Try to scare me

Photo by Stefano Pollio on Unsplash

“Try to scare me, Dad…”

This is a fun little game that my daughter tries to play with me.

“You didn’t scare me… Try again.”

She doesn’t understand that this game almost never works, so she gets frustrated.. I’m hardly ever successful in scaring her when she prompts me to.

(Yes, if I escalate my scare tactics, I can get a bit of a jump from her. But not much.)

It’s a universal truth…

When you’re expecting it, you’re essentially unscarable.

(Now, I have to say, the best horror films are really good at scaring the sh*t out of you even when you know someone’s going to jump out from behind the GAHHH!)

Maybe this is the ‘service’ our fears provide. If we’re expecting something horrible, it can’t scare us very bad. So we live expecting the worst (so that, if/when it happens, we’ll be less shocked).

Only thing is, meanwhile, we work and live in a fearful and defensive inner world.

Oh, the client won’t like that. They’re going to tell me how horrible I am, so I may as well round the edges and make this thing mediocre now.

I’m never gonna get hired doing that thing I’ve dreamed about since 9th grade. It’s probably a path littered with disappointment and poverty and despair. I’ll just get this here job doing what I always have until I get that call one day out of the blue.

I really want to tell her how much I appreciate her, but she’ll probably just see it as patronizing and inauthentic.

You gotta let yourself be scared. Stop prepping yourself for the imaginary man lurking in the shadows.

If he jumps out, deal with him.

But until then, don’t let the illusion of him determine your path.