Just like the mind, fear can be tricky and even controlling. You can either give up your control and allow it to take the driver’s seat or you can allow it guide you as long as you’re holding the leash. For most of my life I allowed fear to drive me around, giving it the ability to control my path, often leading to dead-end streets and never-ending mazes. That was until about a year ago when I decided that this adventure wasn’t fun anymore and I wanted to live my dreams and not the dreams of the fearful being deep within.
Fear had been something present in my daily life since I was a child. What will they think of me? What if I do this wrong? What if they don’t love me for who I am? And what if I fail and end up in a worse place than I am now? After much time I befriended my fears and decided that no outcome could be worse than living in regret for the rest of my life. One major leap that stood out as something I couldn’t pass up in this lifetime was ridding myself of most material possessions, an address I can call home and go on an epic adventure living around the globe taking in as many experiences as I could humanly handle. But fear still settled in, the what-ifs grew and living in the impending waiting room of certainty held me back for years.
But things flipped in my favour once I stood up against the beast within. At the moment I’m typing this in Chiang Mai, Thailand in a beautiful lush café with only a suitcase to call home. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought this was possible to tackle and achieve, as fear was much greater than any shining beautiful fantasy. Well what changed? With each moment back home I kept getting challenged: work wasn’t working out for me nor was it giving me excitement anymore, it was draining and it was paralyzing at moments cause the stress was too great. Not only that but I started to drown in the sea of materialistic culture, always trying to stay afloat with what was expected of a downtown Torontonian: new clothing, a mortgage on a nice condo in highly sought out area, nights out and in between I TRIED to eat as well as I could with the remaining balance. Was I living my best life? No. It seemed pretty from the outside but I was in a state of hellfire always worried if the next month would be okay. Was it worth it? At this point staying put and living the average day to day in hopes the future would all of sudden mystically morph into something better didn’t seem worthy of my energy anymore and fear looked like a little mouse in comparison to the beast I was living with. Here I started to plan, believe and know that the future was about to change for the better and it was going to manifest into something I had dreamt about for most of my life. I courageously stepped into fear.
But how do you do this you ask?? Well lets start by breaking down what fear is.
Fear is always centered around some kind of future desire and without knowledge of the outcome, you start to question yourself - what if I can’t make it? This makes you feel as if you have an idea about the future outcome, but really it furthers you away. Doubt fuels the fire of fear. Don’t get me wrong, fear is very healthy and present in everybody’s everyday. It has a beauty of its own, it has a delicacy and subtle aliveness that reminds you that you’re living, it is a part of this fragile human experience. Fear is a gentle reminder of living but it also gives life, it is a built-in protective measure and without it, you might not be here today. It is intelligence and it allows you to survive, it tells you not to put your hand in the fire, to avoid poison and to jump out of the way of a moving truck. However, fear can become abnormal and pathological leading you on a path to become afraid of things that you have no need to be afraid of creating a dysmorphia of what life really is. The trick is to step inside of fear to develop your courage. A courageous man has fear but in spite of it, goes forth into the depths willing to see what the future holds. What is accomplishment if you never really try? Failure. You’ve already failed so why not take another risk? It all loops back around and it is your choice to pull yourself out and once you decide to start following your own path and go against fear, you will always be moving, growing, expanding and developing into your most authentic self.
Lets look at the steps to living fearlessly:
Know that fear doesn’t disappear by ignoring it or trying to get rid of it, it is actually a paradox, the fear will increase and you will welcome it right in the door.
Identify how it makes you feel. What does the feeling start with? Is it an immediate distressing feeling that overpowers you? Or is it just a couple of butterflies? Define the intensity and from there you will know just how deep the fear is.
What is it that provokes this fear? Is it something you desire and fear to fail at? What could be the worst that will happen if things don’t turn out perfectly? Side note, it all depends on perception. To me everything turns out perfectly, sometimes the most imperfect outcomes are actually the path to greatness, it all depends on how you choose to play the hand that was dealt to you. By ridding yourself of expectations you will soar higher and then you can check in and ask, if the future hasn’t occurred yet, is there something to fear still? Is this fear worthy of my thoughts?
Your fear is your guide, don’t let it feel as if you don’t want it around because then it will morph into your shadow forever hindering you, as it isn’t receiving the love it deserves. Send out love, compassion and understanding to your new found best friend and fear will start to give you that in return. Fear will transmute into courage and instead of pushing against you, it will start to lovingly guide the way. Each time fear pops up ask, is this a desire I am fearful of not obtaining? If so, fear is showing you just how important this desire is and it is trying to make it obvious to you that this is your next path in your story; it is just hard to see because it’s a hidden doorway into the unknown. Take some time, do a meditation and connect deep within yourself, connect to the core of yourself and find that quiet little voice that often tries to give guidance but often goes unnoticed. If you can hear it and it keeps whispering for you to take a step into fear, then you should probably listen to it.
Is this fear blocking a path towards your goals, purpose and dreams? What if you never achieve these dreams, could you say that you lived your best life? Fear is a treasure house of knowledge and when you dive deep into fear, there you will find little jewels of information about yourself that will further lead to the real treasure – the authentic you. Could these fears be self-generated? If it is a fear of the future, then it isn’t happening now, therefore it has no real substance and something not to be given energy to. Just like a toxic relationship inquire within, is fear worthy of my time if it doesn’t treat me well? Can getting over this fear lead to abundance and a positive step in the right direction? If you think that your fears are holding you back from living your best life, then why not try and take a leap into the unknown and attack (or rather befriend) it head on. This is a normal part of personal growth and will only make you stronger.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek out guidance from friends, family and professionals. Support can be one of the strongest forces in the universe and together as a team we can overcome any fear.
The biggest factor besides stepping into the unknown is to visualize your success. What does it look like? What does it feel like? Imagine how it will feel to achieve success and with that will come many more positive feelings and confidence to execute it with ease. Don’t forget to have a positive attitude as the energy you put out there will come right back to you and abolish the fears once and for all.
Lets start with a small fear and rise from there. What is one goal in your life and how can you break it up to take it step by step to achieve it? Always remember start small and from there big dreams are accomplished. Don’t take a running start at it, as bigger forms of tackle are most likely to end badly, so go at it with a soft approach.
And as Osho says, “Allow the fear. Tremble with it, let it shake your foundations – and enjoy it as a deep experience of stirring.” The best is yet to come!