Making friends with fear
Every once in a while I hear people use the word fearless, as if it’s something we should strive for. As if, being without fear is something to be proud of.
I’d like to interject and give my two cents on this one.
Fear is extremely valuable.
I’ll say it again. Fear is extremely valuable.
The important thing to note is that it is your relationship with fear that allows the real magic to happen.
Remember when you were a kid, and you were terrified to go on the big, scary roller-coaster, even though plenty of other people were doing it... and surviving?
Your fear was trying to protect you beyond logical reason.
It told you that the roller coaster was dangerous, and you could get hurt, and you should avoid it at all costs. It was scary.
Well, the same kind of thing happens every day in our adult lives. Since you know it’s my forte, I’ll talk about it as it pertains to relationships. Whether you’re in one or not, I’m sure some amount of fear around this has or will come up for you on occasion.
For me, it happens all the time. Something I (quietly) struggled with recently was when my boyfriend first moved in with me. I was so scared. I really thought that he would hate it. I thought that I would be a terrible live-in girlfriend. I thought that he would get sick of having dog hair around all the time (no matter how much I cleaned it) and decide that living with me was just not going to work.
Some people might think… “Oh, just get over it.” “It’ll be fine.” Which, sure, maybe that would work for some people. But not for me, and probably not for you either if you’re reading this.
I couldn’t just get over it, but what I could do was dig into my fears even more and see what they were trying to tell me.
So that’s exactly what I did.
What I learned was that my fears were trying to protect me just like they were when I was a roller-coaster avoiding child. My fears we’re saying, “He doesn’t want to live with you!” because they wanted to protect me from getting hurt. From being embarrassed. They wanted to shield me from any possibility of a great new step in my relationship coming to a crashing halt.
Once I realized this, everything changed.
I didn’t become fearless, but I did learn how to use my fears to grow.
So the part of me that was so scared, about being lonely, about being embarrassed, was a part of me I needed to comfort. I said thank you to my fears for showing me to her, and then I took control from there. Yes, the fear subsided, but it’s never truly gone. Now, I have a relationship with it. We work together to achieve true freedom, and true happiness.
Just like a child who is terrified of a roller-coaster needs to know that his feet are safe on the ground, that fearful part of me needed to know I was loved and safe. That regardless of what happened, I would still be loved and safe.
Think about this in your own life. Is there anything going on right now that makes you really uneasy to think about?
Is there anything that you’re scared of, that might be holding some wisdom for you?
This is one of my favorite things to explore with clients. It’s just a little shift in how we view our fears, and being able to do it consistently is life changing.
As you know, I’m always down for a chat about how things like this show up in your life and what’s possible for you if things were to change. Leave me comment, send me an email or request your own complimentary session. You’ve got this.