Creative Therapy

Be Fearless

Be FearlessBe Fearless

Tuesday, 22 May 2012 09:00

Fear ~ It’s physical. Your breathing speeds up. Your heart races. Your muscles tighten. You have moved into a state of fight or flight. This physiological response is real, but the cause of your reaction may be up for debate.

Imagine this ~ You’re home alone, watching a movie. It’s night. At an uncanny moment, your real door and the TV door bang simultaneously. Fear overwhelms. You jump up, sit at the edge of your seat, and listen with your entire body. Then you realize it’s just the wind.

These physical responses are intended to help you survive a dangerous situation. Fear is a chain reaction in the brain that signals the body to move. Blood rushes to your arms and legs giving you a rush of energy to act fast. And it’s necessary when our lives are really at stake.

But here’s the interesting thing. Though fear is a natural response to what threatens our life often, we signal the same response to other non-life threatening aspects like fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, fear of humiliation. We’re afraid to create new work. We’re afraid to say what we really mean. We’re afraid to be different. We’re just so afraid.

When you make decisions from a place of fear, your body signals you with two ~ the ability to fight or the endurance to run. if you can become more aware of how you experience fear and assess whether it’s real or imagined, then you can learn to react in a more appropriate way.  Remaining in fear when making decisions is like driving at 100 miles an hour on a windy road in the fog. You’re vision is clouded. Your speed is not appropriate for the weather. This is a new road for you. You could speed through but you may crash, or get lost, or miss a spectacular view. When we relax and realize our lives are actually not at stake, we can see the full spectrum of choices, the infinite quality of any situation. We can see that we’re not shoved into a corner. But we do have a choice, many choices in fact and we can see clearly which way to go. We can slow down. We can stop the car. We can wait for the fog to clear. We can walk. We can take a different road.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying your body’s physical responses to fear are imaginary. But terror to write a book, quit your job, or ask her out is a lot different than being chased by a cheetah. So it’s important to distinguish between real and imagined fear. Knowing the difference gives you insight into who you are and which emotions arise from a particular arrangement of person, place, and thing. And then you can really begin to work on softening and opening up and relating to your fear in a healthy way.

Now if you’re being chased by a predator, don’t hesitate; run. But when life is calling for you and you’re stalling (and you realize it), then relate to your fear. Acknowledge it. Feel into it. Soften. Watch it change. This gives you tremendous dignity because you create space to feel fear, which is the only way for it to truly release its hold on you.

What are you most afraid of? Is it real or imagined? When you relate to your fear, what comes up? I’d love to hear from you.


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