What Does Fear Mean?
We see things as we are. And we come fresh out the package like a spoiled gouda cheese. So imagine how we see things. We start our days on the negative. Because we are wired that way. We are programmed by fear so that we may protect ourselves. Without fear in our ancestral days, it sometimes meant life or death. Fear saved many a caveman from saber-toothed tigers. Our brains auto-pilot to fear like my coffee auto-pilots to fill the pot to 4 cups at 7 am each morning.
What does fear look like?
It looks like not going somewhere new because you think no one will talk to you. It looks like staying home because you think you look fat. It looks like not starting your business because you think you're a fraud. It looks like not starting your business because you're in scarcity mode. It looks like not going on a date because you're not _______ enough. It looks like staying in a toxic job because you would rather play with the devil you know than the devil you don't. It looks like gossiping with someone about someone else because you want to gain that person's acceptance of you. It looks like not going to the gym because you don't look like an athlete. It looks like doing things you don't want to do. It looks like saying yes when you really want to say no. It looks like not speaking up for yourself. It looks like accepting and enabling poor treatment. It looks like ignoring your authentic self and values. It looks like anxiety and depression. It looks like not doing something you wish you would. The list goes on.
These things you tell yourself are lies. These reasons you don't do all the things you want to do - they are lies. You know what else they are? Allies. Al-lies. These things you tell yourself are allies to fear. You are remaining loyal to fear when you believe these lies. Let that sink in.
What exactly are we fearing?
Feeling responsible for someone else's happiness
What people think of us
What are we really looking for?
Love. We are really looking for love.
You came into this world as an innocent bundle of love. That is your true authentic self. That is who you were before you were told the lies. That is who you are, still. Let's unbury that innocent bundle, fam.
The thing about fear is that you can get past it. Like all good things, it takes work. Understanding where your fear is coming from can be hard. But I would be willing to bet that you could picture a time in your childhood where you felt that same feeling. The circumstances may have changed, but the feeling remains the same. How old were you when you felt abandoned? Criticized? Rejected? Like your mother's unhappiness was your fault? What happened when you used your voice or stuck up for yourself or took a risk? Were you punished? Did your parents do most things out of fear or love? See, there's a good reason and a cause for why you feel the fear. But it doesn't have to control you.
Fear is the old story. Literally. Ancestors be like... fight or flight... But it's time to release the old story and start anew. You can start by breathing deep breaths to kick the parasympathetic nervous system into gear. This is the opposite of fight or flight. It's our rest and digest setting and it's crucial that we operate that system on the daily. So go ahead and thank your fear. Thank you for being my bodyguard, but I can take it from here. No matter what comes my way, I got this. Whatever happens is meant to elevate my soul to the next level. Place that on your heart and believe it.
Next time you go to say yes when you really mean no, ask yourself what my therapist often asks me, "Am I doing this out of fear or love?"
What does FEAR mean to you? Can it be your inspiration to Face Everything And Rise?
Sending you courage and kindness, fam.
Some book recommendations:
The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers