Fear is an energy created by our survival system. Our alarm center of our brain called our amgydala reads cues in the environment for potentially threats and then sends a signal for our fight/flight system to get activated. Our memory center in our brains records what is dangerous and works with our amgydala to decide what could be life threatening to our survival.
The feeling of fear is not a choice we make. It’s an biological automatic response. We may not be able to stop the occurrence of the fear response, but we can learn to deactivate our fear response once it kicks in.
If we want to live a more peaceful, aligned and fulfilled life we will need to face and overcome our fears. Our survival system wants to protect us from re-injury. Fear can keep us stuck or immobilized.
Fear can keep us from making choices that are best for ourselves and our journey.
We must know that to fully live, we will have to take risks, potentially fail, be rejected or encounter great loss. We might fear judgment, loneliness, disappointing others, or not living up to someone else’s expectations. Most of us have a deep fear of the unknown so we make choice that brings us security or safety. Fear keeps a person stuck in relationships, jobs, or circumstances that are not what’s best for them. The fear can cause them to not take unique and wonderful opportunities that present themselves. Fear can be the driving in so many of our actions, choices or inactions.
There is absolutely no way to escape the feeling of fear. The question is are you willing to face and accept your greatest fears, process through what’s created them and learn to reprogram your survival system?
One way to start is to sit with yourself and your fears. Journal about what’s coming up. Try to welcome the fear and discover where it shows up in your body. See if you can ask the fear what message it has for you and what is it trying to reveal or teach you. Fear is not your enemy, resistance to embrace fear or judgement of it creates an adversarial relationship to fear. Trying to avoid or our run your fear will never bring you closer to the life you truly want, deserve or desire. You may need to allow different emotions to surface and release. You might discover some material from your past that is tied to this fear. Sometimes that fear is a younger part of you that needs support and safety. Take time to let the younger part reveal what happened that created such fear. Let that younger part know you the adult will protect them now. You can even imagine placing that younger part in a very safe place surrounded by people that will protect them.
Just know that this fear showed up to reveal something important. It’s a gift. Thank your fear for showing up and trying to protect you.
Take some time to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Allow your exhale to be longer than your inhale. Imagine yourself being able to handle feeling fear, befriend it, accept it and allow it to reveal itself.
Allow yourself to track how your body is responding without judgement.
It’s perfectly okay to ask for support for a therapist or a friend. Our survival systems can regulate better with a trusted person.
Facing, accepting, allowing and processing your fears is huge part of your healing journey.
You can use the energy of fear as a motivator!
It won’t be easy, but definitely worth it!
I hope you choose to face, embrace, honor and work through your fears.
You deserve the gifts, lessons, the life and freedom that are present on the other side.
Kelli Leader Cook
Counseling & Consulting