03/27/2013 12:24 am ET Updated May 26, 2013

Day 27: 31 Days of Daily Inspiration From Brilliant Women

Daily Inspiration: Day 27 of 31 Days

"Happiness is a risk. If you're not a little scared, then you're not doing it right." -- Sarah Addison Allen

When you suffer a setback or disappointment it's easy to shrink and hide, to pull your head back behind the parapet and slowly disengage from life. Often you won't even realize you've done it, not until months later when you might notice how depressed you now feel, how the silver sparkle of passion and desire has deserted you. And, once you've burrowed down deep into your snug little hole, it'll be harder and harder as time passes to prise yourself out. Because you feel safe down there, safe and snug and numb.

Happiness is a risk. It involves sticking your head above the parapet, reaching out your hard and exposing your heart. If you're hiding away from the world you may feel the satisfaction of pseudo safety, but you won't feel passion and joy. For that you need to connect with people, you need to put yourself out there. And that is scary. I used to think myself inadequate for feeling scared but now I know nearly everyone else feels the same way. Living a happy life then isn't about stamping out your fears but using them as a barometer to check whether or not you're living your life to the fullest: If you're feeling a little scared then the answer is yes!

Inspiration From Brilliant Women

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