Are you living in a cave?


Cave Exit

As a proud mom of four, ranging in age from 5 to 17…I can admit that 95% of the flicks that I see are animated. Honestly – I love the creativity and cleverness of writers, animators and producers in this genre.

And sometimes a kid-flick departs the ‘formula’ and shocks me in a totally profound way.

This was the case with The Croods, a fun portrayal of the only surviving cave family.

No, I’m not writing a movie review blog. But when I saw this movie on opening weekend  – I emailed myself 19 different times during the show with ideas and quotes i wanted to remember and use.

However, I was framing it from a business perspective, the entrepreneur frame of mind. That’s who I am. It’s what I do.

And yet- I set the post to draft and kept hesitating to ‘publish’ …but I wasn’t sure WHY I was resisting.

Now, I know.

Disaster. News. Crisis. Current Events. Terrorism. Accidents. Tragedy.

Our televisions and social streams have been literally going crazy with the events of late. And as media consumers and participants in the interactivity of it all — we have more vested in our souls and brains that we would have, even 5 short years ago.

And all that being said   — I  see a trend.

A trend in caution. A trend in suspicion. A trend in paralysis. A trend in fear.

Now back to The Croods, a family led by Cave Dad whose motto is “Never NOT Be Afraid.”

Read that again.

Never NOT Be Afraid.

His main thought is ‘survival’ and he says over and over ‘Fear keeps us alive. Stop looking for new things. New things are bad. Curiosity kills.”

His daughter Eep, is pretty convinced that there is life beyond the cave. She hates the confines and hates the dark and wants to see light, and beautiful things and….chase the sun towards tomorrow.

Now…what I find super fascinating is the timing of this!! The writers & producers of this film had no idea what we would be dealing with this week, this month, this year.

  • They couldn’t know that Colorado made us second-guess going to midnight movies.
  • They didn’t realize that Sandy Hook would make us list out the pros & cons of homeschool vs public school.
  • It never crossed their minds that an iconic marathon might be turned into a battlefield.
  • And I’m certain they weren’t aware that in a tiny town in Texas, a fire would lead to an epic explosion, creating chaos and confusion.

“Never NOT Be Afraid.”

That’s what he says. That is what keeps him alive, the fear of risk, the fear of new, the fear of beautiful.

We could do the same. We could hide in our caves, extinguish our flames and focus on ‘surviving.’

But as daughter Eep so eloquently says ‘Dad, this isn’t LIVING, this is just NOT dying!’

Yes, we will mourn our comfort zone. Yes, we will be watchful. Yes, we will laud our heroes.

But we cannot adopt the mantra ‘Never Not Be Afraid.’

During a particularly scary trek in the film, there are two distinct voices urging the family on.  One says ‘Never Not Be Afraid’ and the other says ‘You Can Do This! Believe It”

I think we all have those same 2 voices. (I know I do.)

Which voice will you listen to?

  • In relationships.
  • In business.
  • In school.
  • In parenting.
  • In leaving our cave to participate in LIFE.

Which voice?
“Never Not Be Afraid” or “You Can Do This!”

I may not be guaranteed tomorrow. But that is where I’m headed, whatever it may hold.

The uncertain, uncharted, unsure path of LIVING.

Please share if this strikes a chord with you or gives you food for thought. Then let me know below what voice you’ll listen to and how you will move forward.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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40 thoughts on “Are you living in a cave?

  1. Ms Carrie, you hit it right on. I had been thinking the same thing, although I have not seen the movie yet. I used to say that I would rather hear “here lived a coward than here died a hero”. And yet, I woke up one morning almost four years ago, packed my bags and came to Florida not knowing what would happen. And now we are doing well. Do I have everything I want? No, and yet I am happy because I dared to get out of my comfort zone. We cannot let the bad guys win. Period.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Good post. Your point (You can do this!) fits well with my own mantra: Display Adaptability. The advantage goes to those who can adapt to changing circumstances rather than those who cling to fear and/or the past.

