How many times have you not done something you wanted to just because you were afraid? Fear has, most likely, stopped you at some point in your life but it’s important to know the purpose of fear and to know how tight of a grasp fear may have on you. Often times, fear stops you from many things it doesn’t need to. Knowing how to use fear to your advantage will help you in so many ways.
Fear exists for a very important reason. However, this does not mean you should try to stomp it out entirely. You can live a much more fulfilling life by properly managing it. If you have a healthy grasp on fear and let it work as intended, GREAT WORK!
If you’re struggling with fear, you’re not alone. I am affected by unrealistic fears, as well. It can steal happiness or be immobilizing. It can keep you from having those extra rewarding moments in life but it doesn’t have to once you learn how to manage it.
Manage Your Fear – There is Creative Living Beyond Fear
This book is an encouragement to face fear head on and find that creative “jewel” inside. I found this concept of creative living beyond fear fascinating when listening to a podcast of Elizabeth Gilbert interviewing Marie Forleo. Both of these women are fascinatingly insightful ladies – I could sit and listen to them all day. Anyways, Elizabeth Gilbert was explaining a concept she talks about in her book: Big Magic- Creative Living Beyond Fear
Moving Beyond Your Fear
How do you move beyond fear? Where do you even start? It feels like fear sneakily creeps its way into my life and I don’t even know it! So many times in my own life I have let fear hold me back in my health journey, too.
For example, if I have a busy day: I might feel extra anxiety to not miss breakfast because there may not be any food around at lunchtime (We live in America – like that is going to happen right ?!). 😀 Another “unrealistic” fear I let seep into my health journey – I better change my plan to start eating better today and put it off until tomorrow – because today we are going to go out to eat and I don’t want to fail the 1st day. Or how about this one – do you ever do this? I better not get up and exercise early today because then I’ll be too tired this evening and I have a big day ahead of me… I’m sure these things never happen to you, though… 😄
😨 Wow! Really?! This podcast really spoke to me on so many levels so I’d like to pass on what I got out of this one excerpt of her book:
Fear is a Necessary Companion
What?! Necessary? I’m being serious. Now this is important, so keep reading. Often we want to push through our fear, get rid of it, punch it in the face or whatever way we see fit we “demonize” fear.
The concept Elizabeth talks about is that of fear being a companion. She talks about how we should instead have respect and appreciation for fear. Fear is the reason you are still alive today. Think about the times in life where fear has kept you from harm: A situation that didn’t look safe, jumping when you should have jumped to miss a near accident – all those types of things. It’s in our biology to be fearful, at times.
Using Your Fear
Every single one of us can point to a thing that happened in our lives that fear has saved us from. For example, I get very fearful when having to drive in heavy city traffic. But at the same that fear keeps me alert. When my kids were young, I’d be fearful they would do something that could really hurt them. These are all necessary to survive.
Fear does its job well, it just can’t tell the difference between an actual life-threatening situation and a story or idea you have come up within your brain. Creativity many times can provoke fear because it asks you to come into an uncertain outcome. Fear hates that and thinks you might die 🙂
So when you start a new creative project or begin on an uncharted journey, be aware that fear is going to pop up. Fear is the mind-killer. Simply tell it that its services are not needed here. (For example, I’m just writing an article, or what have you.) 🙂
I got a big kick out of how she talks about fear as another being within us. It is just misguided at times as to when it is needed and when it is not.
She talks about respecting fear because it is really important in protecting us. “Fear, you don’t own me. You can come along, but I’m still doing this thing :)” – Fear doesn’t get to make the decisions – YOU DO… You get to decide what holds you back and when fear can stand aside and let you move forward.
Especially in creative situations or even choosing to not eat the snack etc… (fear will tell you every time you are going to starve or it might be a long time before your next meal etc…). It may also tell you that you’ll be ridiculed by others after giving that speech or wearing a particular style of clothing.
“Fear does its job well, however it can’t tell the difference between an actual life-threatening situation.”
Not having a snack in the afternoon, giving a speech or wearing particular styles are not life-threatening situations. They’re comfort-threatening. They can cause us to worry about things that may not even exist to keep us from being in uncomfortable situations or make us feel bad about ourselves.
Well, I say lets kick that type of fear to the curb!
Take Steps to Keep Fear from Controlling You
If you let fear control you, it will shut down one idea after the other – nope don’t do that, nope too risky, nope… One “no” after another and your life will be so much smaller than you want it to be.
Did you know unrealistic fears can be desensitized? Yep, that’s right. Afraid of talking on front of lots of people? Do it again and again and eventually it’ll be like you’ve done it for years.
Take that leap! Or leaps!! All those things you want to do but don’t, because of fear, are at your fingertips. Grab ahold of them and go get them. You are worth it! Fear is not evil in and of it’s self, we just need to learn to look through it and see when it’s not necessary.
I hope this insight has been helpful in your journey to better health and well-being.
Until Next time – Be Well!