What I know about fear

I have a list of ten items on my bucket list. Riding on the back of a motorbike, facing this fear, was one of them. Notice the past tense…I did it! I put it off for years and when the opportunity arose I was petrified. I hardly slept the night before. And on the morning of the ride I almost cancelled the entire thing. But the thing is, I know fear. I know how it feels in my body and I know the self-defeating thoughts I have when I am afraid.

However, I have learnt to interact with my fear in a different way. I do not treat it as a fact anymore. Sure, it is an uncomfortable feeling, but fear does not frighten me anymore. It is just a feeling. I am not actually in danger. I am not incapable or incompetent. I am just feeling an emotion I have felt so many times in the past that it has become an old friend. A friend that shows me what I am avoiding, that points out what I need to do to grow stronger and become more powerful.

I know that fear will always be a part of my life. It has so much to teach me about myself and I am willing to listen.

I have learnt two truths about fear that I would like to share with you.

Firstly, fear is not a fact. When I feel fear I remind myself that it is an emotion and that I do not have to treat it as a fact about life, myself or my situation. As soon as you realize this, you will able to distance yourself from the feeling a bit.

Secondly, the only way to overcome a fear is to do what you are afraid of doing. The fear will only go away once you have taken action. Therefore, if you want the fear to ease, you have to act.

I conquered a fear and it was an exhilarating and empowering experience. There is nothing more liberating than facing a fear. Truly, if you want to feel mastery over your life, if you want to feel strong, pick something you have always wanted to do but have avoided out of fear and do it. It will set you free.

 

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