what i’ve learned about fear + tricks to let it go

There are two types of fear. One is pure and true. It protects us from danger (I call it clean fear). The other is self-created and false. It keep us from living (call it messy fear). The rest of these observations are about messy fear.

it shows up in a million ways

Sometimes fear is obviously fear. More often it’s less obvious and it shows up disguised as a well reasoned argument. Or some seemingly logical thought. Or a limiting belief disguised as a ‘realistic’ belief. It also sneaks into life as a behavior like procrationation, avoidance, overcommitment, busyness, addiction, or some other un-fun habit.

Be aware 

it tells lies

That’s right, big huge whoppers. It distorts reality and then works tirelessly trying to convince you it’s just being candid. Fear it keeps us stuck in the pain of the past. It paralyze us with worries about the future. Lies (mostly).

Be a truth-seeker.

it can make you feel afraid (and you will be okay)

Have you ever felt terrified inside, yet to the world you seemed completely calm? Have you ever been afraid of something and pushed through the fear. Looking back you may have even thought, ‘it wasn’t actually that bad’. You can still live, love, and enjoy adventures when you’re afraid. You will be fine. Keep moving forward.

Be fine.

it melts when loved

I don’t dislike fear. I love it. It’s trying to keep me safe. It’s just misguided. I once had a puppy that would try to keep me safe from my boyfriend. I loved that puppy when it would curl its lip and bounce forward in attack mode. Then I would pick it up, offer it some love, and whisper I’ll be okay. The same goes for you. You will be okay. In fact you will be much better than okay. Offer fear love and watch it dissolve.

Be love.

Here are a few tricks that might also help:

  1. Externalize it. If you think fear is a part of you it’s much harder to let it go. Let fear be something separate from you (like my puppy story).
  2. Question what fear is telling you. Is it really true?
  3. Surrender the outcome. The less attached you are to the outcome, the less you’ll fear the unknown.
  4. Replace fear with love. Say loving things to yourself and to the fear.
  5. Give and receive. Get support from mentors, teachers, friends, or family. Talk to someone about it. And once you figure it out, pay it forward and help someone else.

From my heart to yours.