Dealing with Fear

Hi there! I’m excited this week because I’ve a new monthly mini-series that I’ll be bringing to my blog over the first half of the year. It’s all about “dealing with” things in order to live a more peaceful and connected life. We’ll start this series in an appropriate place: dealing with fear. Oh yeah, I’m going there so let’s jump right in!

"Being aware of your fear is smart. Overcoming it is the mark of a successful person." — Seth Godin

In our society, fear is a four letter word, which means it’s often looked down on, shamed, denied, or avoided at all costs. However, fear is not as evil as it appears. It’s not actually evil or bad at all. It’s a part of you, and it’s a part of me. Fear is not something you can rid yourself of or cure yourself of. Nope! It’s a part of life. The goal with fear is not to eliminate it (because that’s impossible). The goal is to face fear, deal with it, understand it, and make peace with it.

Further, fear is not at all limited to “being afraid.” It’s much deeper than that. Fear manifests itself in a variety of ways. It’s best to learn what fear looks like and how it manifests itself within you so that you can identify where it’s lurking in your life. Fear is many things. It’s not being able to make a decision. Fear is caring too much about what others think. Fear is spending too much money in order to distract yourself. Fear is a feeling of separate-ness and other-ness. Fear is shaming others. Fear is perfection and the pursuit thereof. Fear is that small (or big) voice in your head or in your heart trying to call all the shots instead of you.

However, fear is not a gremlin or something to be quashed or something that’s evil. Your fear is just as much a part of you as is your happiness or your joy. To vanquish fear would be to rid yourself of the experience of a whole avenue of life. Now, I’m not saying to act from a fearful place or to let fear rule you. That’s not it at all. But you must respect it. And you must be kind to it. And you must listen to what fear has to say. Your fear must know that you understand it and that you have sympathy and love for it. This is one of the best ways to keep fear in check. Think of your fear as a scared child and treat it as such.

Learning to overcome the grip that fear has on your life is to start walking down a more peaceful path. When you can make peace with the fear that lives inside of you, you can learn to coexist with it. Have conversations with your fear. Ask it what it wants. Inquire about what it needs. Listen for the answers. You are not obliged to and are probably much better off if you don’t act on what your fear wants. BUT in listening, you can use your higher order logic and thinking to figure out what’s best.

You are in charge of your life — your fear is not. You’re wise to acknowledge your fear and even to give it a seat in the car. But don’t let fear drive the car. Fear experiences life from a very limited, primitive perspective. Fear cannot see or comprehend much of the higher orders of thinking, logic, reasoning, and even feeling. But there is wisdom in fear. It just needs to be sussed out and understood. Fear needs to have attention paid to it so it can say its piece. Then you step in and reason out what needs to happen. Take everything you know to be true and incorporate your hopes, dreams, and desires into that. That’s how you make decisions.

To get on a path toward a more peaceful and connected life, dealing with fear is a must. If you allow fear to rule the roost, peace and connection will elude you. But if you take the time to listen to fear and hear it out, you’ll find that it’s not something evil or scary. You’ll probably find it has the voice of a child (maybe it’s your voice), and that its bark is far worse than its bite. Extending patience, understanding, and kindness to every part of yourself helps you to build trust with yourself, which is the beginning of feeling connected to yourself. Connection is the first real step toward truly peaceful living.

I’m excited to finally be delving into peaceful and connected living topics. If this is something that excites you too, let me know in the comments if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see addressed or explored. I’m open to digging deeply anywhere within the realms of peacefulness and connectedness (either to self or to others).