You need fear. To live a life that actually means something, to do what you were born to do, to find your calling and fulfillment in life, you need to embrace fear. My advice to anyone who feels like they are wandering through life: Stop running from fear and start running to it.

Why You Should Embrace Fear to Find Your Calling

The Only Thing We Have to Fear

Fear is not something to be afraid of as Franklin D. Roosevelt suggested. It’s the very thing crying out to you, telling you what you are meant to do.

In his bestseller, The War of Art, Steven Pressfield writes,

Fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do.

The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.

What, you thought it would be easy?

Fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do.

You thought that pursuing your calling, doing work that matters, and finding your purpose in life would be like riding a unicorn through a rainbow-laden meadow? You thought it only require you to do what comes naturally? Or that it would always feel comfortable?


It will terrify you. It will stretch you. It will take you so far out of your comfort zone that you’ll forget you ever had one.

It will keep you up at night. It will wake you up in the morning. It will sometimes leave you angry, confused, and alone. It will test your limits.

And it will be worth it.

How to Use Fear

Fear lies dormant in the face of mediocrity.

Fear lies dormant in the face of mediocrity. Fear doesn’t prowl around looking for the man who never acts on his dream. It doesn’t say, “Let’s wreck him even more.” Why would it? There is nothing from which to hold him back.

But when fear sees potential greatness, it pounces. You finally decide to leave that mind-numbing job, you take a painting course, you start an exercise program, you decide to adopt a child, or you start a business. That’s when fear seizes you. It screams “You’re not good enough. You don’t have the skills or the connections. You always quit on your dreams.”

But what it’s really saying, if you listen close enough, is this:

You’re doing what you’re supposed to do.

This is your purpose, your calling, and the very thing that will bring you the most fulfillment in life.

And I’m going to do everything I can to stop you.

If you listen to me and don’t do this thing you’ve been called to do, you will never be happy.

You will never find peace.

You will never know joy.

If you give in to me, I will always haunt you.

I will always remind you that you gave up.

I will always remind you that you listened to me.

I will own you.

Don’t let fear own you. Listen to what your fear is really telling you.

It’s telling you what’s important. The very thing it’s trying to keep you from might just be your destiny.

If you’d like more on finding your calling and discovering what you were meant to do vocationally, check out my friend Jeff Goins’ new book, The Art of Work. March 23, 2015 is the last day you can get it FREE (just pay shipping).

What are your fears telling you? What might they be identifying as your calling?

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One thought on “Why You Should Embrace Fear to Find Your Calling

  1. Rick Siderfin says:

    Thanks for this great reminder, Matt! I think you’re right, fear is not something we conquer once and leave behind us, as a general rule we have to keep fighting it, while also recognising its useful value as an indicator – showing us whether or not we are on the right track.


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