7. Fear is meant to protect you, not to keep you from doing what you want.

There is a serious epidemic in our society: we have made fear a habit. We pump ourselves with fear through stories of violence on the news, graphic video games, and a myriad of fear-inducing articles and advertisements about things we cannot control. This is not how we were meant to live. The true purpose of fear is to protect us from real danger. The body’s fight-or-flight response is like a friend who lets us know when there is actual danger. Most of our fears, however, are not real. They are merely projections onto a future that does not exist. Even worse, we base these projections on little-to-no evidence.

Start looking at your fears through the rear-view mirror. Think about all the times when you were afraid of something but took a leap of faith, anyway. Most likely the payoff you got for choosing faith over fear was worth it. Think about the adrenaline rush you felt when you challenged yourself to tackle that. Was it not sheer joy to feel so brave? You are now stronger because of it. When we listen to our fears, the greatest payoff we get is the feeling of safety—but is that feeling worth the risk of a life half lived, marked by regrets? Cut off every stream of influence that plays into the habit of fear.