You Don’t Have to Be Fearless: Learning to Walk with Your Fears

man and woman holding hands

We all struggle with fear in some form in our lives, even if we don’t consciously recognize it as fear. 

Sure, stage fright or a fear of heights is easy to identify. But when we judge others, that often stems from fear. Our own insecurities are usually based in fear. And even our procrastination can be a result of our fears.

If fear is so common, how can we possibly become fearless?

We can’t. 

Fear is not something that we should try to avoid. It’s trying to keep us safe, after all, whether that’s safe from death–like a fear of heights–or safe from emotional harm, judgement or embarrassment–like a fear of speaking in public. 

Fear is always going to be a part of our life. It’s always going to be a part of our experience. Aiming to be fearless is really kind of pointless, because we are never going to be fearless

If you see someone who seems fearless, it’s not that they don’t feel fear. It’s that they’ve learned how to walk with the fear. They’ve learned how to move through the fear. They’ve learned how to live with their fear. And you can, too.

You can begin to be conscious of your fears, to recognize where your fear is coming from and what the purpose of the fear is. Then you can choose whether it’s a useful fear or it’s not serving you. And you can start to walk with your fear rather than letting it hold you back.

Here’s how.

  1. Ask yourself: What is this fear trying to tell me or to protect me from?
  2. Once you know what your fear is trying to protect you from, ask yourself: What happens if I choose to ignore my fear?
  3. Next, ask yourself: What happens if I listen to my fear?
  4. Choose what to do next.

Let’s walk through an example of this. Say that your fear of judgement is stopping you from starting a blog or writing a book, even though you know you have a powerful story or point of view to share. That fear of judgement may be protecting you from embarrassment or saving you from a feeling of vulnerability or holding you back because of an even deeper fear that your friends and family will turn away from you based on their judgement of the experiences you’d like to share.

Then you can ask yourself the second question. If you choose to ignore that fear, the worst case scenario is that you might actually feel judged or be embarrassed by something that you share or may even lose friends because of something that you choose to write. 

What happens if you listen to your fear? You can avoid judgement or embarrassment and keep your friends but you might also miss out on expressing yourself and connecting with other people. You may even miss out on helping someone get through a similar situation or pattern that you’ve worked through.

Fear can keep you safe. But it can also hold you back. 

If you want to live your best life, you have to pay attention to your fears. You can’t just feel the fear and let that consume you or you won’t realize your dreams and your vision. You won’t be able to move through those fears into something new and exciting because you will be caught in that cycle of feeling the fear and holding yourself back because of it.

Rather than getting stuck in your fear, the next time you recognize that you’re feeling fear, try asking yourself the questions above. Ask yourself what the fear is trying to protect you from, what could happen if you listen to it and what could happen if you ignore it. 

What could happen if you walk together with your fear, being careful but also being willing to try anyway and to see what’s on the other side of the fear?

You just might make your dreams come true and create the life you truly desire.

YourAmi Spencer Youngs

{Want to learn more about working with your fear rather than against it? Join me in my Facebook Group or reach out for more info on my upcoming group program, The Best Life Academy! We can work together to keep fear from holding you back from your dreams.}

 

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