Is Fear a Friend or a Foe?

Lately, I have noticed how much fear dictates my daily life, it shows up when I am practicing yoga- I’m scared I could hurt myself, when I’m riding my horse- again I’m scared I could get hurt, in my career- I could be judged and it shows up in my parenting- they could get hurt!

I realised that this fear had probably always travelled along closely beside me: at times guiding me well and at times limiting me, I had just woken up to its constant presence.

I wouldn’t call myself an anxious person, however, seeing how pervasive this fear was I started to question that. It was a moment where I really saw how limiting my thoughts could be and how much I allowed these thoughts to dictate my life. I wondered how much this fear of life had held me back and jeopardised my relationships, my career and my parenting.

I saw a snapshot of my life and how much I had stayed within narrow confines of what I perceived to be safe and manageable and I hadn’t really lived.

This saddened me, I don’t want to live a narrow, limited life- I also realised that my thoughts are up to me and that now that I was aware of my fears constant presence I could make different choices about how I handled it.

I don’t need to constantly limit myself and believe everything that my fear is telling me.

I decided to start to converse with my fear and check out if what it was talking about was real and valid or based on past experience’s and future concerns.

I realised that I could acknowledge and listen to my fear and I could also broaden my field of influence and stay open to new, scary experiences. It was like I realised that I had a few opinions that I could listen to and take advice from- none of these opinions are totally correct, exclusive or bullet proof they are all based on the past and the future.

So I could listen to the part of me that wanted to grow and take risks and I could also listen to the part of me that was fearful- rather than giving one precedence I could find a middle ground between the two. I could acknowledge the fear and also acknowledge the risk taker and find an in- between.

So instead of jumping headlong into something like the impulsive risk taker in me wants to, I could slow down, take a few deep breaths listen to the part that is scared, way things up and then respond.

This enquiry into fear also made me realise how differently we all handle fear- some of do just ignore it and jump headlong into something- hoping that we come out the other end, some of us don’t try anything new- it feels too big and risky, some of us become aggressive, some of us judge and project onto others, some of us try to be small and invisible. What do you do with your fear? How does it show up for you?

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