When is fear your friend?
The 'fight or flight' response is a great example of fear being your friend. Knowing when a possible danger lurks so that you are able to get out of the way, or avoid disaster is very obviously a good and necessary skill to have. Another example of the friendly kind of fear is that ‘adrenaline rushing excitement’….that moment before you launch into your bucket list dream to go skydiving….or that roller-coaster ride with your kids. It is also a well known fact that a certain level of stress is a great motivator in getting things done. Call it healthy stress if you like.
However, for many of us the line between fear as the friend or fear as the foe has become blurred.
For a lot of us the foe kind of fear, whether small or great, has slipped in and sneakily become such a familiar part of our everyday life that we sometimes don’t even recognise it. (…and i speak for myself here!) For some of us, the feelings of underlying fear are so familiar. It’s ‘just how i’m wired’ we say.
I have heard many people (my younger self included) affirm the fact they they are 'natural worriers’ making it sound like it’s something they are born with. The fact is, that from an early age we have been trained to worry. We have trained our thought patterns so that we have become wired to worry. We have used these thought patterns over and over so that now they have become our ‘norm’. To some it seems that to stop and even contemplate a life without fear or worry would seem so foreign or even impossible.
We fear all sorts of things, big and small.
….. Arriving alone at an event when we don’t know anyone else.
….. The fear of not belonging.
….. An exam. An interview. An audition.
….. Waiting for test results or a doctors report.
….. Fear of failure. Fear of success.
….. Fear of not being enough.
….. Fear of not being loved.
….. Fear because a loved one is late arriving home….what if something bad has happened?!
This got me thinking. Is it truly possible? Can I live my life without this foe kind of fear? Or even with just a lot less of it?
I know the Bible clearly instructs us on MANY occasions to not fear with words like: “fear not”, “do not be afraid”, “do not fear or be terrified”. I also note though, that these instructions are always followed by the reason we are not to fear: “…for I am with you. I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you”.
So just how do we do this living-free-of-fear thing?
What would a life without fear even look like?
Or more simply, what does a day without fear look like?
Last week I discovered something. I completed a 10 day awareness challenge.
Wow!!! What an insightful challenge that was.
I was reminded that before we can make any desired changes (like shutting the door on fear), we need to become aware of what we want to change. So, specifically when it comes to fear of the foe kind, we can take a deeper look at how we are letting it into our life. Once we see it and acknowledge just how much time we actually focus on it, we can start our journey towards freedom from it. When we can see it, we can deal with it (and the coaching space uses some amazing tools to help us to do this).
Here are three simple steps you can take to start to transform a fear filled life into a fearless life:
Become aware of your fears. Are they friend or foe? Become aware of your fear oriented thoughts and feelings. Ask yourself : what am I afraid of?
Realise that you can actually choose a different emotion when faced with a certain circumstance rather than fear. Instead of fearing an interview, I can choose to feel slightly anxious, yet curiously excited.
Once we have become aware of our feelings of fear, we can start to choose to change the vocabulary we use around the things we fear. For example, “I am anxious” can become “I am a little concerned”. “I am just a natural worrier” can become “I know I always have God on my side and His plans for me are always good, so there is no need to worry!”
So, if you find yourself with fear as your foe more often than your friend and you'd like that to change, contact me at www.fulfilled-life.com. to book your free discovery coaching session. I will hear your story and will lead you through some free coaching, then we can decide if we are a good match for making your journey into fear free living.
Until next time,