  3. You said exactly what I needed to hear just now! I will listen to both voices, actually. They both have merit: do it afraid is, I think, the hybrid message. Don’t give up & stagnate with fear, but learn to use it as a motivator of sorts.

  4. Right! I’ve often said ‘I’m more afraid NOT to try than to try and fail’ – another part of that message. Thanks for your feedback Julie!

  5. Great blog post. Encourages me to move forward for sure. And your thoughts remind me of this.

    “The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.” Tony Robbins

  6. I really enjoyed reading this and thinking about which voice I listen to. I think I listen to “You Can Do This!” most of the time, but the other sneaks in frequently when it comes to my son. I know that he cannot live in a “cave”, but I need to remind myself of that a lot more often.

  7. I haven’t watched the news in about 15 years, yet I’m still informed of what’s happening in the world–or as much of it as I need to be.

    People ask me why I don’t keep “up to date” with all the bad stuff that’s going on. The truth is, I don’t need to. Someone will tell me about it and that’s all of it I need.

    I was called to seek and share the light, not the darkness.

    Now, I’m afraid to do something silly like go bungee jumping. I’m not a thrill seeker, but I refuse to go to the grocery store eyeballing everyone as a potential threat to me. I’m not going to avoid doing something I want to do because a mad bomber may be close by.

    Danger and mean people have been around for thousands of years. If the news didn’t plaster it all over the place these days, you wouldn’t know about 80% of it.

    I loved the quote, “This isn’t living, this is not dying.” So true. It works for life and for business. Thank you so much for sharing this, Carrie. I know you said you hesitated to hit Publish, but I believe you hit it at the time you were meant to. 😉

    God bless you!

  8. I tell myself all the time that “I can do this”. The hardest part is taking the leap of Faith to actually do it!

  9. So true Jenn! I might be less ok with risk regarding my kids than myself! But still – greatness never happens inside a bubble 😉

  10. thank you Patti!! I’m such a ‘take action’ kind of gal that it always surprises me when I resist…but the reason seemed to be clear this time 😉

  11. Since the beginning of time there has been disaster, crisis, tragedy, violence, uncertainty… always has been, always will be. If these things are what you look at, feed your mind with, focus on, give attention to, and nurture, you will have fear, paralyzing, stagnating, limiting fear… but it won’t change a thing. It just lets the bad win.

    Paul (of Bible fame) knew we had to guard our hearts and minds against such things and knew exactly what he was talking about when he said “…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Applies perfectly to times such as these.

    Be aware, be alert, be prepared, but don’t “Never NOT be afraid” We are entrepreneurs… we don’t have a spirit of fear!

    I listen to the “You Can Do This!” voice. Don’t see that there is any other option… never has been, never will be… and I will move forward by “Doing This!”

  12. Dad, this isn’t LIVING, this is just NOT dying! – WOW that’s food for thought – You Can Do This resonates with me. I tell myself that every single day.

  13. My friend Ann Vertel has asked for years “are you playing to win or are you just playing not to lose?”

  14. For a long time I stayed away from the TV screen on news and current events. Only looking at online news when needed. The events recently have grabbed my attention as I travel more and airport and Cafes have TV set on news.

    I must say I find it tragic, not the news but the fact that a small thing can be blown up into days of broadcast. Stretching the fear of most who watch it.

    I work hard to stay outside of my comfort zone, to stretch and listen to the voice of You Can Do this. When searching for title my book I was reminded of this very subject with my Rock n Roll ideas I heard that old Stones song you Cant always get what you want. I decided to name my book You Can Always Get What you want.
    Fear is so easy to fall for, We must push for that faith. I Choose each day to push for what is right to listen to that voice of You Can do this.

    Thanks for this great post Carrie. It was inspiring to hear others in our world who looked to share the message of You can Do this.

