Fear Facing

Always do what you are afraid to do. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fear. Even the word is unpleasant.  What is it, why is it that sometimes we get so wrapped up fearing what we fear?  I was once asked the question, what would you do if you were not afraid? At first this question may seem a little silly, but think about it for a second. Would you be a singer on stage?  Climb a mountain?  A famous actor? Flip your boss the finger and walk out? What about the kind of fear that is a little more subtle…emotional fear.  What would you do if you were not afraid?

There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them. – Andre Gide

Would you trust someone?  Would you love someone?  Would you let your guard down?  Say I love you?  Say I can’t love you? Would you stand up for yourself more, or defend someone else? Would you reach out and risk rejection, if there was no fear?

I say I am stronger than fear. – Malala Yousafzaa

In this day and age of making the most of fear into headlines that sell, it may seem and feel counter initiative to face that which you fear most.  But I think sometimes, it is exactly what needs to be done.

I think fear holds us back in the worst of ways and keeps us from being the best we can be, living our best lives as our best selves.  It keeps us in our safe little shells, never knowing the warmth of the sun, or the trill of the wind. But we are human, and fear is a very basic and human emotion. So what do we do about it? I am facing my fears, one step and one day at a time.  With knees shaking, heart beating, sweaty palms, mind racing, what-ifs running, throat in my chest, but I am doing it.  And it is…scary.

Don’t be afraid to see what you see. – Ronald Reagan

What is it that I fear exactly?  Rejection.  Not being loved. Being thought of as less than, even though I know that I am not. Of being vulnerable. Of being disappointed. Of not being wanted, and being tossed to the side. Of letting go. Sometimes we get so caught up in our fears that we forget to ask – what is the worst thing that could happen? For me – …nothing really. They are all things I have experienced before, and I am still here, alive and kicking. And still, my knees are weak.

Maybe it’s not so much about what happens afterward, but more about the fact that you faced your fear in the first place.  Maybe, that is where ground is gained. And I can walk away knowing that no matter what happens, I am better off for fear facing. And from this comes a new though: Let fear face me, not the other way around.

Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself. – Samuel Butler

And in that, maybe we can uncover that which we are trying to find and crave most.  Maybe we can find ourselves by losing the fear. In addition to my self growth, I am walking away from those people and situations that no longer serve me or are in my best interest.  Because fear of being with the wrong people in my circle makes me step out of my comfort zone and re evaluate from time to time.

So let go, face off, square up, and buckle down. It may be a bumpy ride, but I promise, it will be worth it when you get there. Shed the fear to gain your life.