It is amazing how at times our greatest dreams have a way of colliding with our greatest fears. We never really plan for the collision because there is a part of us that wants to believe that the nobility of our dreams can transcend the shadows of our character. We hope against hope that the secretly harbored thoughts that are connected to our feelings of inadequacy will never escape the emotional labyrinth we construct to protect ourselves from ourselves.

We construct these illusory protections because it is too difficult to accept that there is something within us–something unsettling–that seeks to sabotage the beautiful dreams that were conceived in the peaceful places of the soul. Our fears are the unavoidable saboteurs that we long to assassinate only to discover that the attempt to destroy fears that have not been confronted is the equivalent of emotional suicide.

Confronting the fears that dwell deep within us is difficult work. The work is so difficult that many of us would rather engage in self-deception and either act like the fears are fabricated–and thereby easily dismissed–or create a false facade of strength and behave as though the fears have no real impact. Truthfully speaking, neither approach pushes one to a place of true growth. In fact, both approaches simply stunt one’s emotional growth.

I have come to realize that the fears we have tried so hard to ignore have a way of manifesting themselves at the most inopportune times. One of those inopportune times is when we are pursuing our dreams. Have you ever found yourself in hot pursuit of your dreams only to have your pursuit derailed by your fears? Have you ever given up on the goals you have set for yourself because you could not bypass the mountain of fear that stood in the way?

I have been there before and it is never a pleasant experience. There is something spiritually and emotionally incapacitating that takes place when the fears that we have tried to avoid for so long rear their ugly heads just when we are about to actualize grand visions for our lives. I believe this happens because becoming who and what we desire to be cannot be fully achieved without being honest with ourselves, and being honest with ourselves means being honest about what we fear.

If we remain dishonest, we simply set ourselves up for failure, because true transformation cannot take place when self-deception is a coping mechanism to deal with fear. I am convinced that the aspirations we hold close to our hearts will never become synonymous with what is real unless we are willing to face our fears. Again, I am quite cognizant of the difficulty involved when it comes to confronting fears, but just as I am aware of the difficulty, I am also aware of the joy waiting on the other side of the confrontation. Just imagine getting to know the you that existed before you let your fears reconstruct your identity. Just imagine how much lighter your days will be when you no longer have to carry the weight of self-deception.

Now is the time to be vigilant. Confront your fears and get to know yourself again.