For me, just hearing or seeing those words – Embracing Your Fear – can make my heart and knees quiver a little bit! We are so not prepared to embrace fear, right?
When we get stuck in worried or fearful thought loops, our brain is signaling our endocrine system to pump out various cocktails containing up to 1200 different chemicals. These chemicals send the signals that create the emotions of fear in our bodies. And boy, oh boy, are those emotions powerful! In fact, that chemical cocktail has surely saved your life at least once. Unfortunately, these chemicals are also highly addictive.
These emotions can be created by fearful experiences in our environment (“Eek! I almost got run over by a bus!”) These emotions are also recreated in exactly the same way by our thoughts alone. (“Eek – remember that time I almost got run over by a bus?”) Internal or external causes – it makes no difference to your body, the end result is the same: worry, anxiety, and fear.
This is kind of important, because what I’m really tryna get across here is that so much of what we experience is coming from between our ears. We’re not running from the lion on the savannah anymore. The lion’s share (ha ha) of our anxiety, worry, and fear is self-generated. We’re causing it, which is awesome, because it means we can change it.
What do you mean, embrace my fear? No, thank you!
Our worried and anxious thoughts can become our teacher and our guide. When we begin to really tune in to them, they can show us the parts of our life that aren’t working as smoothly as we would like them to. They will point the way to friction at work, or in a relationship, or places where we can make better choices or stand up for ourselves.
And just like GI Joe always said, knowing is half the battle. You can embrace and use that knowing as a guide towards peace and resolution.
Yes, embracing means not running away from it. It definitely means not numbing it. It absolutely means looking the beast in the eyes, and seeing you and your thoughts, actions, and behaviors reflected in its gaze.
Embracing your fear and letting go are two sides of the same coin. I know that might make no kinda sense, but bear with me.
When you’ve gotten through the questioning process (which can take multiple appointments with yourself over time as you go deeper and deeper), you might find that there are concrete actions you can take today, this minute, even, to mitigate your fearful situation.
Or you might find that the rewards from staying in the stinkhole no longer serve you, and you are ready for a different experience in your life.
Either way, once you’ve embraced the fear, and the process, you will find it so much easier to let it all go, and start reprogramming those broken record thoughts that keep you stuck.
Compassion – Go on, love yo’self
If you are still with me, and you’ve taken on this adventure in self-awareness and self-actualization, then go on and give yourself a great big bear hug and double high five. You’ve also been cultivating self-compassion, because you’ve demonstrated that you love yourself enough to do this!
Just as you would sit with a friend having a hard time, offering them a sounding board so they can figure their sh*t out, you’ve just shown up for yourself in a really big way. You’ve held space for your own experience to emerge from the dark into the light.
And this, my friends, is the icing on the cake. This is how you get to those greener grasses that I mentioned in Part One, only instead of coming from the direction of envy and lack (ahem, your old fear-based thoughts), you’re coming from the direction of growth and love.
Talk to me, baby
If there’s something holding you back that you would like to explore with a guide to hold the torch and carry the backpack full of protein bars, adaptogens, and hydration while you sidle up to that beast of yours, please reach out.
I’ve had incredible success guiding folks through processes like these and seen the most remarkable changes in people’s lives as they do this work. Get in touch to find out how I work and what results you can expect from the process.