Lately, I’ve been discussing the business of being busy and KD and You’s ANTI-Busy Revolution. Today, I’d like to take a stroll into fear and what what it means to be what I call, Fear-Positive.
I’m sure you’ve had those nights where you woke up at 3:00am, panicking for no reason. Maybe it’s the fear of never seeing another sunrise that startled you from slumber, or maybe the fear that a loved one may have just seen their last sunset.
Maybe the reason you woke up is something seemingly insignificant, or maybe something deep down is trying to capture your attention. That’s the part that makes me curious. Call fear an autonomic response, call it destiny awakening you… but your fear is pointing something out.
The irony of fear is that society is full of anti-fear campaigns. You know the ones I mean. Quotes like: Fight your Fears; Once you become fearless, life will become limitless; and even Fate favours the fearless. I am all for courageousness, but I do not think courage is the absence of fear, nor do I think we should banish fear from our emotional atmospheres. I think fear needs to be redefined.
It seems contradictory for the words fear and positive to appear in the same sentence, much less hyphenated. Fear is a stomach feeling. Fear is something we avoid at all costs. Fear can make life unbearable. Fear paralyzes, and is typically construed as negative. I agree 100%, and what’s where I want to challenge your thinking.
What happens when we walk through fear and come out the other side? Typically, if you’re not jumping out of a plane without a parachute, after fear comes something POSITIVE. Right? We are victorious. We have stretched ourselves. We have broken free of a type of thinking (i.e.: fear) that has strangled us for too long. Now, what if we could decrease the fear-paralysis and quickly move through to our triumph? Reduce the ick of fear and hasten its victory? Sign me up!
When I say I want to be fear-positive, I’m saying I want to recognize the fear, recognize it as an opportunity for growth, and JUMP IN the deep end anyway. Basically, by being fear-positive we gift ourselves with the ability to appreciate our fears in real time, and recognizing its benefits.
Wait, what? There are benefits to fear?
YES! All emotions exists for a reason, so it’s illogical to believe we should be fear-LESS. Our emotions fluctuate minute to minute — and the more we investigate them the faster they change! It’s just like darkness — without it we cannot know light. Just like courage; we cannot know it without fear.
Fear affirms what’s really important to us.
Remember back to the night you woke up at 3:00am, heart-racing, palms sweating but ready to act? Through all of the physical attributes of fear, you had 100% clarity that this thing that woke you up was important to you. It’s one step to logically know the importance of a thing, and a complete other for you to feel its important.
Your fear about a thing reveals the importance of the thing itself.
Fear is our Internal motivation to achieve + succeed.
It’s easy and typical to have a running lists of wants in our minds. Life gets hectic and our attentions flit from thing to thing. Fear ups-the-anti when it enters the equation. Your fears around gaining a new job, or your fear of being indefinitely single can act as motivation towards achievement. Your fear pushes you to work your damnedest to get the job, or to become the right person to welcome the the guy/girl into your life! Fears keeps you on your toes, keeps your adrenaline pumping and keeps you moving towards your goals.
Fear makes us laser focused
It’s hard to lose focus when you’ve experience the heart palpitations and night sweats of fear. Your goals and your fears of not achieving them play on your mind like a toddler on a xylophone — undeniably and loudly. You strategize and you are precision focused on achieving your goals, because you will do anything to avoid your fears becoming a reality.
Fear creates openness and willingness to receive help
Once you are focused and strategizing, you are likely at a point where you will do whatever it takes to succeed. This includes reaching out for help — any option is a good option to avoid your fears! You ask questions, you seek answers and you open yourself up to the possibility of collaboration and creation. By recognizing and acting to move through your fear you are moving yourself forward.
Fear teaches us something new about ourselves
Lastly, fear can manifest in a myriad of ways but it can serve as a teacher for something you did not realize was important. Fear can also teach you the skill of courage — ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. Conquering your fears of… rejection, heartbreak, failure, whatever it might be, can teach you that you ARE capable and stronger than you think. You ARE courageous. You are BRAVE. YOU are bigger than your fears.
That’s why I want the world to become fear-positive. Fear is a trigger. Fear is your signal ro rise. Fear is your subconscious screaming out for you to take notice of something you can’t miss. We can utilize fear as a entry point for curiousity: what do I need to learn here? Maybe we can learn and grow in ways that comfort and security can’t teach us.
In order to grow, we must walk through the fires of fear
Growth. That’s what it’s all about, right?