Over the years I’ve written about being afraid, living out of fear, fear of success, letting fear run your life, facing fear, and overcoming fear. All that time, I didn’t realize that fear is a choice, and I was choosing to be afraid. I tried to outsmart fear instead
of not choosing it into my life. The simple solution to eliminating fear in life is to choose not to be afraid. Easier said than done, I know, but it’s true. I’ve spent my entire time on Earth afraid. I think I was raised to be afraid because being scared would keep me safe. It may have protected me from kidnappers, but it also made me reluctant to get out and do some things that scare me. Now, it’s time for me to make a new choice not to be afraid.
We’re Not All Afraid of the Same Things
I’ve found that I’m are not afraid of things that others naturally are. For example, I’m not afraid to travel alone. In fact, I love it. I find it quite easy to recharge alone. I’m not afraid of cooking for groups because I’ve been cooking with my mom since I was a little girl. I am afraid of sky diving, getting really sick, and growing old alone. That’s putting it all out there. Now I know, I can reverse those fears and become fearless.
Fear manifests itself in a number of pesky forms more subtle than sheer terror. It can occur for you as worry or doubt, hesitation, insecurity, denial and defiance. These emotions often result in behavior. People rebel and fight out of fear. I know I people-please out of fear of disappointing another person. I compromise my heart’s desire to accommodate another’s even if I end up being rushed or inconvenienced. I see how many times I listen to my fear and choose a codependent behavior. Now. I see that I can make a new choice. I can tune into my decisions to be afraid, listen to God’s voice nudging me and change my course.
Fearlessness Can Be Learned
For example, I sing opera and spent years performing in front of audiences, but it wasn’t always so easy. I still get nervous when performing or speaking in front of people. I even get nervous when leading a meeting with the managers on my team at the office. These things frighten me, but with experience, each I make a decision not to be afraid, it becomes less and less scary.
Since I need to create new decision pathways when it comes to how I perceive and interpret my fears, I will start small and not with extreme sports or public speaking. I’ll need to rewire my brain not to be afraid the same way I rewired it to choose to be positive and happy instead of picky and overcritical.
It’s important to start changing thought patterns with little things. For me, starting small includes things like going to events and parties where I hardly know anyone. Then I can build up to the things that scare me more like leading a fundraiser for The AVM Aneurysm Foundation where I’m scared people won’t show up. That’s no reason to chicken out.
Choose ears you need to work on and practice them. For example, since I am a life-long people pleaser, setting boundaries and saying, “no” is terrifying to me. Now that I’ve become aware of it and my submission to it, I’ve been making an effort to be true to myself and think about my desires and needs rather than compromising everything not to let another person down. It’s hard, but I’ve been saying no more and saying what I want rather than just saying I don’t care when I really do. I don’t always succeed, but I carry on. I’m on a mission to stop being afraid of these things.
Share your fearless goals with a friend, life coach or therapist. Having that accountability in place helps when it comes down to decision making time.
Choose to be fearless because you can!