One day, on the plains of Tanzania, somewhere in East Africa, a young buffalo named Walter approached his dad and asked him if there was anything that he should be afraid of.
“Only lions my son,” his dad responded.
“Oh yes, I’ve heard about lions. If I ever see one, I’ll turn and run as fast as I can,” said Walter.
“No, that’s the worst thing you can do,” said the large male.
“Why? They are scary and will try to kill me.”
The dad smiled and explained, “Walter, if you run away, the lions will chase you and catch you. And when they do, they will jump on your unprotected back and bring you down.”
“So what should I do?” asked Walter.
“If you ever see a lion, stand your ground to show him that you’re not afraid. If he doesn’t move away, show him your sharp horns and stomp the ground with your hooves. If that doesn’t work, move slowly towards him. If that doesn’t work, charge him and hit him with everything you’ve got!”
“That’s crazy, I’ll be too scared to do that. What if he attacks me back?” said the startled young buffalo.
“Look around, Walter. What do you see?”
Walter looked around at the rest of his herd. There were about 200 massive beasts all armed with sharp horns and huge shoulders.
“If ever you’re afraid, know that we are here. If you panic and run from your fears, we can’t save you, but if you charge towards them, we’ll be right behind you.”
The young buffalo breathed deeply and nodded.
“Thanks dad, I think I understand.”
We all have lions in our worlds.
We have those things that scare us that we cant even tell anyone. We have the stories in our head about how we are not good enough, not qualified enough for the job, how we can never find love or do work we are proud of. The thing about fear is, it’s not real. Most of the time, we are scared of something that doesn’t exist in the here and now.
The best way to find out how far we can go, is to face our fears. What’s the worst that can happen if you pitch that project to your boss? What’s the worst that can happen if you quit your job to start your company, what’s the worst that can happen if you tell that person how much you love them? The truth is, I dont know, and neither do you. So why not find out whats on the other side of your fears?