Sunday, May 4, 2014

Take Charge of Your Fears

We all have "those moments" come up. The moments that seem to paralyze our bodies and minds, shake up all notions of who we are, and to suggest that we don't have what it takes. FEAR. Whatever form it takes and however daunting it appears, fear actually isn't a bad four-letter word. When fear comes up in life, it presents a unique opportunity for us to learn and to grow. We all have fears, and whether they stop us in our tracks or propel us forward toward what we want---depends on what we do with them.

There is a tendency to want to ignore fears, fix them, and hope they'll go away on their own without the attention they're asking for. We can start to believe that the messages the fears seem to be sending us are true, and we seek to avoid them even further. On top of that, there are often internally- and externally-sparked messages that if we feel fear, that we're weak and lacking in courage.

The truth is, there can be no courage in life without fear. There also can't be real excitement, determination, enjoyment, and pride. Squashing out the natural emotion of fear in life tends to squash out life in general and limits how we express ourselves as unique individuals. When fear is knocking loudly on the door, it's asking us to open up to something new in life, and it's often something that we're ready to handle at that point. If we ignore the fear, it keeps knocking anyway while waiting to be noticed. Eventually, we can start to feel scared of even being afraid and this suppression takes up much of our time and energy.

There is no solution to fear, and there doesn't need to be. Fear is a natural and potentially energizing part of life, and its source in the body is closely tied to the same place excitement comes from too. Both the feelings of fear and excitement release similar hormones and neurotransmitters in the body. Instead of letting fears take us over and rule how we live, we can learn to take more charge of them. Acknowledging fears as part of reality allows us to take pressure off of ourselves and the need to be perfect. Instead, we can learn our way through the scary experiences. If we let ourselves face fears and process them, we can use the energy that is contained within them to live life how we want.

Luckily, there's no magic trick to facing fears. They're actually right in front of our faces and waiting to be noticed, if we allow space in our lives for them. Start by opening the door that fear is knocking on and saying, "I feel scared of _____________."

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