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Are You Scared or Are You Unsafe?

Written By: Lauren Howard

We talk a lot about fear. 

It’s treated as the deciding emotion as to whether you should move forward with big plans or changes.

But I think that’s not really it. 

There is a binary there that we don’t pay enough attention to. 

Fear is a healthy emotion. We’re supposed to feel it because it’s how we assess safety and, as a result, keep ourselves safe. People who don’t have enough of it can be reckless and people who have too much of it can be unlikely to act, but it’s not bad on its own. 

Most people are fearful before they jump into something new. That’s normal. I tell people all the time to do it scared if that’s what is holding them back. 

That said, I have updated that language somewhat because I think there is a more important conversation to have:

Are you scared or are you unsafe? 

Because scared? Scared we can deal with. 

Unsafe, though? Let’s not pretend that that can be swiped away. 

Are you scared of failing? That’s fear. Keep going.

Are you scared of starving? That’s a lack of safety. 

Are you scared of moving on your own because you have never lived on your own before? That’s fear.

Or are you scared of being alone because you’re worried that someone might find you? That’s unsafe. 

Those differences matter. 

If something is holding you back, which is it? 

We can do almost anything scared, but we deserve safety. 


Founder & CEO at elletwo


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