Overcoming Fear – Guest Blogger Jan Mabey
Getting real with one’s self requires a great deal of personal strength, commitment along with a willingness to be wrong about how you have defined yourself and your life to date. Getting real takes honesty, sometimes brutal honesty. Being honest with yourself requires opening yourself up to our most intimate and vulnerable thoughts and fears that we carry deep within the hidden vaults of our mind, body, and soul. Let’s face it, being vulnerable sometimes equals pain and pain is often linked to our grief. It is no wonder that we avoid this portion of our path and keep in locked up tight. And yet there is truth in the saying “no pain no gain”.
Fear comes in many disguises. Whether you are afraid of public speaking, heights, spiders, snakes, water, failure, they all link back to the fear of death. Death of the ego self, on a mental, emotional or spiritual level, or the ultimate death of the physical. Our fears are so great that most of us have become creatures of fight or flight where our instinctive response to a threatening situation causes us to resist what is upon us or to run. Neither of these is a healing solution that moves us forward to an authentic and abundant life.
It can be challenging to overcome the grips of fear. We are taught from a very early age that fear is somehow equal to self-preservation. We taught by others at a young age, or take it upon ourselves to be afraid of the dog, the cat , the neighbor or uncle Joe, the boogeyman, crime, losing our job or failing in a chosen area of interest, those that look or act differently from us, being penalized or told we might end up in a place called hell if we did not conform to the norm. The biggest fear on the list for the majority of us is our fear of not being loved. All these apprehensions are then magnified through the government, cartoon, our peers, advertising, slanted news channels, corporations, organizations and those preaching the words of “God”. With all these influences from birth we really never stood a chance of naturally living a fearless life. Please don’t waste any more of your precious remaining life beating yourself up for where you are. Acknowledge it, embrace it and use it as a springboard of strength to face the fears you have hiding within you so that you can set yourself free.
When fear has its hold on us, we lose our ability to enjoy life fully, limits our ability to love, clips our wings of freedom and prevents us from experiencing our full potential in life. I have found that when I am being controlled by a fear and after calculating risk, the best thing I can do is jump into whatever it is with both feet and go for it! Whatever it is, applying for a job, being the first to raise my hand to speak in a group, climbing a cliff to turn and jump into the water below, trusting my heart one more time or sitting down and writing this blog.
It takes courage and the desire to have your life be more than it is today. Once I jumped and pinched myself to make sure I was still alive, each jump became a little easier. Over time those moments of fear diminished and the less stuck I became. I still get scared, I get honest with myself and determine what it is about. Sometimes it’s my introvert talking vs my fear and that just another layer of the conversation I have with myself. I have been facing my fears consciously now for long enough to know that the benefits far outweigh the risks and I do it anyway.
Step back for a moment and think about when you were young. When you first risked getting on that bike, roller skates, riding a horse, running for school office or trying out for cheerleader or how about that first kiss? Now look at the person you are today and how taking those risks added value to you and your development.
If we let fear control us, we risk it all. A life only partially lived, a dream only partially dreamt a mind only partially freed, a heart with our wings to fly.
Namaste – Jan Mabey