Updated: Jan 31, 2020
Fear. What a *bleep*.
Fear hides deep within us and manifests in some unusual ways. Fear stalks us and hides in our fractured parts only to reveal itself when we least expect it! Physically speaking we have fear to keep us safe from external threats, but in our modern lives fear more commonly appears in times when our lives are not in danger.
This response has not left us, only our ‘threats’ have changed. These days’ fear appears when we are on a date, speaking in public, alone at a party, or when we decide to leave our steady job to go Africa for 6 months.
As a defense our minds tend to wonder immediately to the negative, we concoct these illusionary tales of all of the horrible things that are waiting for us in unfamiliar territory. In reality, most people are good and decent and our lives are not actually going to end as a result of an awkward situation.
As humans we are wired to avoid pain and death by taking the easiest way out of things, choosing the path of least resistance, but what does this mean for living a meaningful life in these modern times? Do we always choose the easy way so we can avoid the pain of uncertainty?
Im so glad you asked!
I believe yes is the case for most of us.
As a result of a combination of our physiological make up and our societal norms what we project as normal is often the safest, steadiest existence possible. That’s the American dream after all!
Why are so many of us playing it safe and allowing fear to control us? Because It’s easier to follow the pack instead of veering off on our own. If you notice you are going against the status quo people may begin to judge you and worse, you judge yourself for wanting to go in another direction.
Did I miss something here?
I look at the people around me and I feel like the odd ball, like there is some memo I haven’t received. I seem to be living and believing in ways that the people around me are not, makes me question what I might be missing.
When I share my dreams with people I get scoffs and I feel a burning temptation to say things like “someday”, or “a girl could dream”, or “yeah, I wish”. This fear response rises up because of the uncomfortable experience that is sharing an uncommon ideal with people who are not in the same place. Its fear. My fear of ridicule makes me diminish my own dreams.
Dare I dream of making money my own way? Of helping people find their way to a happier, healthier life? How DARE I decide I will be a snow bird in my 20’s, that privilege is reserved for retired folks, it needs to be earned.
Seems like most people are totally content working a 9-5, driving their nice cars around, buying their condos, and taking their annual vacations. I don’t feel this call on a soul level, my own observations tell me that I consider these things when I am sitting in fear.
As there is nothing wrong with this way of life I wonder; if this is what I should want, why don’t I? What am I missing? Am I spoilt? Entitled? Delusional?
Maybe, but what I have learned thus far is to trust myself; it doesn’t matter what other people are doing, my point of reference is myself and I don’t want to do life that way. My feelings are driving me in another, perhaps less safe path and my feelings don’t lie.
Whether this is the way I will feel forever or just in my 20’s I’m not sure, but that doesn’t mean my opinion matters any less? This is my reality as different as it seems and it’s beautiful.
How did this realization come to me? Through experience of course!
As I worked my 9-5 with gratitude I had a sudden realization. It was the kind of epiphany that smacks yeah right in the face. I was having a quarter life crisis! Suddenly I realized that my whole life I had been playing it safe. I avoid pain most of the time, even something as simple as riding roller-coasters – they scare me so I don’t go there.
I had this vision of myself on my deathbed reflecting on a life filled with safe decisions and wishing I had done more of what I wanted to. In this moment I realized I wanted to live an extraordinary life, even if that meant pain.
Do I want to sky dive? Hell no, I will definitely have a COW on the way up, but will I do it? I probably should!
What about having kids? Ouch scary. But will I let fear hold me back from that gift?
And what about my dreams? Will I make them happen while I sit in my comfortable office chair?
Are my feelings of discontent temporary or powerful enough to get me out or will I succumb to the fear?
As I began down this spiral I sat back and watched with amusement, I am having a very human moment. I am not the only one who has felt this way, and I certainly will not be the last. Fear is a part of our human make up, and it does serve us.
What will you regret on your deathbed?
I now know that living a life of playing it safe is something I will look back on and regret. I feel that if I look back on my life and I didn’t take scary leaps I would be kicking myself. (I’m not sure if at the point of death, it is physically possible to kick one’s self, so let’s just say that is a figurative kick in the ass).
So, my friends, what is it that fear keeps you from?
What are you preventing yourself from having because of fear?
Consider the following; all of our perceived negative emotions are a byproduct of fear. Guilt, jealousy, anger all equal fear.
Now, before we start ganging up on fear we must realize, fear is our friend. On my journey to spirit I have learned that fear is my teacher, when my life is not at risk, fear does not benefit me in any way other than communicating where exactly it is I am blocked, have a limiting belief, or am not living in my true nature.
So, what now?
Fear can shock you out of your current state so you can be rebooted and change directions.
My advice; get really good at recognizing when you are not in alignment which means you are in fear, and use this as a divine kick off towards where you need to go. Often our most precious gifts are on the other side of fear.
As my teacher always says “growth is rarely comfortable”. Think about it, when was the last time you really learned a big lesson? Most likely it was as a result of an uncomfortable situation, you know what is uncomfortable? FEAR. The cycle is complete.
How can you start to use your fear as your teacher?
Start with these:
Note, that these are not to be used when your fear is triggered by a legitimate life threatening situation, in those situations follow your fear to safety.
When you feel fear, instead of suppressing it, welcome it in knowing that it is a temporary emotion.
Take a note of your fear, where are you feeling it? what does it feel like? What sparked it? Write this down to help you distinguish the different kinds of fear.
Take a moment to excuse yourself if you can, and sit with your fear. Ask it why it has come up, is your life really in danger? What triggered it? What can you do to move through it? Sometimes when we are really charged up its hard to hear the answers, if you don’t get the answers right away that’s okay, know that they will come to you once you’ve calmed down.
If this fear was not triggered because of endangerment ask your fear, what are you here to teach me?
p.s. I really encourage you to sit and reflect upon your life. This is such a powerful experience. Ask yourself:
Are you the person who you want to be?
Are you happy with the things people will say about you at your funeral?
If you don’t like what you see or feel something should change.
Sending you SO much love and light!