SCREW YOU FEAR!
When I think about fear, I want to run and hide! I want to lock ten deadbolts and say "fuck off". However, if I avoid what I fear then I will not ever really truly grow. In a world full of uncertainties, what I am certain about is I can live my journey and strive to move through my fears.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I went on a mini trip together to coast of Oregon. We stayed in this cute little hotel right on the beach. I was to excited to explore the coast with my husband as he has never been there. We were hiking down to the beach and instead of taking the long way around, we decided to climb down a huge cliff (when I mean huge... for climbers it probably wasn't that bad. For me-- I have heights.) I have a genuine fear of heights and it is totally out of my comfort zone to do something like this. As we are hiking down, I got "stuck" on the rocks ridden with fear. My husband, "Mr. Outdoors", was coaching me through it. At one point (this felt like 30 minutes), I started bursting into tears because this was a real fear of mine. He said, "I got you" and with a lot of encouragement, I was able to make it down to the beach. There are a few morals to this story: FEAR IS REAL and I MADE IT!
When I made the choice to climb, I knew I was terrified. I knew that I could get hurt and that I HATE heights. However, I chose to go anyways. WHY (you ask?)...?? I am at a point in my life where facing the fear is more motivating for me than standing back and watching on the sidelines.
How did I get to this point? I was tired of "watching" my life happening and want to be a "doer" not a dreamer. For example, my husband would have climbed down and I would have taken the longer way down. That is the SAFE move for me. Most of my life, I played it SAFE. Taking risk was accompanied by fear and that just wasn't in my "life plan".
Talk about how fear can drive you to stay in your comfort zone, when I leaped I got out of my comfort zone and starting living my life.
The first step I took was saying "YES". This first decision I chose to make despite my fear was to move to Alaska. I remember sitting with my husband (boyfriend then) and feeling judged by our family and friends (negative mindset can do that to you). I felt like the judgment was so heavy and the "concerns" everyone and the fear started to set in. Finally, after I chose to silence the noise-- I was able to listen to my heart. Which said "adventure is what you want, go get it." When you are listening to everyone else (whether negative or positive) it is over powering. I find that when I open the door for feedback-- I am going to get an overwhelmingly amount of it. It may be not what I want to hear or it may contribute to my fear. It is already hard to filter through my own fears and adding more to that-- was freaking killing me.
Fear for me relates to the idea of perfectionism. Perfectionism, damn near killed me. If you let it-- fear WILL win. I am not saying fear is always a bad thing, however, stuffing it down can be toxic.
Now that I have ranted on and on.. :) I am going to provide you with some tips to confront your fear.
Tips For OWNING Your FEAR
1. Identify the fear that you face in the present moment. For example, what is behind the resistance to trying something new?
2. Experience the fear-- We AVOID fear.... why? It is SO uncomfortable. Why not sit with your uncomfortable emotion? Get coffee with it.. write why am I experiencing this fear? I worked with a client and we need a mindfulness grounding exercise on working with experiencing fear. The client was so uncomfortable in fear because we bury it down. We do not want to "show" our fears or be seen as "incompetent" (replace with whatever feeling you want there). We did this exercise again the following session and it was much easier to experience the fear (even though, it was not easy--it was tough as shit!). Each session together, we did this grounding activity an eventually the client was able to experience fear! HUGE success.
3. Label the emotion. When you are just "emotional" that is not an emotion-specific. When you can put a name on the emotion, it will be much more effective in creating an action plan in moving through that emotion. It is not always easier to experience emotions that are "hard", however, identifying the emotion is important in being able to address what is really going on.
4. What are you really hiding from? The root of fear is not always the fear itself. Sometimes there is more to the story. Have you ever read a story without a beginning? In our journey, there is beginning-- the end is death. The beginning is the birthplace of that fear or joy.
5. ACTION. Take action. Just like in my example, I was ridden with fear.. I could have said NO, however, I took action. It is important to take a step back and take action. If you can identify the fear (like I say in the previous steps), you CAN take action! For me it took having my husband help me fight the fear. In personal fears, you may not always have a side-kick to support you-- so you have to look within yourself to find the fight.
FEAR means Freedom from Emotional And irrational Response to a situation when we feel out of control. How will you face your FEAR.
Be You. Be Happy. Be Well.