You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt
Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness. James Thurber
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. Marianne Williamson
Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom. Marilyn Ferguson
What exactly is fear? It is a negative emotion that stems from the “unknown”. Fear comes in many forms. There are the common fears; spiders, snakes, sharks, water, the dark, etc. Then there are the less obvious fears such as the fear of commitment or the fear of failure. The fears we feel for all of these always sparks our escape and avoidance reflex. So what are some of your fears and have you been able to work past them and even shed them?
Bonnie Braves it Out~
I actually used to be afraid of birds at one time. Birds! Can you believe that? It started when my little brother used to take his pet budgie and throw it under my covers while I slept. The poor thing would freak out and bite of course and I would wake up with bird feathers flapping in my face and scratchy beak bites. I was afraid of flapping bird wings for years after. I finally just forced myself to get close and observe birds for awhile and before long the fear just melted away. I love birds now.
My fears today are a little more complex but I will try and conquer them in the same way. I’ll examine them closely, learn all I can about them. Just stare them down. It is a little harder to do with fears like the fear of failure and the fear of being inadequate but not impossible. I’ll just break them down bit by bit and tackle them by reminding myself that all that really matters is to reach for a good feeling thought. I did that with the birds. As I observed birds, I would think about how pretty their feathers were or how amazing their song sounded.
So when the fear of failure grips me again I’ll force myself to focus on a positive thought like “I know I’ll learn something from this experience regardless of it’s outcome.” Another trick I’ve learned is to bring my thoughts back to the “now”. For example, I’ll ask myself if all is well in this moment. It always is. Here’s to finding freedom by facing, fighting and conquering our fears!
Tracy Faces hers ~
Bonnie this is an excellent topic. I have had fears over the years but as I continue to grow I realize that it is very true that on the other side of fear is freedom. I think there is no other way to release your fears than by facing them head on. Fear is being afraid of the unknown. We are assuming the unknown is scary. What a waste if it isn’t.
I was afraid as a child to be the last one up in the house out of fear of hearing something my sleeping parents didn’t. It’s 12:26 am and I am the only one up!
I was afraid to sleep over night at friends houses for fear that something would happen to my family while I was gone. I know that’s intense for a little girl and I don’t know where it came from but it was a huge fear. This fear made me miss out on a ton of fun times like Outdoor School, Brownie Camp and slumber parties so it prevented me from living and making great memories!
Having children can make fear creep into our lives, it certainly did mine. Making sure they are safe, protected and looked after. But again as we face these fears they disappear and empower us. I have learned that there is nothing you should fear except fear itself. Fear nothing and you will continue to grow and move in the direction you are meant to go. Fear changes your path and prolongs the inevitable. Truth however makes everything possible. What about you Jake, are you a fraidie pants?
Jacquie dips her toe in the water ~
Generally speaking, I’m a pretty brave person, but I do have an irrational fear of large things in water like bridge supports, icebergs, oil tankers and stuff like that. And if barnacles are visible on said objects, I’d pass out cold like those fainting goats Cheryl was telling me about last night! I can cross a bridge or travel by ship no problem, just don’t make me imagine …I can’t even think it without getting the heebie jeebies…. falling in the water near any of these things!
Luckily, my fear doesn’t run my life, and as long as I don’t go canoeing in English Bay or dog paddling in the Arctic I’ll get by just fine.
I’m with you, Bonnie, regarding the fear of failure that most of us have to deal with somehow. Strangely related is the fear of success. Both of these fears are about the future and have little to do with the reality of the ‘now’ unless you let them take control. I have to tell myself to relax and enjoy my time in the present and not to worry about outcomes all the time. It’s a hard thing to do. And I don’t mean you have to be glib about life and thoughtless. Not at all. Sometimes my fear of being mediocre prevents me from, say, finishing a painting. That’s when I have to remember the great feeling of seeing a completed concept and it sets me right again.
That Marianne Williamson quote (above) has been stuck on my cork board for years and I look at it often. In fact, the flip side of my art cards has the rest of it…
As we are liberated from our own fears, our presence automatically liberates others.