Facing Fear is Tricky
When I was in high school, I decided that if I was afraid to make a decision, to do something unfamiliar or to speak my truth, I needed to walk towards my fear and just do it. The courage was born from my adolescent desire to not feel held back or controlled by an outside force.
My mom had a lot of fear, as a young single mother raising two kids on very little money. She had good reasons, besides being alone with no backup, she grew up with a lot of criticism.
On the bathroom mirror mom had a note to remind herself to surrender her fears to God. Her fear of making a wrong decision was paralyzing at times. So, I made that vow to myself. Walk towards your fears. Don’t give your power to them. It was risky but the alternative made me feel worse.
My vow to face fear has taken on a new meaning this year. I found myself in a health crisis that felt vulnerable, with physical weakness and uncertain in ways I was previously confident. Courage to face my fears was suddenly harder while feeling vulnerable, exhausted, aware that the consequences are bigger.
I squirmed at making decisions outside of my comfort zone, where I have no past experience to reference. I held back when I needed to speak my truth or share emotions afraid the person, I was communicating with, may respond to with intensity, defensiveness, denial or negativity.
Intense emotions or disagreements, expressed by people, felt like more than I could handle. A cannon ball through my solar plexus, overwhelming my nervous system.
But time didn’t stop. Decisions needed to be made, conversations had, fears faced or avoided.
What if I fail?
What if I make a poor decision?
What if I waste money, time, energy I don’t have?
What if I cause harm or make it worse?
Waiting, putting it off, letting the fear compound with procrastination or avoidance was an energy loss. That’s the catch. Risk and allowing vulnerability take energy but reciprocate in a way fear does not.
Letting fear win looks like default decisions, or deciding by not deciding. Doing what you are told even when your inner-guidance says that there is another way. Fear flushes energy down the toilet.
That energy drain is what prods me forward when feeling vulnerable to face my fears. I ask myself, “What have you got to lose?” While weighing the pros and cons with my analytical mind. I ask my heart, my body, my spirit, “What do you need?”
The answer, I need to let all parts of me have a voice in the decision. Listen to my inner-guidance. Surrender to the unknown. Ask for help from humans, angels and God/Goddess/Source. Then take a risk, big or small, vulnerabilities and all.
p.s. yes that is a photo of me in 1986 at 16 years old