Posted by: David D. Daggett | December 3, 2007

What Are We Afraid Of?

What Are We Afraid Of?

     Are we motivated by fear? What are we afraid of? Are we afraid that we might be slow? It is interesting how in life and in racing that many times fear becomes a motivator, or maybe a limiter. However, we learn and experience that if fear is a motivator that we tend to lose the joy even if we get the result.


     Fear is many times the absence of trust. Many times that lack trust is in us, although it can certainly be from others too. Why don’t we trust ourselves? If we have properly trained, both actually and metaphorically, for any given or chosen pursuit, shouldn’t we then minimize our fear? Of course, we don’t want to confuse nervous anticipation, which is perfectly normal, with fear.

     Do we trust ourselves – that is on the inside. Usually what we worry about is on the outside.  Results obtained through fear are usually less joyful than results achieved through confidence, diligence, and preparation. Those results, or completion as we discussed in “Kupau,” are the compilation or developing our various virtues or traits that lead to success.

     Most of us have fears that keep us from fully exploring our inner selves. We usually do not fear our limitations – those are known. Rather we fear exploring our furthest abilities – those are unknown. When we take ourselves to our limits, whether it is academics, spirituality, social, parental, and spousal relationships, etc, or in athletics, we are at the same time exposing ourselves to failure, and yet we don’t feel “complete” until we have explored that unknown area.

     When we do explore, we then develop a peace or calmness that comes from truly knowing who we are, and what we are capable of achieving. When we are tired, hot, hungry, thirsty, scared, and sore and the devil taps us on the shoulder to say it is ok to stop/walk/quit, what do we do and how do we respond? We can either give in and fail to discover our true power, or we can look fear right in the eye, keep putting one foot in front of the other, do what is right, good, and tough. When we persevere we therein find part of ourselves and our true character along the way.

     Perhaps the words from Nelson Mandela’s inaugural speech in 1994 describe the power we possess but many times are afraid to obtain: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure . . . . There’s nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

     When we conquer our fears we not only become what we can become, we also give others permission to become what they can become. It’s magical!

Let’s not be afraid,



  1. I wanted to write to you to say Thank you. Your blog is extremely inspirational. It has touched me in more ways than one. I even forwarded your blog on fear to my husband who experiences fear through the absence of trust. I hope he can gain some insight to make him a stronger person.

    I am a wannabe triathlete. I am going to work with Ken Bush in the near future. I met him recently and the statements that he made to me made me believe in myself and reading your blog enhances my believes. And what he said was, ‘You can do it. “It” is there, you just have to find it.”

    I say thank you again and keep on writing. I hope to meet you either at a starting line of a triathlon or at a tricow meeting.

    Warmest regards,
    Stephanie Winfrey

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