Feeling Fear? You are Probably on the Right Track.
Ever thought about trying something and it feels appealing and horrible all at the same time? Seriously, there is this subtle thing that happens when we cross paths with something that is important to our growth — we feel resistance.
Before I enrolled in Yogaview’s teacher training, I felt drawn towards it and encountered a wall of resistance against it all at the same time. In other words, I cared. The more I cared, the more resistance appeared because of fear.
Fear. Ever heard what fear stands for? F*** Everything And Run. I want to run because I care and I could fail. If I fail in an area that I care about, I have to face the possibility that I am not enough.
Imagine something that you are going to do that you do not care about. The feeling is a feeling of heaviness or dread. I may need to get it done, but I do not care deeply about the outcome.
Now imagine something that you really want to do. Did fear show up the instant you imagined it? Fear is showing up because you care. You would not have fear if you did not care.
This sensation is life’s way of telling us that we are doing exactly the thing we need to do.
There are tasks that we just get done. There are tasks that we dread, but we have to do. There are projects that we dread, but help us reach our greater goals.
Then there are the things that we desire and fear. Those are the best ones. When I look back on my life, each time I overcame fear, I found the greatest joy.
My clients have goals and fears all at the same time. I know we are on the right track when fear shows up — they care.
We will never overcome fear, but we can learn to live with it.
Ever go to the airport and walk within 10 miles of a Cinnabon? The smell is intoxicating.
I don’t eat Cinnabons because I know the minute I am done I will regret every bite. The grease, the calories, the processed everything– they are not worth the 5 minutes of pure bliss.
In other words, I have learned to live without the short-term gratification to experience the long-term gratification of health.
The same is true with fear.
I can avoid what I fear. I can get the short-term benefits of avoiding the pain associated with the thing I fear.
However, if I choose to dive into the fear I get the long-term benefits of pursuing the things that are most important to me.
How to face fear and not run
- Acknowledge it is there.
- Are you in danger? A bus coming? Physical pain? If so, attend to it.
- If you are safe, remind yourself you are safe.
- Stop and smile. You are stepping into something important. You care.
- Focus on the task at hand. Fear wants us to worry about the outcome.
- Take action. The outcome will become clear later. Small actions are all you have now.
- Celebrate each small action. You stepped into your truth.
We are born with the primal instinct to feel fear. We fear our parents leaving. Anxiety or dread comes later. Those feelings are when we have to do something we do not want to do.
Fear is our friend. It tells us that we are in trouble and it tells us that we are on the path towards our truth. Take a moment to distinguish mortal fear from fear of finding your authentic self — the light within.
“Only the light within us is real. We are not afraid of the dark within ourselves, so much as we are afraid of the light” — Marianne Williamson
Namaste — “the divine light in me honors the divine light in you”
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