10 Ways to View your Fears with Kindness
My friend Jen & I just concluded the first run of our Catalyst Course last week and in it, we helped students get unstuck, get direction and find their happy! We address a lot of negative emotions in the course, helping people gain some perspective and arming them with tools to help them deal with those emotions in healthy ways. And each time we get to the root of what’s keeping someone stuck in any situation, it’s most often fear!
So, I thought it’d be a good opportunity to talk fear here with you all, because in our course, we like to view fear not so much as something we need to run from or push away, but rather something we should be kind to- befriend even, get familiar with. Because fear can be an awesome and incredible teacher to us about ourselves and what we really want out of life!
If we can view fear, and our fear-based emotions (like anger, frustration doubt, sadness, guilt, loneliness, jealousy…) not as the definition of who we are, but rather as a signal, a sign, a guidepost pointing us where we need to go- then we can start to feel a lot differently about fear and everything that comes along with it.
If we can find and focus on the benefits of fear, we can use it to propel us forward, rather than as an excuse to keep us stuck right where we are.
So to help shift your perspective in this way, here are 10 Reasons Why Fear is your Friend!
1. Fear is an indicator– the more we feel fear, and resistance, toward moving in a direction, the more we can feel certain that this is something we need to do for our personal growth. If it meant nothing to us, we wouldn’t fear it, or have resistance towards it. Fear means- it matters deeply to you.
2. Fear helps you explore all the layers of yourself. It takes you into uncharted territory and places within you that you didn’t even know existed yet. It’s like a secret treasure map to help you discover your self-identity, to help you expand, grow and stretch your definition of yourself.
3. Through fear, we can find our power. When we project our fear onto other people or things (this person made me mad, this thing happened to me and made me depressed) we are giving those things the power to scare us. The power to keep us stuck in a holding pattern. If we instead own our fears, if we stand our ground in them, really feel them- we retain our power. And in that way, we become a support to our own selves, and one that will be there for us whenever any fear-based emotions come up.
4. Fear is a stepping stone along the long & windy journey toward your authentic, whole and fulfilling life. If you see it as an obstacle from which you can get a better leg-up, rather than a wall you can’t break thru, you might even look forward to it’s appearance along your path as a way to see further, and gain perspective.
5. Fear is a gift of incredible energy and awareness of what is happening right in this present moment. It’s been said that fear is actually just excitement, without the breath. So we can breathe into our fear, literally, to transform it- take some deep breaths, do a breathing exercise, meditate for 5 minutes before you have to do that thing that scares you, and you can turn your fear into excitement to propel you!
6. Facing your fear and learning to re-frame it is something you can learn, something you can practice, something you can train yourself to do at any point in your life. Which means it’s never too late to learn from your fear-based emotions. It’s never too late to train your brain to deal with fear differently. All it takes is practice, which means, YOU CAN DO IT!
7. Each time you conquer a fear, your confidence and self-esteem grow. In every moment of fear, there is an opportunity to prove yourself to yourself, to surprise yourself, to expand the limits of what you thought you were capable of. And when you do? It’s a mega confidence booster and gives you a sense of self-worth that is unmatched by little else!
8. And the funny thing about facing a fear- even if you “fail” at what you set out to do, you retain a sense of accomplishment for even having tried! When you go for it, when you work up the nerve to do something that scares you, when you face your fear head on- win or lose- you’ll feel better on the other side, either way! No matter what the results of facing that fear are, you can rest assured that facing it will be a good decision.
9. When you start to face your fears, your happiness naturally grows. Simply as a by-product of feeling more in control of your life and more confident in your abilities to interact with the world in various ways. On the other side of every fear is peace, happiness, fulfillment. Fear shows you what you need to do in order to be happy- it’s like an open door that we just have to walk thru, to grow!
10. Fear develops our authentic courage. When we can look at fear and see it for what it really is, what it’s teaching us and the direction it’s encouraging us to go and then DO THE THING that scares us in spite of all the fear we feel? That’s courage. That’s true inner strength. And that might be the most awesome gift that fear gives us, of all.
Facing your fear will only be uncomfortable for a moment, but the benefits of that action will last a lifetime.
Use fear as fuel to propel you in the direction toward your most authentic and awesome life!
Jena Coray is a “mojo-maker” who works one-on-one with artists, makers and entrepreneurs through Miss Modish, offering a helping hand and direction to take their businesses to the next level of awesome! She is also one half of The Maven Circle with her friend Jen, whose first course, The Catalyst, helps support people out of fear and stuck, into happy! Our next class run starts July, 2012.