We all have them — Fears.
Whether your fears are about something tangible, like spiders or heights; or whether they’re about something more intricate, like commitment or judgement — fear is fear. It’s part of our nature to have fear, and if you’ve been reading self-help books and blogs, you’ve been given ways to overcome this obstacle. However, I’ve created a different mentality around fear that I think is more effective, and I’d like to share those five personal truths with you.
- Your fear is not your enemy — As hard as that may be to accept, this is the biggest truth I’ve found. Fear is like your personal bouncer in your life — he may not always smile and he may be a dick sometimes, but his existence is necessary for your survival, safety, and awareness. If we didn’t have fear, we would dive into being reckless individuals; and while that sounds spontaneous, it keeps us on the edge of risk at all times. That’s exhausting! It’s also dangerous. Your fear is a part of you, and you are whole, divine, and incapable of grandiosely failing (as you may sometimes think). So why, in your perfect creation, would you ever have something like Fear destroying your life’s path? You don’t. Your fear is not your enemy. So what is it then?
- Your fear is your quiet ally — The second biggest truth I’ve discovered is that fear is the quiet guy on the sidelines, cheering you on. Even when you don’t hear it. He’s reserved and careful, for sure, but hasn’t that saved you a few times from making that purchase or going on that trip when you shouldn’t have? Regardless of how willing you are to admit it, your fear has kept you from some disastrous decisions! It wants nothing more than to keep you safe. When you become aligned with your deepest desires and aware of how they make you feel, your fear will be the strongest pillar in that foundation for your brightest future.
- Your fear is your biggest lesson learned — When we are fearful of something that we want — like that promotion or going on that trip around the world — there’s often an underlying set of triggers that we just don’t explore. Instead, we pin the blame on fear and continue regretting this decision or that one. However, if we take the time to truly study those underlying triggers, we may come away with an incredibly powerful new mentality. One of my fears is meeting someone new and going on a date. I’ll make up excuses and pull myself out of initiating any contact, and I never understood why. I figured I was just afraid and shy, and I never dug deeper. Until I did! Once I started diving deeper into my triggers, I uncovered a heap of smaller fears that have since piled up to create this mountain I’d been climbing for years. My fear of being rejected and judged had clung to my oldest fear yet — the fear of being alone. As I journaled about this, I felt a sense of relief wash over me, like I had finally given my fear the freedom to just be; which brings me to my next truth.
- Your fear is your liberation — We so tightly cling to not feeling fear or shutting it down and wishing it away, that we never think of opting for the opposite choice — just let it be. Better yet, welcome it! If we continue to push it down and ignore it, we’ll spend the rest of our lives shutting down parts of ourselves that we don’t like; until one day, we’ve lost ourselves completely. It’s time to reclaim those missing parts! Acknowledging our fears and the sub-parts of our triggers bring us refreshed and renewed into alignment. We can now stand tall and tell the world — I AM afraid. But I am learning and reclaiming myself, one piece at a time. There is such profound freedom in that kind of truth-telling, and I promise you that once you’ve unshackled your fear, it will lift you up where you never thought possible. So why are we being fed the same ol’ gospel that all you need in life is to overcome your fear? Because we often fail to see that every single part of ourselves — even the parts that aren’t rainbows and unicorns — is beautiful and necessary. If we banish the fear we’ve grown to hate, we banish a piece of ourselves that is needed to keep us whole; which brings me to my final truth.
- Your fear produces just as much joy and abundance in your life as love — Fear and Love are the final frontiers. They are all we need in life, and everything that life comprises. From the two unfold a million paths that we take every single day. As such, we cannot have one without the other. Like black and white, the yin and yang, and the duality of life in balance, we need fear. If we can develop a lifestyle and mentality around welcoming fear in the same capacity as we do love, we can take on the world! Hell, we ARE the world! Imagine the avenues that unfold when we just say yes to that which we’ve been fighting off for years.
In my personal life, I’ve been putting these truths into practice. Every day is a new day to welcome a little piece of myself back; and while healing and practicing are never linear, the journey to befriending my fear has taken me to new heights, as a writer, teacher, friend, and everything in-between. I invite you to start small — maybe once a week, take out a pen and paper and start to write down what you’re afraid of. Then begin to dig a little deeper, like an archaeologist of your own soul, to get to the smaller, older fears that have been waiting to be uncovered. And then let them be. Allow them to exist in your life, because they’re not “bad” or “negative” — they’re a part of you. And you are nothing short of God-like.