This is Part 1 in a series on fear and purpose.
WARNING: The content of this article may be harmful to zombies.
I’m bringing you incomplete thoughts today, but hopefully challenging you to think along with me. When I first wrote this, it was damn near 2,000 words so I made it a series. Here is the first bit: an intro to Fear Zombies! Fun, right?
There is a recurring message in my recent life experiences that is pushing an urgency for living boldly, with power and intention, and to stop wasting time and talents. It’s an important message I want to share because I believe we are all guilty of stopping short of our potential for many reasons. Perhaps the worst reason of all, the original reason, is fear. This recurring message has presented me with a choice: I can either be ruled by fear, timid and stagnant, or I can live a life on fire, with purpose and boldness.
Do We Choose Fear?
Last week I heard from speaker Brendon Buchard, who shared a spot-on observation that “common sense does not mean common practice.” Most of us know what we should do to get to the “next level” in our life/career/health. Yet we continually fail to do it.
We fail to get out of bed and go run.
We set out to be productive but end up procrastinating.
We tell ourselves we’re being content when we’re really being complacent.
Instead of moving forward, we’re standing still.
I also got a free copy of Brendon’s book. The Motivation Manifesto [affiliate link] is creepy accurate at describing how many of us are alive but not really living; how we not only fail to be present, proactive, and loving, but we defend and cling to our stagnancy, indifference, and lack of virtue. It’s a tough text to internalize, and not just because of the slightly grandiose writing style.
So we choose laziness and we choose to fit in and not work too hard. But when that becomes a habit, we’re choosing NOT to step in to our true identities, our best lives, or discover our greatest joys.
If you’re habitually not doing the little things you know you need to do in order to take your life, business, relationships, health, performance, whatever, to that “next level” of accomplishment/success/healing/joy, etc…well, you may have been infected by a fear zombie.
Fear Zombies & The Unliving
As these thoughts have been stewing in my mind, an eery parallel of zombies and a life ruled by fear has taken shape.
Instead of the undead, I see people ruled by fear who are “unliving”.
People who forgot how to connect with other humans and be present, but instead live virtually, vicariously, are consumed by the past or wrapped up in a fantasy. People who forgot to imagine and take chances and instead live caged in comfort zones, withering away.
Instead of the mindless zombie, shuffling along, I see people paralyzed by fear, confused, unable to make good decisions.
People who give in to outside pressures because it is easier, who choose to numb pain instead of heal, whose self-doubt or denial stunts their growth and chokes their joy.
Instead of flesh-eating zombies gnawing on the living, I see people rotting with jealousy, feeding on other’s failures.
People who try to destroy others by putting them down, spreading rumors, and infecting others with their negativity.
Instead of a zombie apocalypse in which a small few fight for their lives, I see a world in which very few people stand out as legends of life and giants of faith because so many of us keep losing the fight with conformity, complacency, and comfort.
Aye, Matey. There be fear zombies among us!
(I don’t know if I can mix pirates and zombies, but I’m not afraid to try.)
Are we really living? Because to really live is to chase dreams, hunt down your purpose, learn from mistakes and work hard to improve. Or are we standing still? Letting others think for us and doing little for ourselves and giving less to others?
So, yes, I have a super imaginative, and probably tasty, brain. Still, the message is clear:
Stand still and you’re already being eaten alive.
So where are you “standing still” in your life? Where am I standing still?
More on that in Entry 2: Eaten Alive.