Have you ever been so full of fear that you let it it rob you of joy?
Have you felt paralyzed by fear and anxiety and were unable to do something you dreamt of trying? Maybe getting on an airplane for a trip alone (that’s me!), or attending a social function alone, or public speaking, applying for a new job, moving to a new city, or maybe even eating out alone.
Fear is personal.
What scares us individually can vary greatly, but fear is universal in its ability to sabotage our quest for joy, our desire for change and our natural, instinctual yearning for growth.
Fear is a powerful.
We’re built to feel fear at a gut level as a signifying emotion to protect us from harm. But when we’re facing challenges that scare us (but are surmountable, healthy and growth-based obstacles), fear paralyzes us and prevents us from moving forward.
Fear robs of us opportunities for joy and for continued personal growth.
We think that it’s keeping us safe, but in reality, it’s keeping us stuck.
When fear crosses the line from an intuitive warning to a counterproductive block, it becomes unhealthy. It keeps us immobilized and unable to take action toward experiences that we can learn from and which can expand our growth.
Fear is a thief.
Fear is a greedy, pushy, controlling, possessive freeloading roommate that takes up valuable real estate in our minds. When we allow it too much control, it can rob us of joy.
It threatens to keep us still, bound, silent, and playing small. Fear prevents us from chasing our dreams, growing, expanding and living to our fullest potential.
If you’ve ever felt too scared to take action on a goal or dream, then you know how it feels to be in the shadow of fear. It stinks. It never feels good or right. Kind of like the discomfort of a shoe that’s a half-size too small. It’s hard to ignore and the longer we wear it, the more it hurts us.
We all want to enjoy the more expansive feeling that emotional freedom gives us. But getting there often requires breaking through the choking grip of fear.
Feeling fear doesn’t make you a coward.
Nor does it make you unworthy, silly or crazy. (But it certainly has a way of making us think that of ourselves.)
We see others fearlessly doing what we wish we had the strength to do and it make us feel that we don’t measure up. But remember that you don’t truly know how someone else feels. They may be as scared as you, but they’ve choosen to do it anyway.
Fear is a liar.
Fear fills our head with lies. It often streams the worst possible outcomes of whatever we are considering attempting through our minds. It produces a never-ending slide show of how we will fail, how we’ll be hurt, of all that could go wrong.
Fear tells us we are weak and incapable.
And if we listen long enought, it will rob us of the ability to expand and move forward to take steps in the direction of our potential. This is an unacceptable loss!
Taking action despite our fear is where the magic lies.
It’s often where our greatest potential for personal growth is found.
As a person with anxiety, I understand the spiral of panic and fear first-hand.
I did something this week that pushed me far beyond what I thought my limits were. I booked and boarded a flight alone. Maybe not one of your fears, but remember our fears are personal.
This one is deep for me and has kept me crippled in anxiety and unable to feel independent for so long. Although I’ve flown frequently with family members, I haven’t flown alone in nearly thirty years.
Long story for another day on the underlying history of this particular fear of mine, but the point is I reached the moment when I was not going to allow fear to steal my joy. I was not going to miss an opportunity to be with my oldest son as he moved into his new apartment in Florida. I missed his last two moves, and I refused to allow fear to rob me of the experience this time.
“I’m crippled by anxiety, but I’m where I’m supposed to be.” – Ed Sheeran
Will our fears ever entirely go away? Maybe not, but that’s ok.
Taking any action, no matter how small or big, toward understand ourselves better and and pushing beyond our fear, is a win.
Even if we fail, we learn and grow.
Be afraid to do it because you’re more afraid not to.
If we don’t take the risk, if we don’t take the step that scares us and stretches our beliefs about ourselves, we can’t possibly experience what we are meant to achieve and live our fullest potential.
Without working through fear, we can’t experience everything we are dreaming of.
It’s up to us to figure out how badly we want to, and whether or not we will choose to work through it.
“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is to be understood.” – Marie Curie
Baby steps. Start by not allowing yourself to use the words, “I can’t”. Instead, say “I’m choosing not to do that yet.” Because in the end, how we face and succumb or overcome fear is our choice. And how long it takes us, or what our journey looks like is personal and for no one to judge, including ourselves.
“You can believe you can or you can believe you can’t. Either way you are right.” – Henry Ford
As for me, when this post publishes I will be on my way to the airport for my return trip solo flight back home. I still feel the knots of fear and anxiety in the pit of my stomach, but I also know that fear is a liar. It wants me to believe I am limited. But I know better and plan to use my mindset tools and strategies to help myself move through the fear.
Cheers to knowing that we have choices and it is possible to move beyond fear – when we are ready.
Sending you much light, love and hope for overcoming whatever knots up your stomach in fear.
Wishing you a wonderful joy-filled week! – Marlene
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