“Are you sure you want to…” “Wouldn’t it be better to…” “Maybe you should wait until…” “What if they say…”
“What if they don’t say…”
“It would be safer to…”
These narratives play inside our heads each time we confront uncertainty
and choose to take a creative risk. On the surface, they sound like the voice of wisdom, but their motivation is often rooted in fear, driven by self-protection. The problem is that you cannot take a creative risk and self-protect
simultaneously. They are antithetical to one another.
How can you tell the difference between wisdom and fear?
Fear only cares about preservation, whereas wisdom seeks the best
possible result. Fear exaggerates the perceived consequences of failure, whereas wisdom is realistic about both the upside and the downside of action. Fear tends to grow once it’s entertained and become more consuming, whereas wisdom maintains perspective. Fear dissipates when exposed to facts and reality, whereas wisdom thrives on accurate information.
When you operate in wisdom, you recognize the potential conse- quences of failure but also consider the benefits of success. Wisdom cal- culates the cost and chooses to act anyway when action is warranted. Fear only desires inaction and self-protection.
Pay attention to the narratives inside your head, and strive to parse the voice of fear from the voice of wisdom.
Fear often comes disguised as wisdom. Learn to differentiate them.
Do you think you ever confuse the voice of fear with the voice of wisdom? How so?