We search our pockets, we search our purses, trying to locate the missing key that will unlock and release the door of struggle, the door of strife, the door of burdens, the door of conflict resolution, the door of fear, the door to freedom..................., and yet fail to realize we ARE the key.
From our early conditionings, our beliefs, our upbringings, our traditions, our childhood experiences we've come to conclude once we find the key to success (success being any achievement) that we've reached the proverbial promise land. The land of freedom. The land of bliss. The land of everlasting joy. And when we do everything we think is "right" and the key(s) doesn't open the door to the aforementioned, we slip into despair. We blame ourselves for not being good enough, not being smart enough, not trying hard enough. Or we blame others for the key not working. We blame our families for our hardship(s). We blame our bosses/co-workers or our business for not being what it should be. We blame our friends for not being there for us when we truly need them. We blame our spouses for not being supportive enough, not be understanding. We even blame the 'key' for being wrong.
It can be challenging and scary to change our conditioning, our beliefs, and our traditions. It can be uncomfortable and even painful to address our upbringing, our childhood experiences, and yet more often than not it can be the most liberating experience one goes through on this journey we call life.
So, what keeps us from taking the necessary steps to breakthrough this chrysalis?
Fear disguises itself in so many various fashions that it can be tricky to detect, especially when it feels like you're doing the work to break through the fear wall(s).
Fear can be elusive. It can feel like things are out of our control. It can feel like excruciating work. It can feel endless. It can feel pointless. It can feel like a trickster. It can feel ever subtle and insignificant. All for the purpose of keeping us stuck, keeping us small, and keeping us captive in our self designed cell.
Fear can really be perceived as a jerk! I haven’t met anyone yet, self included, who hasn’t tangled with this “jerk”, and yet this “jerk” can serve a purpose in our evolutionary growth process if we are willing to get out of our own way.
Fear’s role is to warn us of something that could be harmful to us; however, where we struggle is when we remain stuck in the warning of harm. We become consumed with fear’s warning, and through its consumption we become incapacitated.
It takes practice to consider fear as a benefactor rather than a villain; to utilize fear as a guide onto our healthy path. To embrace fear as an old friend, without letting it take your life over.
A writer and philosopher Charles Eisentein once said, “we have to be careful not to make fear the new bogeyman. Fear can help us slow down and go to a safe “cocoon” during times of great change and personal transition.”
Going through any transitional change in our life can be daunting, and who wouldn’t want to avoid such discomfort, yet we all experience it. It’s in the allowance of the process that we can ease the fear feeling.
I’ve had clients who have always seen fear as a problem, a form of resistance to push through. They believed if they didn’t find a way to bulldoze through fear it was considered cowardly. After working through understanding said beliefs, they were able to learn to relax, stop working so hard (forcing an immediate outcome), and let the divine universe work with them a bit before taking on the next bold move.
Working through fear is like playing a game of chess. It’s not a game that is played quickly without thought, without pause, or without planning; it requires all of those in order to play wisely.
Fear is not all gloom and doom, it can serve as a real ‘eye’ opener as well.
When our life is threatened, our career is derailed, our marriage is falling apart, or our child suddenly becomes ill, fear can be a great clarifier on how to take care of what is truly most important in our lives. It can shed a light on clarity, so to speak.
In everyday life, we often say, “When I have more time and money, I will exercise more, eat healthier, sleep better, spend more time with my family and friends, take time for self-care, and finally pursue my passion.” Fear can shake us awake to a simple fact, “right now” is the only time we have to take care of what is important, and “later” is never guaranteed. Being clear on what we care most about and acting on it accordingly is PRICELESS. Fear of failing is merely a self-imposed concept, not fear’s doing.
So how do we battle or tame this ‘fear’?
A friend of a friend named Tony, a veteran Navy Seal, said the primary lesson of the infamous SEAL training course is that you cannot survive on your own. You must learn to work with your fellow SEALS or you will absolutely fail. No exceptions. I found this very intriguing because I had a misconception of being a SEAL. I thought their sole purpose was survival of the fittest and they were training to be solely dependent on themselves. Through this understanding I realized fear reveals our self sufficiency as an illusion. It can crack us open to receive a helping hand from others, as well as to offer help to anyone on the journey with us.
When I went through losing my mom unexpectedly, my first reaction was to make sure my family was taken care of and to ensure everything went smoothly, then my next reaction was hitting the wall of virtual fear. For all my life, my automatic answer to offers of help was “I’m fine…I got this”. The unexpected passing of my mom, follwed by my best friend terminating our friendship within days of my mom’s passing was something even too big for me to handle on my own. I needed support. I needed help.
I’ll admit I was not good at it. In fact, I sucked at it because it was something I had not allowed myself to do for years and years, but the unexpected experience forced me into needing to make a decision, and that decision was to ask for help for myself so I could continue to be of support and sound mind for my family. I fumbled through my feelings of shame of being weak for asking for help. I grieved over feeling I was losing control of myself, and yet unknowingly was being transformed into an even stronger individual by asking for and welcoming the support of family and friends, and of courageous strangers.
In truth, people were more than willing to help, but because of my “I’m fine….I got this” personification it made it challenging for them to reach me. I didn’t realize my personification was the actual cause of the resistance.
I had over a lifetime of disappointment and fear which I allowed to convince me help was illusive, and not something you asked for, and if you did ask you wouldn’t receive it anyway. My Inner Critic had convinced me “I could only depend on myself”, which was a LIE. Crazy, right?
Through the abovereferenced experience I had to learn the reason I wasn’t ‘receiving’ the help was because of my projections of feeling help was weakness, was something you didn’t ask for, and was something you handled on your own. I was blocking my own doorway to freedom.
Fear can be both a trickster and a wise one; it’s up to us how we interact with it.
How would you define your relationship with Fear? Would you consider it healthy and balanced or would you consider it imbalanced? If it feels imbalanced, will you now consider asking for help or will you continue to wrestle with it alone and remain imprisoned longer? Are you the key to your success or is fear hiding the key?
If you are struggling with fear and are ready to take your power back, get in touch with me for complimentary coaching session. Isn’t it time to tame that critter?