The other day my friend Aurora linked me in a post on Instagram and in her sweet blurb she described me as fearless. Fearless. I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I would have never described myself as fearless, but I do get up every day and attempt to not fall for all the bells and whistles that fear brings.
I have a secret though, that I need to share.
I am not fearless, I am stubborn.
Many years ago I used to live a life ruled by fear. I was afraid to be myself, I was afraid of what people thought of me, I was afraid of travelling, I was afraid of failure and above all I was afraid of fear itself. My relationship to fear changed because I was granted a whole gigantic dose of perspective, of which I have written about here and here. I had a bigger pin point for what fear could be, and it wasn’t what I thought it was.
Make the fear of not doing something bigger than the fear of doing it
I am not fearless but oh boy I am so fiercely independent and I am stubborn. My will has become way more powerful than my won’t. The lesson is in learning to shift your perception. For when you want to do something, whether it’s follow a dream or overcome a challenge – You have to be more concerned about not doing something than about doing it. You have to be more excited about taking the step than you are afraid of it. I am much more afraid of not doing something that I want to. I am afraid of not trying.
This is perception, nothing is different, you are still in the same situation. You can open a door and expect to see something terrible or something great, it’s a choice. This is by far the most simple way I have learned to live and it’s the only way to overcome a fear of change or of the unknown. Uncertainty is certain, that is the honest truth, but your expectations and your perceptions can be as you choose.
But doesn’t being positive set you up for failure? Failure doesn’t exist. It’s just a fear of change. I would rather step out of my front door every single day and be excited for what it might bring than I would be afraid of what it might bring.
Why? because the biggest thing I have learned is that living from fear does not move you forwards. It will spin you in a circle and it will beat you down and it will make you feel trapped, but it does not create opportunities. Sometimes fear comes in and gives you a shove, but you still have to take the step to go onwards.
What do I do when when I’m swimming in a thought process that is steaming with fear?
Your job is not to eliminate fear.
I don’t think we dissolve fear or zap it into non existence but we can change our relationship to it. You know that old saying ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’?
Get to know fear first, get to know how it shows itself to you. How does it arise? through a lack of confidence? a fear of change? procrastination and fear of failure? Introduce yourself to your fears, recognise them and don’t run away from them. Fear has to be treated like a feeling, you have to feel it because then you can change how you take it on.
Say hello to fear, acknowledge fear, feel fear, but, don’t stop to chat. Wave hello to fear and then keep walking.
Your job is to not put your energy on fear. I don’t believe we arrive on this earth with fear, we learn it, hence of course why we tend to be our most fearless in childhood. Fear can be unlearned and the way you do that is by choosing not to load attention upon it.
There are opportunities scattered throughout your day, week, month, year and life that give you the chance to put your beautiful energy on something other than your fear. The best bit is that you can practice, daily.
fear has no roots
Fear is real, but it’s not grounded, it’s restricted but it’s not fixed, it’s fluid, which means it can be shaped and changed. Love + expansion are the thing that is real, it is solid, it has structure, it’s a foundation that does not shake. Expansion is also unlimited, it is an energy, it’s a source that doesn’t run out, so, we must seek out something more stretchy when all we see is fear.
How do you see something better when all you see is fear?
Expansive energy is something that you tune into.
When you take a second to try and choose to see something other than fear it’s like adjusting your sight, twizzling your permanent binoculars into focus. We are all seeing the same view but the difference is in our perception. An expansive energy is within every feeling or thought that is positive. It is in the present moment. It is in a happy memory. It is in everyone that you feel connected to and absolutely it is within you.
Try this mantra when you are locked in your fear:
HOW CAN I SEE THIS MORE EXPANSIVELY?
Fear will help you change your life.
Let fear be your teacher but not your guide – all of your experiences where you felt fear or you experienced fear – allow them to push you forwards. Don’t want invite fear to be your mentor or your closest friend, choose for it be the thing that helps you swim off in a brighter direction.
Don’t let fear be an excuse not to do something, let it be a excuse to do something.