Face your Fear and be Fearless
Blog Written By Sara Regester.
If we are living, breathing human-beings we will have fear in our lives that shows up at times when we are at the edge of the something new or at those times when we are facing change and transitions. Fear is truly our teacher who teaches us how to make the unknown of change and transition “knowable”.
Fear is part of our design to keep us safe and prompts us to be more awake, aware and alert to meet a real or perceived threat. Fear will always show up when we are in the unknown; those times when we can’t see what is ahead. The simple answer to reduce fear is to make the unknown, knowable, by engaging in what is triggering the fear one step at a time.
The bigger question is how to navigate through fear so it doesn’t stop us in our tracks and create energy loss from anxiety and the push-pull of resistance. Fear can hold us prisoner in resistance as we fight against either a desired change or an unexpected change. When we go through transition kicking and screaming every step of the way, we lose valuable energy as well as keeping us stuck in our worry and anxiety. If we are in fight or flight stress mode we will impact our physical health.
So the key to fear is to understand that it will always be present when we are in the unknown. Once we engage in the unknown we will actually reduce our fear and feel more comfortable with the change or new experience. The more steps we take into the new focus of change, the more confidence and inner-security we gain until we have no fear in that arena that was triggering our fear.
The new frame is to acknowledge that fear is present and to recognize it will always be our companion during change, when we are stepping into something new or making a life transition. Once we have conscious awareness of our fear we will gain an understanding of why the fear is showing up. Often there is a fear of loss or a fear of failure that motivates us into action. There may be a past memory that was encoded as painful. Fear is there to keep us safe so why not bring our fear with us into the engagement?
Fear can be of a spiritual nature rather than tied to a person or event. This is when we are stepping into a big transition that will spur our personal growth and evolution. This may come through our work or our key relationships and leads to character refinement “opportunities.” This is where our inner-security and confidence may waver which creates doubt and flames on our resistance patterns to stay where we are in the familiar comfort zone.
By seeing fear as our companion during change and transition, whether they are positive or negative changes, we can use the fear to pay attention and to be alert of what we need see and do. In this way we can leverage our fear to support us to take the action steps to move forward into the change. The more steps we take, the more confidence we gain and we move into the unchartered territory that was triggering our fear.
This is how you make the unknown, knowable and bring Fear with you into the engagement as your companion rather than trying to shut it down. From the process of being present with Fear, we gain wisdom, personal growth and character refinement.
Remember when we were learning to drive a car. We gripped the steering wheel at 10 and 2, consciously planning each step of maneuvering a turn at an intersection. We were hyper vigilant and paying acute attention with presence. All those little steps to make the decision to turn, slowing down, putting on the blinker and then turning the car. Now when you drive you are in second attention and can drive without thinking about the steps while your mind is focused on something else as you drive. You now have confidence and inner security in how you drive overcoming your fear.
You were excited to learn how to drive so the motivation to overcome fear was great and the confidence and security grew with driving practice. We could also see the outcome of gaining a driver’s license. We were motivated by our desire for freedom and autonomy.
We can’t always see the outcome of our transitions where fear is knocking on our door but we can ask ourselves some curious questions. What do I know about this? What do I not know about this? What can I do to take one step into it to start exploring the space of the unknown. Who can I ask for support? What resources do I need? What is my intent for the outcome I desire so I have a focus to guide me forward. Staying present to your Fear will help you to creatively problem solve, step out of the box and take those first tentative steps into your commitment to yourself and your intent for the transition you are navigating.
Fear is your teacher that teaches you how to make the unknown, knowable. Lean into your fear so you can grow outside of your comfort zone. It may be the knock of Spirit inviting you to up-level your life in some way. There is a prize when we make Fear our companion along our journey through change and transition.