Tool: Hear Your Fear
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
With all this talk about countering fear, it is important to recognize fear itself.
We have fear for a reason. Sometimes it’s a life-saver. When I see a crazy driver veering around on the road or cutting in and out of traffic - and we’re all going 75-miles-an-hour - I naturally get cautious. I become a defensive driver, and maneuver to be as safe as I can. I’ve actually taken the next off-ramp, just to get away from a scary driver. That isn’t always an option, but it can bring your heart rate down - and it changes the situation. Hopefully it's an off-ramp with an easily accessible get-back-on-the-highway-ramp, or it turns into more of a situation-change than I bargained for.
There is a whole spectrum of fear. Some of it is super practical. And obvious.
Some is harder to discern. Fear can lurk around in the corners of our minds… enveloping our thoughts. It can spread, and it can root. There can be more than one thing we are afraid of in any given situation. Some of that fear may be useful, at the same time when some other fear is holding us back.
Fear can immobilize us. It can be paralyzing, disenchanting, disempowering, and disabling. It can also mobilize, bring us to unexpected action, and cause fierce protection… especially if we fear for those we love. That mobilizing fear can be as dangerous as it is helpful. What is the root of it? What happens when we create the space for a deeper look?
Is the fear that causes action there because we are avoiding something else? Is the action the fear is pushing for easier than dealing with the hidden fear?
One of the tools to counter fear is to understand it.
One key to understanding it is to listen.
Is your fear telling you something you need to hear? Is it a warning to follow?
Is your fear of a new relationship tied to something you should heed? Are there some subconscious warning bells that you might not be seeing? Or is that fear the kind of fear that holds you back? The kind that keeps you from listening to your heart? That keeps you from allowing yourself to be what your heart wants you to be?
You can shine. You can be happy. Is the fear you have actually a tool to help you get there?
Maybe you are afraid of a new job opportunity. There are all kinds of platitudes for this situation. “The grass isn’t always greener.” “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.” Yadda yadda yadda. Beyond the platitudes, though… perhaps there is something bigger. Maybe this job isn’t really what your heart wants. Maybe this job isn’t in line with your integrity. Maybe this job is a lifestyle you don’t really want… like with too much travel, when you really want to be around home. What exactly is your fear telling you? Because the job may just be perfect. Or the worst. We can know more if we can get beyond the noise.
Once you sort out which fear is the loudest, or which you need to listen to at any given moment, then you can figure out what’s next. Is the fear here to help - or to hold you back? Do you counter your fear, or do you embrace it?
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