If you’ve read much of the Bible with an open and curious mind (as opposed to the closed-minded proof-texting you find in many places) you may have noticed that one of the recurring themes is that when a vision of the divine happens, or when an angel appears to make some sort of announcement, the opening words are quite often: fear not!

I take this as an ancient affirmation of this common human experience: that when you get a vision or idea of something you might call a “stroke of inspiration,” the first reaction to it is to be afraid of going ahead with it.

The fear hides behind all kinds of other things:

  • Rationalizing it away – “It’s simply not practical.”
  • Putting it off on someone else – “I’m not qualified.”
  • Putting it off to another day – “The timing isn’t right.”
  • Putting words in other people’s mouths – “What will my family/friends/neighbors/co-workers/boss think?”
  • Worst-casing it – “If it doesn’t work/they say no, the world will end.”

The fear is real. It’s natural. It’s part of a primal fight-flight response coded into our instinct over thousands of years of evolution. We all have an amygdala.

But whenever something great happens, no matter how small the scale, it’s because someone is able to take a step back from the fear and do something anyway.

There’s probably something you’re holding back on today. Not because you really think it’s a bad idea. It’s probably a very good idea, but you’re just a little afraid (ok, a whole lot afraid) of doing it.

Fear not! Chances are your predictions concerning the end of the world are incorrect.