    Rock On


  15. Hooray! I must say I needed to hear this. I’ve been telling myself “Things are not as bad as they are made out to be, no matter how loudly everyone is screaming about it.” It’s nice to hear someone else confirm the healthy desire to feel that “You can do this.” I get too caught up in all of this negative news sometimes. Overkill, anyone?

    Who needs it? Most of it is a rehash of the same stories anyway. We get it, we get it. These are horrible things. And we’d also like to live our lives in the here and now. Is that okay? Sheesh!

  16. Thank you for this post! I hate how the media keeps us focused on fear but maybe they are keeping us focused on powerlessness.

    And maybe “never not be afraid” is a good way to live if we think of fear as being a place where we are pushing our limits and living to the max! Believing that fear is not a signal to stop, but a signal you’re on a path of growth could be a powerful way to live.

  17. I wonder if you can listen to one voice to the complete exclusion of the other. No matter how bold you become, somewhere inside you, that other voice seems to keep going, even if in a smaller voice, heard more intermittently.

  18. I really did enjoy that movie, too, and definitely took the message to heart. And as we keep reminding our 14 year old daughter, you will ALWAYS feel fear. It’s what you do about it. Courage is finding the path and living, succeeding, thriving, growing. May we all find courage to stand up for our visions of a better world.

  19. Thank you @CarrieWilkerson:disqus!! I’m currently on the fence on so many things, trying to decide what to do… what actions to take. Trying to get away from “surviving” and fully embracing thriving so that I can make a massive change in my life so very soon…

  20. I have a 15 & 17 as well and it might be even more important to them than the littles!! Thanks for that feedback!!

  21. Carrie – I’m listening to my You Can Do This voice! You only live once and when the future is the present I don’t want to say “I should have” or “I wish I would have.” I have to go for it and try my best to rock it!

  22. Going through your wonderful piece of writing, I remembered a saying that says ‘If you get scared, you are dead.’ Well, not getting afraid is a virtue but sometimes, I also believe that it won’t be natural. Just like the several other emotions, fear is also an emotion and our personality won’t be complete without it. Although, if the fear starts harming ourselves our others then it is not desired.

    At times, fear could do wonders too. Imagine someone in front of a Lion. Depending on the basic personality of the person, that fear could give him the motivation to fight back. Don’t you believe that the fear is sometimes responsible for giving us the strength to fight back as there is no other choice left! Fear could be constructive as well as destructive shaping our lives as well as nature.

    Thanks Carrie for sharing your thoughts in giving me some insights to feed my brain. Believe me, your writing ignited a spark in my brain and I will be soon coming up with these thoughts on my Blog.

  23. fear CAN be healthy, you are right! but it should help us know HOW to respond… not paralyze us FROM responding 😉 Thanks for your feedback!

  24. I agree — that voice is always THERE — it’s just a decision as to which you will listen to 😉

  25. POWERLESSNESS! you hit the nail on the head Susan!

    I’m ‘over’ that!! I choose not to let the media influence me! 😉

  26. Carrie: As an entrepreneur, marketer and a dad, this movie resonated well with me. The first thing my wife and I said when the movie ended was that we need to add this one to our collection. It is the classic struggle between living within our comfort zone and stretch goals. We can live within our comfort zone our entire lives and never truly know what we are capable of.

    Thanks for sharing.


  27. “Be not afraid” Pope John Paul II
    “Live fast, die young” Demian Farnworth
    Tony Robbins taught millions to turn fear into power by walking on fire. I, myself, never drank that particular flavor of Kool-Aid.
    Love the line “this isn’t living, it’s just not dying.” So many are limited not by their abilities, but by their fears. Guilty as charged, your honor.
    Caution keeps us alive, fear devours the soul.

    Thanks for this, Carrie. Excellent piece.

  28. thank YOU Scott!

    and I think the Pope is quoting a best-selling book and author, there 😉

    Appreciate your feedback!