in the face from the Universe, I started experiencing the balance between selflessness and selfishness, experimenting with self-care practices and trusting my intuitions. It was hard.

Swami Rama says that all of our fears can be put into two categories: 1) either we are afraid of not achieving/getting something we really want, or 2) we are afraid of losing what we have.

I find myself once more in fear. This time, I’m befriending it. It’s not a big deal. I’m not letting it control my decisions or my feelings. It’s there, and I’m here. I can see it; I can see its tendrils reaching out to me, but my glowing inner light is unaffected. I am in Love. Such pure, profound Love that I am afraid of losing it and the person that enables me to generate such Love. I found something that I never thought existed. But, I am so in Love that if things do ever change, I will stand back and keep generating my Love into the world. That is how you conquer fear.