How many of us live our lives avoiding the feeling of fear?
How many of us hold back in our lives even just a little bit because of our fear?
I think the answer to that is pretty much everyone on the planet.
I am writing this article for you because I absolutely love the topic of fear, in fact I love fear itself. Quite honestly, without it I wouldn’t be the person I am today, it has been a guide of my own personal growth all my life and it has taught me a lot about myself and the world around me.
The other reason I am writing this article is because I want to serve you, the reader of this article in creating a life where fear is actually a good thing for you and that instead of avoiding it and holding back you will begin instead to move toward it and embrace it like a loved brother or sister in your life.
The fact is, fear isn’t a bad thing. It’s actually just a feeling, right? Just like all the other emotions, we feel it in our bodies, it comes and goes depending on the situation or our state of mind.
So we have this feeling, maybe it is in our heart, maybe it is in our stomach but we feel something within us and it stops us in our tracks.
Now there is only one reason why this feeling of fear stops us in our tracks and that reason is the label we attach to it, or the previous labels we have used it from times in our past where we have felt this same feeling and tried our best to get away from it.
The label many of us are putting upon this feeling in our bodies is that it is “bad”. For many of us we feel fear and almost automatically we say “I don’t like this feeling, it’s a bad feeling” and we stop moving toward that which is creating that feeling within us (normally the thing we very much desire to do or create).
Let me ask you this:
What if fear isn’t a bad thing or feeling? What if it’s actually a beautiful part of us that is just there to keep us safe and protected?
What if we realise that our brain is actually tens of thousands of years old in its biological design and that the feeling of fear that comes up was designed for a time when we actually had real things to fear, life or death situations, animals that wanted to kill us and times of doing things for the survival of ourselves and our loved ones.
You see, what happened over a very short space of time (in the grand scheme of things) is that we became the top predator, we became civilized and we became domesticated, meaning a lot of what we needed that feeling of fear for to keep us safe in times of real danger. Well…. we no longer have a need for, so instead our minds create “problems” in our lives that warrant the need for the use of this feeling of fear.
So, what if in times of feeling fear we actually stepped back a little, slowed down a little and thought about it for a second. What if we were to put our fear into perspective and ask ourselves whether our fear is really needed right now and if it isn’t can we be compassionate for it and ourselves and just accept it for what it is?
Can we accept it as just a feeling?
The moment we accept out fear and embrace it with love and compassion the moment we can begin to create and build upon our own self-trust.
The thing is the more we either avoid our fears or see fear as bad, the less our fears trust us (the less we trust ourselves).
When we begin to see fear in this way, when the feeling comes up we no longer push it away or resist it being there because we think it is a bad, but instead we delight in it’s presence knowing we are going through a moment of personal growth, we begin to understand that the fear is there to help us grow as people and build self-love and self-trust.
The more self-trust we create, the more our fear actually allows us to move forward with courage and we can create or do things much more easily.
Fear showed me how to create the life I want.
I learned the most about fear from the sport that I practice called “Parkour”. The reason this sport taught me so much about fear is because it is a sport of progression that requires in almost every practice or training session, the courage to do movement that brings up a feeling of fear, and in this case, the feeling of fear is there to keep me safe, because…. well…. there are actual consequences to not making a 15-foot roof gap, or making a mistake as I jump from one railing to another.
Throughout the years of training the sport of Parkour I built up my self-trust, the thing is each of us has an ability to know what we are capable of at any given time, this capability grows as we allow ourselves to listen to it and keep showing ourselves it is true.
Whilst practicing Parkour I had to consistently know my own capabilities and also know when my fear was creating unneeded limitations or actually giving me a chance to evaluate and realise maybe this jump or movement isn’t for me right now, maybe I’m not quite ready.
Countless times over the last decade I have felt the feeling of fear when wanting to push and develop my capabilities as an athlete. Countless times I have built upon my own self-trust. Have I always made the jump and stayed safe? No, I have made mistakes, I have failed many times, but thats okay, I have lived to see another day, I have created situations or moments to learn from and grow.
So as a Parkour Athlete who was facing my fears on a daily basis, I began to put other fears in my life into perspective, I learnt that things I was scared of in my personal life, such as meeting women I was attracted to, speaking in front of groups or being completely open and authentic actually had no real consequences to them. I was getting the same sort of feeling I had when facing the actual possibility of danger but instead there was no real danger whatsoever. My body was just producing the same feeling because it thought I needed to be kept safe.
When I recognised this, I used the same love, compassion and knowing of my own capabilities to do the things in my life that I valued but initially was holding back from because of fear, such as authentic expression and meeting women I wanted to meet because of my honest attraction.
Once I began accepting fear as a feeling that was just there because well… it wanted something to do and it loved to keep me safe, my relationship with fear changed completely and I now see it as a friend to me, one that helps my life grow in all the directions I have and will ever desire. It shows me what I truly care about, it shows me where I’m holding back, it teaches me what my real limitations are, it tests me so I really know my own capabilities.
It wants me to be the best I can be. I know that to be true.
We can all develop this sense of love for our fears, we can all create a new relationship with the feeling, all we have to do is recognise it for it is and slow down, really put it into perspective and begin moving forward anyway, building upon our own self-trust.
Where is fear holding you back in your life?
I would like to ask you personally in what areas of your life have you been holding back because of the avoidance of the feelings of fear? Where have you let it hold you back and keep you safe when you know deep down in your heart it isn’t needed and you can in fact create and do all that you want.
What you will learn as you move forward regardless of the feelings of fear is that your perceived limitations are in fact way, way out there beyond what you have ever thought or imagined and that in fact you are almost limitless in your capabilities should you choose to continue to use and develop them.
What I would love to invite you to do is begin becoming aware of every time your fears come up and simply recognise it for what it is, feel the feeling of it and begin to internally thank it for wanting to keep you safe and protected. Tell it at the same time, that you trust yourself in this moment to move forward anyway and take a step toward what you really want and know you are capable of.
Take your time in building this acceptance and self-trust and know that it only takes one small step at a time into your fears to begin developing an unstoppable inner courage and a new loving relationship with your fear.
Courage is all you need, I promise you that.
Photo: Getty Images