Day 21 of 30 Days of Adventure
Today, let's embrace fear in a way that creates preparation and inspired action.
Shoutout to Karen Thompson Walker who inspired today's session in her Ted Talk, What fear can teach us.
We know how fear feels, but do we know what fear means?
Fear often, irrationally, corresponds to danger in and of itself. Fear is often something we try to conquer, fight, or overcome. However, this perspective of fear (as another uncomfortable thing to avoid) limits our potential as the ones responsible for how we want to move forward in this life, amidst our ever-changing fears.
Let's look at fear in a new and inspiring way.
What if fear was an amazing act of the imagination?
What if fear was as profound and insightful?
What if instead of dismissing fear, we lean in and transform fear into preparation and action?
To make this shift, try seeing those fearful doubts, concerns, and worries for what they really are—stories!
That's really what fears are: stories.
Fear is a kind of unintentional storytelling. And like all stories, fears have characters. And in our fears, the frightened characters are us.
Like all great stories, our fears focus our attention on the all-important question: What will happen next?
Fear inspires imagination and creativity in how the story will play out.
By seeing fears as more than just fears but as stories, we find ourselves as the authors of those stories. And just as importantly, we find ourselves as the readers of our own authored stories of fears. So how we choose to write and read our fears has a profound effect on the outcome of our lives.
Creative Journal in hand,
- Bring to mind one fear you feel as you've been embarking on this adventurous journey. Write this fear down.
- Spend time breathing into this fear … continuing to air out the fear by writing down related thoughts, concerns, stories, etc.
- Now that we have a more impersonal perspective of this fear from our bird's eye view, begin to tell the story of how you are inspired to respond to this fear using any creative medium you fancy (colored sharpies, watercolors, collages, etc.).
Fear inspires us to be prepared for the worse while assuming the best.
Once in a while, our fearful stories actually do predict the future. But we can't possibly prepare for all of the fears that our imaginations concoct. So how can we tell the difference between the fears worth listening to and all the others? Why are we swayed by one story of fear so much more than another one? What stories will we listen to and create from?
Just as the most nuanced stories are often the richest, so too might our subtlest fears be the truest.
Of all the narratives our fears write, we often respond only to the most lurid, the most vivid, the one that was easiest for our imaginations to picture. But perhaps if we interpret the stories our fears more like a scientist, with more coolness of judgment, we would be less often swayed by the most salacious among them.
I am my stories.
My beliefs create my stories.
My stories create my reality.
I interpret stories with impersonal insight.
I tell my stories with artistic delight.
I am the inspired author of my reality.
Properly read, the stories of our fears can offer us wisdom, insight, and a glimpse of that most elusive thing—the truth.
Read in the right way, our fears are an amazing gift of the imagination, a kind of everyday clairvoyance, a way of glimpsing what might be the future when there's still time to influence how that future will play out.
Over to you!
What current fear can you view with more impersonal imagination and artistic delight?
We'd love to hear your response in the community comments!