My blog’s tagline is “Passionate Prescriptions For Living & Loving Fearlessly” and the next book I’m writing is called “The Fear Cure,” so I wind up noodling the concept of fear a lot. When I first considered quitting my stable job as a doctor years ago, I was utterly terrified. How in the world would I ever pay the bills if I left the hospital? What about all the medical school debt I still carried? I had a newborn daughter - and a stay-home Daddy husband - and it would cost me six-figures to pay off a medical malpractice “tail” if I was brave enough to actually leave medicine. The very thought was enough to nearly paralyze me.
The Fearless Bubble
So I had to surround myself with an artificial bubble of total fearlessness. I couldn’t even entertain fearful thoughts - but they’d knocked on my bubble like bacteria trying to enter a healthy cell - an army of Gremlins threatening to take me to the dark side of doubt that might tempt me to run, tail between my legs, back to the relative safety of the hospital.
During this scary time, everyone who loved me thought I was behaving recklessly. After all, I had spent 12 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars, investing in a career they thought I was throwing in the toilet, with no back up plan and no safety net.
You feel it when you’re skiing down that mountain at lightning speed while listening to your favorite song on your iPod.
You feel it when you’re walking through the park with the object of your affection and every flower and tree is splashed with Technicolor, imprinting every detail of every moment with millions of pixels of data you’ll replay for weeks.
You feel it when you travel to exotic locales, far outside of your safe comfort zone and far into the realm of the sublime and surreal.
You feel it when you’re brave enough to open your heart, even in the face of serial heartbreak.
You feel it when you risk everything and don’t die.