Has someone ever sat you down and explained to you that you need to embrace fear and fall in love with it?
I know I have had that conversation in the past and immediately I laughed it off and told myself that all I needed to do was simply figure out a way to run away from fear or buck up and overcome it because fear was not real and the best people in sport, business, and life feel no fear.
If only I knew back then that there is actually no way to outrun fear. I was a prime example of what happens when you refuse to see the beauty in fear and make the choice to ignore how to fall in love with it.
You might currently be feeling exactly how I lived my life before loving fear. You could continue to feel as though reaching the levels of yourself that you truly desire to reach is absolutely impossible.
You also might be finding yourself wishing, hoping, praying, and dreaming but are not able to produce results.
If you are someone who lives in fear or feels an immense amount of fear when you begin to challenge yourself, continue to read.
Many of you right now might be wondering why I said, “There is actually no way to outrun fear”. Let me help you understand why I made that statement:
Fear is ingrained in our brains; it is apart of our genetic makeup. Our mind uses fear to protect us. When there is a bear approaching your campsite, for example, your brain takes over and recognizes that you need to be afraid and act accordingly in order for you to get out alive.
Similarly, when you are in the process of chasing after your dreams in sport, life, or business, and you are beginning to invite new challenges in your life, your brain sees that as a world of unknown.
Your brain believes that this unknown could lead to possible death, just as the encounter with the bear could. Therefore, your brain all on its’ own begins to fill your mind with doubts which will more than likely lead to negative self-talk and continue to amplify your fear.
You physically will feel a pit in your stomach, tightness in your chest, or even become lightheaded.
If anything, recognize that fear is powerful. But what is even more powerful is understanding that this fear, this response, is just your brain doing its’ job, attempting to protect you.
The reason that understanding this is so powerful is that now you know that you cannot outrun fear but that you can use fear to your advantage.
The truth is, learning how to take advantage of and fall in love with fear could be one of the most impactful things you as an individual can do.
Let me ask you a couple of questions about fear:
- How many times per day do you find yourself not doing something because of fear?
- Do you catch yourself being afraid of the unknown, because you are unable to pinpoint exactly what is going to happen?
- Do you become paralyzed by the fear of what other people are going to think about you?
- Do you fear failure and therefore you continue to find yourself not making moves towards your dreams?
The point of the questions above is to get you more in-tune and aware of how much you might be allowing fear to control our life, rather than making the choice to learn how to fall in love with it and use fear as a powerful tool to push us forward and progress us in life.
Here is what I continue to witness on a daily basis: Too many of us are not living the life we desire. A big component of this is that we have a negative relationship with fear. We are brought up in a world where we are not taught that fear can be our friend.
Society has not helped with this but at the end of the day, it is our choice to view fear as this terrifying feeling rather than using it has beneficial fuel.
So ask yourself what could happen if you made the choice right now to have a more positive relationship with fear? How could and would that change your life?
You deserve to live a life that is not drowning in fear. You deserve to live a life where you foundationally understand and know how to use fear to your benefit when you begin to walk into unknown waters.
How do you go about falling in love with fear? Well for each person this process is going to be different as we are all unique beings, but below is a great exercise that you can practice on a DAILY basis.
Remember, the more time, effort, and energy you spend fully committing yourself to loving your fear and practicing shifting your relationship with it, the more successful you will become which will enhance every single area of your life.
FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR FEAR
Next time you begin to feel fear taking you over, do the following steps. Repeat these steps as many times as needed!
- Own your fear and take responsibility for it.
- Whether you believe that the fear you are feeling is yours or is someone else’s that you adopted, it is in your best interest to own it as your own and take responsibility for it. Accept yourself, exactly as you are and give yourself grace. No one is perfect and we all experience fear.
- Writing your fear out in a journal so you physically can see it, is also a great addition to helping you own and take responsibility for it.
- Physically pause.
- Come to a complete stop. Put your life on pause for a brief moment so you can listen, feel, and better understand the fear.
- Take a deep breath.
- Taking a deep breath can reduce stress, improve clarity and focus, remove toxins, provide energy, and much more. This breath allows you to become fully present in the moment.
- When you exhale, focus on exhaling the fear out of your body.
- Physically pull your fear out of your brain and give it a seat next to you.
- Before you knock this step, try it. Take your hand and act as though you are physically pulling the fear out of your head.
- Now your fear is no longer in your mind and instead it is sitting right next to you!
- Acknowledge it.
- Go ahead and acknowledge your fear. Have a conversation with it. Let it know that you know it is present in your life but that you have chosen to use it to HELP you reach your goals rather than harm you and hold you back.
- Continue on with your life.
- With your fear no longer inside of your mind and now sitting next to you, go ahead and continue on with your life and the task you are wanting to do!
Remember, fear will always show up in your life. You get to make the choice on how you choose to use fear in your life. Choose wisely.