A long time ago while doing some research on fear and trying to understand how to be brave, I came across a quote by Jim Morrison that said, “Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.”
Really? That’s all I have to do? Expose myself to my fears, and instead of wanting to take off running or crying in horror, I will become brave! Why didn’t I think of this before? Okay, so I know I’m being sarcastic but, this thought bothers me.
The reality of fear is that it can be paralyzing and lonely. Our fears can limit us and make us believe in things about ourselves that simply are not true. What is your fear? What does it feel like? Where do you feel it in your body? When you analyze it at a deeper level, is your fear about something other than the fear itself?
Someone asked me many years ago who could I call as my most trusted individual? Who shows up no matter what? Who goes with me everywhere? In disbelief, I quietly answer, fear. Fear comes with me to all my social events; it showed up at school, family gatherings, even in my most quiet moments—fear was my trusted and most reliable companion. How eye-opening that moment was, as I realized that fear, for me, was not something I could overcome or wish away; it was not something I could expose myself to—I lived with it. It was such a part of me, it was impossible to hide from it.
Taking a look at this notion was hard. I know now that only after we become honest with ourselves, we can achieve great change.
This is how I chose to look at fear; I want to share it with you in hopes that it can help you as well.
We all have fears. It is impossible to be fearless in everything.
We are human, fear, like any other emotion, serves a purpose. Fear is part of who we are, and we would not be a complete human being without it.
I have fear; I am not fear. In other words, my fears are part of me, but not all of me.
My fear is my constant companion even to this day, so trying to escape it is exhausting and unproductive. Instead, I can use my constant companion as a guide for safety and bravery.
Fear is directly connected with how we see ourselves.
Picturing fear in my head as a companion and not as a deficiency in myself has opened the doors for separation.
I separate myself from my fear by thanking it for doing such a good job being my companion, but this one is on me. I let my fear know that I am grateful for the purpose it serves; however, I think I can handle it from here. This allows me to be cautious but effective in my decisions, and I am learning to trust myself more every day.
So, go ahead and thank your fear for always being there, for communicating so well what you should be afraid of. Thank your fear for being part of you, and for the invitation, it offers to be brave. But also, don’t forget to let her know how capable you are as a grown-ass woman to think and act for yourself. You and your fear can co-exist in a beautiful relationship of trust, confidence, and caution. Teach your fear that you appreciate her opinion; however, ultimately you will do what is best for you.