Where do we start if we're trying to change our relationship with fear? It's hard to face it when it's breathing down on us.
As we prepare to embark on our brave adventure to more, we can set ourselves up for greater success by condition ourselves with these noble truths about fear. The more we understand a fear, the better we can navigate it.
1. Fear can’t be avoided.
As we begin to overcome a fear we've set out tackle, a newer bigger one will always be waiting. So rather than trying to ‘conquer fear' in general, we're going to be working on developing a healthier relationship with it. Then, regardless of what the next fear is, we will be better equipped to courageously navigate it.
2. Fear has a weak spot.
Being brave isn’t about becoming fearless, it’s about taking action even though you’re scared. Action cures fear. So as we venture into any brave endeavor, we are be developing habits and tactics that help us isolate a fear, understanding it, then take appropriate action while it's breathing down our neck.
3. Fear isn’t in control.
We always have a choice in how we respond when faced with fear. We can neglect what it's trying to say, or face it and grow as a result. By exercising the ability to respond mindfully to fear, rather than ignore or avoid it, our brave muscles strengthen and develop resilience to fear. Fear may be inevitable, but suffering is optional.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”—VIKTOR FRANKL
4. Fear is on our side.
Our perspective of fear is ultimately what will determine our response. So it's critical to understand that fear exists as a survival mechanism to keep us safe. As we recognize why a fear arises, we can better understand if it’s a valid concern that should be listened to or if it’s no longer needed and can be let go of.
5. Fear is an opportunity.
Just as stress from physical exercise causes our muscles to grow, when we embrace pain in other areas of our life: we grow from it. Developing bravery is a slow, sustainable progression developed over stressful repetitions. Strengthening your brave muscle is simply a matter of cultivating the kind of compassionate courage to take action.
Condition yourself with these truths and you will be equipped to peacefully navigate any fear.