“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.” – Jim Morrison, musician.

It was fear that drove me into the black. To that one place that we are scared of more than anything else. It sent me right on my way and I discovered, through life’s finest way of literally making you confront what is going on inside, that I was indeed afraid.

I was as afraid as a little child of the dark. And maybe that was it…”Evan, your deepest fear is of darkness. Not the opposite of light..oh no, the other kind.”

We all harbor as specific darkness within each of us. That is what makes us human and what defines a great side of ourselves. For some reason however, we let this scare us into submission. But why? Why do we let the things that we know that are deep inside of us, those painful experiences etc, define our lives from that point on? Why don’t we let them be a part of a grand story, one that involves the protagonist rising from the ashes instead of carrying the baggage of the past with him/her?

It’s because we don’t fully understand that we are capable of writing our own story.

We are powerful beyond measure Williamson said. She went on to say that our light scares us more than our darkness. Well shoot. It looks like we are scared of everything then. In fact, we are scared right into the middle.

The middle where everyone else is hanging out, nice and safe in the sheep pen, doing what we are told and living a mediocre life. Because if we are scared of our darkness, and if we are scared of our light, how in the world do you expect to get anywhere?

You can’t. Not with that mentality.

Sitting back and writing about this right now, I could say that the first 3-ish years of The Better Man Project was about finding out what it was like to be at peace with the darkness inside. Not only was it about finding what was actually in there, but then living with what I had to…and then finding the courage to change what I did not like.

There used to be someone in my life who told me…on a few separate occasions…that I should accept and live with the bad things about myself and cherish them. There was always something funny tasting left in my mouth after she said that. Maybe it was because that idea went against an entire plan of personal development? I’m still not completely convinced of why I still think about this, but if I had to nail it down today, I would say it always struck me wrong because I don’t think we fully have control over all things that develop during our younger years.

With a significant amount of growth, emotional instability, incapacity to accept responsibility and a slew of other pieces to the puzzle, I landed somewhere in my twenties being exactly the man I was…looking at what the first quarter of a century had yielded me and went “Woah.”

Woah because there were a lot of great things, and there were a lot of not so great things.

But with all those characteristic traits I had, and with everything that went on in my life during that time, I couldn’t possibly have made good and conscious decisions…ones that would create me into a great man in the future. And that’s the key. When I was 15-23 roughly, I wasn’t thinking about competing with my potential. Hell, I didn’t even know what I was capable of.

This is why I always believe you should be in a process of personal development and never give up on giving yourself the chance to grow and face your deepest fear.

It’s hard enough living this life as it is, but if we get to the end and realize that we have lived scared the whole time, or that we had the ability to become something great but succumbed to the satisfaction of simply living with the person we are today…whatever that shell may look like, then we we are going to live a rotten life.

You have to shed your skin. Churchill said “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”

I’ll live my life through those words. I will change often. I will morph, adapt, and adjust…and hell, I’ll see where that takes me.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project