I’m sure you’re wondering what on earth I mean by saying fear is something to be embraced.
We’re all familiar with the typical experience of fear. It tends to creep in when we’re in situations like doing an important job interview, a big presentation, or before we do something wild like sky-diving or bungee-jumping.
Our hearts start beating like crazy.
Our hands begin to shake and sweat.
Our knees start to feel weak.
We may even get tongue-tied.
It can be pretty uncomfortable.
So how exactly IS fear a gift?
I invite you to take a moment and contemplate this perspective with me.
When we experience fear, it means that we’re stepping into something new. Something we’ve never done before, nor experienced. Fear relays the fact that we’re about to take on an opportunity that is real. An opportunity that means something to us. An opportunity that is opening space for change.
Change is scary. There’s no doubt about it. The truth, though, is that it doesn’t have to be.
We experience fear when life is calling on us to expand, stretch, and grow. These big opportunities require us to do so. They force us to get out of our comfort zone and into the zone of fully living as we are meant to. Otherwise, all of the life experiences we go through wouldn’t affect us one bit. Why? Because it’s easy, and easy doesn’t require us to do much at all. It’s complacency at it’s best.
Looking at it from this perspective, then, I wonder if we could shift our perspective and start to both welcome fear and trust that it’s confirmation that we are on the right path. We can choose to start to view fear as a compass, knowing that it’s pointing us in the exact and perfect direction we need to be heading in order to become even more expansive and whole human beings.
AND – the amazing thing that happens when we begin to see fear as a welcome ally instead of an enemy, is that we start to welcome even MORE opportunities that we wouldn’t have ever dared to originally. We become incredibly fearless and courageous, open to whatever life has to offer us because we recognize that each and every experience, scary or not, is an opportunity for growth.
“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which
we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
So, when you start to feel fear, I invite you to:
- Be willing to move through it.
- See it for what it truly is.
- Do it anyway.
Fear exists and was designed to be used for protection and survival. We needed it when we were spending our days hunting wild animals or on constant lookout from attacks by neighboring tribes. It served, and still serves, a critical purpose. Today, the key idea is not to get rid of it completely, but to learn how to be aware of where the fear is coming from, discern reality vs the risk, and embrace what the fear is trying to show us. Fear informs us and offers an opportunity to understand what is important to us. It sheds light on our values, and acts as a compass, giving us direction and clarity. It also encourages us to step forward into life, bringing with us our strengths, so we can fully rise forth in our inherent power, slay our dragons, and gallantly walk away with a deep sense of dignity, growth, and fulfillment.
When fear rises up to meet you, embrace it.
Aside from love, it’s truly the most transformative gift that we could ever be given.