Want to Feel Really Alive? Do this Despite your Fear.

Brene Brown has made a living by encouraging folks to allow themselves to feel vulnerable and do the thing anyway—write the book, give the PTA speech, stick up for yourself at dinner club. She says that what we see as courage on the outside often feels like vulnerability on the inside.

What I’ve noticed about vulnerability is that I feel most vulnerable when I’m unsure of the outcome. When there is no guarantee that the speech will be a success or the dinner date will end in romance. It’s the unknown that makes me feel vulnerable, not the act. It’s the fear of the unpredictable outcome.

But what if we made friends with the unknown? What if the unknown isn’t full of hazards and boogeymen but surprises and delights? What if the mystery could be our ally instead of our foe?

I have a hunch that folks who take chances, risk it all, and go for it aren’t worried about the outcome. Sure they want a happy ending just like the rest of us, but the thrill is in the period of space and time where you don’t know how it’s going to go. Will the audience laugh at the joke, will she say yes when you get down on one knee, will the boss give you the raise if you ask? The fun is in the act of leaping.

Uncertainty can be exciting and thrilling because that’s where all the potential and possibilities live. So, do the thing you’ve been thinking about.

I can’t promise you success, but I can promise you aliveness—that electric feeling of leaping into life.