let us understand this first - no one is born this way. human beings are hard wired to feel fear. our ancestors relied on this ability to fear in order to survive. a part of the brain, the amygdala, processes all of our emotions and it processes fear first. although fear is very useful to us in many ways; it also has an ability to hinder most of us from our fullest potential. fear also causes stress which throws our body out of balance. so this year make a commitment to living life more fearlessly.
we all have multiple fears in our lives: financial, familial, social, academic and physical are just a few of the areas in which our fears surface. and often, fear of one thing will come out in another area, making it hard to “spot” and therefore hard to get rid of. personal example: about a month ago i was getting extremely irritable with everything and everybody for about a week straight. i was getting short with my honey and just generally not enjoying being with myself, so i don’t know how anyone else could have enjoyed being with me. at first i was blaming it on other things. “i must be getting my period.” “i am not eating properly.” “i didn’t do yoga today.” it’s the holidays.” etc.. and while all of these things had a little bit to do with it, i knew it was much larger. when i finally sat down and wrote in my journal and continued to explore what was going on with me, i suddenly realized that i was extremely afraid of what would happen now that i had given notice at my main job. would i make enough money to pay my bills? how was i going to deal with losing my health insurance? what was going to happen??? everything inside of me was focused on that, but i couldn’t see it until i went digging for it.
fearlessness it’s something i’m still working with, but below i've listed a few steps i have found along the way in books and articles i have read. i hope they help you to live fearlessly!
in order to experience fearlessness, it is necessary to experience fear
- take the time to ask yourself what you are truly afraid of
in order to move past a fear, you must first know what it is. once i realized that i was fearful of leaving the job, i could begin to find a way past it. i gave myself a budget, so i wasn’t spending as much money. i went to all my doctor’s while i still had insurance and asked their opinions/advice on my health insurance situation. i made flyers for my yoga class and started promoting in the neighborhood where it will be to strangers and got great feedback. all of these things put my mind as ease and allowed me to move beyond that fear.
- ask what would actually happen if that fear came true
remember that every negative situation contains the possibility for something positive, an opportunity. sometimes our biggest “failures” or unfortunate circumstances contain the thing that ends up being that which helps us grow the most.
- let go of the need to control
you can not control most things (the future and other people included), but you can control your response to them. this was a big lesson for me this holiday season. over the years i have continued to go into the holidays stressed out before there was anything to stress about. this year i promised myself to walk in with an open slate and to take each moment one at a time. i gave myself permission to take “me” time if necessary. i also observed my reactions to people and situations and made a point to change my outlook on it as i couldn’t change the people or the situations. i prepped myself mentally. i had moments where i started to fall into the habit of stress, but for the most part i kept myself on track, stayed in each moment and enjoyed my holidays thoroughly.
- stay away from the relationships that foster your fears and seek out the ones that don’t
know who it is in your life that continues to keep you locked into your fears and try to remove them or the negative pattern from your life. if there is someone who is there to tell you “you can’t do that.” “that’s stupid.” “you could never get into that college so why try.” etc... you will continue to listen and live in fear. fear of the things that could be. fear of the future. fear of that person. at the same time, know the people who foster self love and help you to take on your fears and then surround yourself with them. this could be family, friends, therapists, teachers and other countless angels.
- have belief in yourself and jump in
now that you’ve examined your fear it’s time to take action. fear begins to lose it’s power when it is confronted. it loses even more power when you come at it with a positive mind-set, so have faith in your abilities. if you see yourself getting the bare minimum; see yourself as helpless; see yourself as getting little in this life - you will. start to set your goals higher and begin to reach for them!
- just be you
most of us are attracted to those who have confidence enough to be themselves. we admire it in others.
you are enough. you are lovable. you deserve to be loved. and you deserve the things that make you happy in life. just make sure you are actually going for those things when you jump in.
That is the cardinal initiation of every heroic adventure - fearlessness and achievement.— Joseph Campbell