What is your relationship with fear?
Examining my own relationship with fear has led me to recognize fear as a powerful force that can either stop me in my tracks or propel me with courage and an open, trusting heart.
Fear expands with rumination about the “what if” questions that erupt with an imbalanced, overthinking mind. Many have strengthened the tools of resiliency, anti-fragility, and adaptability to avoid allowing a virus to grow from a ‘Pandemic of Fear’ into a state of shut-down – depression, anxiety, and dis-ease. We have all been there – staring down fear.
Fear can be disabling and yet there is another route that our inner navigation system can take. This would be the route of an open heart in recognizing that courage requires fear. Courage to do anything implies that we are being stretched to be, try or do something we have not done before. Fear is what we feel when we know we are stretching into our outer edge or outside of our comfort zone.
What if our relationship to fear could shift us from a state of fear and disempowerment to an open-hearted, trusting state of confidence?
What if we each adopted a confident, self-assured credo to create a state of mind in which we feel Inner Peace, grounded in our individual, inner Power?
As confidence comes flows like an energetic river within, a feeling of strength, fearlessness abounds when we tap into and l e a n into it.
As a woman, business owner, transformational coach, leader, writer, spouse, mother, grandmother, friend, sister living and pivoting in a shifting, changing world, I witness the opportunity to exercise courage on a daily basis.
Fear & Courage Reframe
The premise of this blog focuses on the interdependence of fear and courage/courage and fear. WHAT?!
Courage is not the absence of fear but rather, requires fear. There is no need to be courageous if we aren’t afraid of something. It has to do with risk and the ability to adapt, flex, and pivot. If we only do that which yields no fear, we are staying in our comfort zone. Stepping out of or just to the outer-most edge of our comfort zone is likely to evoke the jitters, a bit of fear. The question is “AM I going to let it stop me, or AM I going to lean in with courage and “just do it?”
As we zoom through 2020 and face 2021 (already!), we have all been stretched, flexed, forced to pivot, and we did what we had to do. We have all done things that required courage, adaptability, resiliency, and anti-fragility.
Being Human Deep Dive Truth:
- We were Made for these times.
- We were Created to be courageous.
- We were made to Stand Up for What Matters.
- Fear is the fuel required to drive Courage.
- Courage cannot be separated from Action.
“Everyone has the opportunity to contribute harmony and beauty by kindness to others and thereby support the human spirit. That which is freely given to life flows back to us because we are equally part of that life. Like ripples on the water, every gift returns to the giver. What we affirm in others, we actually affirm in ourselves.” –David R Hawkins, M.D. PhD
Courage is open-hearted bravery. It is when we feel frightened but still act in a way that aligns with our personal truth. It requires that we tap into our inner strength and our vulnerability. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courageous people do feel fear, but they are able to manage and overcome their fear so that it does not stop them taking action.
CALL TO COURAGE; Stepping out of the Illusionary Dream State of Fear
I believe fear is a call to exercise courage.
Here are a few practices and inspirations for practicing courage:
- Check with your body often, and tune your ability to distinguish excitement in the unknown from true danger warnings. (my example: saying yes to trekking the most challenging west coast trail in BC, climbing more than 70 vertical ladders, trekking in mud, sea shelf, log crossings, and numerous kilometers on deep beach sand carrying a 40-pound pack, with the risk of injury and dangerous big animal interactions)
- Make a plan to try a thing that scares you a little or makes you a little jittery (my example: re-engineering my business during a pandemic)
- Make a plan to try a thing that scares you a lot (my example: leaving a secure job to start a business in a completely different field)
- Reach out for support with something that evokes feelings of vulnerability (my example: baring my feelings about my own insecurities, fears, hopes, and dreams – hiring my first life coach at age 31)
- Volunteer to help someone else with something they find frightening (my example: helping a friend choose treatment)
Where in my life am I already being brave?
How do you develop courage and bravery?
7 Effective Ways To Boost Your Courage
- Remind yourself that fear exists to serve as fuel for courage.
- Expand your comfort zone gradually.
- Remember to breathe.
- Take a step back and get objective.
- Think of how you would support a friend in the same situation.
- Ask, “Who do I want to become?” instead of, “What do I need to do?”
- Take action. One small step at a time.
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” –Audre Lorde