“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.”
–Thich Nhat Hanh
The big “F” word grips it’s invisible fingers around our every action and quality of life. If you fear what may happen or are scared to try something new, congratulations, you are human. I know – you never wanted to accept that! : )
On days that I am feeling on top of the world, it seems like nothing can stop me. My confidence radiates and all feels safe. Then there are other days when I am deeply scared of taking action, of making a mistake, of embarrassing myself, and of failing. These days keep me stuck, lonely and frustrated.
On the one hand, I feel safe because I am not facing my fears and on the other hand, I feel ashamed because I know I am capable of living the life of my dreams but I am not.
Can you relate?
Each of us experiences fear, it is a part of this life. Yep, it is not that you are insecure, negative, lazy, not as lucky, not as smart as those other people… or anything else you might be thinking. To feel fear is to feel human. Often stress is a mixed result of not actually facing our fears, not understanding them and believing “stories” we make up in our heads. So, if we all experience fear in different areas of our lives than why do some people make progress and others stay stuck?
HERE IS THE BIG SECRET
Living fearlessly doesn’t mean living without fear, it means learning to live WITH fear and still going for after your dreams! In other words, getting comfortable feeling uncomfortable.
People that continuously take action or live the lives of their dreams are not fearless. This simply have a higher tolerance for fear. They have learned to FRIEND THEIR FEARS.
Here are a few ways to make peace with fear:
The feelings and experiences of fear that you encounter are here to guide you. They happen NOT because something is wrong with you but because you are having a human journey. In fact, our fears are often leading us in the direction of our dreams. What are you scared of and why? What is this fear teaching you?
Deepen Your Relationship
Our relationship to fear is what matters. If fear is something we are always avoiding, ignoring or pushing away, there is no room to connect with it. Try creating a new relationship with fear. Talk to your fear, act as if it is an old friend that you love deeply but that also drives you crazy. If there can be some love in your new relationship to fear, you will grow by leaps and bounds.
Learn a New Response
There is a difference between reacting and responding to fear. Response happens with awareness while reaction is an immediate emotional reply. Because we are emotional beings and fear is a part of our experience we tend to react. At times this is unavoidable, however, you can take a step back and learn to respond in new ways. For instance, with love and compassion for yourself and the situation. With a deep breath and short walk around the block.
Shift Gears + Use The Energy
Everything is energy. You are energy. Your emotions and responses are all energy. For example, feeling excited is the same energy as feeling scared but the difference is your judgment and perspective of the feeling. If you are flying to Costa Rica on a surf trip you will be excited AND nervous but your focus is on a positive adventure. Now if you are giving a speech at work you will be nervous AND excited as well, however, your focus may stick to the fear of public speaking. Choose to focus on the exciting part of the fear and then utilize that surging energy by dancing or jogging or jumping up + down.
The great part is that once you are aware of these facts you can transform your experience of fear. We all experience fear in different areas and for different reasons. Begin to make friends with your fear.
Talk to it and listen but don’t let it have the last word!
REMEMBER: Living fearlessly doesn’t mean living without fear, it means learning to live WITH fear and still going for your dreams!
Love and Light,