Weekly Challenge Facing Fear

Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive — the risk to be alive and express what we really are. Don Miguel

When I was in my late teens I read Susan Jeffers book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. The book changed my life and the title became one of my personal guidelines for living. I knew that to get from point A to point B, I would have to learn to love fear. Fear would have to be my friend and something that would propel me forward and encourage me to challenge myself, instead of something that would make me cower in a corner.

Fear is an interesting emotion. Fear scares people. Fear causes people to get very creative in how they deal with it. Instead of confronting fear, many people come up with excuse after excuse to avoid the discomfort that fear brings. These people view fear as a negative emotion instead of a positive one. Many people make decisions in attempt to avoid fear. They don’t walk the tightrope, they don’t cross the line, they don’t take a chance, or a risk, because something scares them. Sometimes it is external. Often it is the monsters they make themselves.

Fear grows in darkness; if you think there’s a boogeyman around, turn on the light. Dorothy Thompson

This past week I saw a dear friend confront a deep-rooted fear with excuses. He was faced with making a very big life decision. He had already made his decision and committed to it and committed to many other people as well–all that was left was “to dot his I’s and cross his T’s.” This change he was challenging himself to make wasn’t one done on a whim. He had spent many months preparing and talking with others to make sure the change was for the best. Yet the final steps to this change would require him to come face-to-face with a deep-rooted fear he had held since childhood. He would have to look that fear in the eye and take the last step to move past it. In that final moment, he looked his fear in the eye and instead of stepping past it, he stepped backward and let the fear live. He then created a list of reasons as to why that decision made sense. Yet he knew, and all of us who were aware of it, knew in our hearts that these were just excuses–what had happened in reality was that his fear had won.

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt

I am not passing judgment on him – no one can pass judgment on anyone for each of us has to fight our own battles – and we can only truly understand the battles when are in the shoes of the battler.

However what came abundantly clear to me after watching this struggle play out in his life, was how often I have seen people within a similar struggle: Seeking truth, finding it, and then letting fear take it away.

I believe that we can only overcome fear when we embrace it. We acknowledge we are scared and terrified, but we look at the situation from all angles, make the best decision we can, and then we take a deep breath and DO IT ANYWAY. Fear is often a calling that we need to grow and push past old boundaries to discover wonderful new territories.

Your Weekly Challenge:
When in your life have you faced fear and overcome it? What was the result? When have you faced fear and stepped backward? What was the result? Is there any area in your life now where you need to (as Susan Jeffers says) “Feel the fear and do it anyway?”


Weekly Challenge Facing Fear — 1 Comment

  1. I have faced a lot of fear in my life, I was really shy when I was little, I was sexually abused, turned to drugs and alcohol etc…just like so many of us have, but I had a child on my own. I had to finish school and work just to make it. I made it through though and for the first time in my life I was proud of myself. My grandparents were my saviors. Right now in my life, well for the past year I should say, I have been facing off with my sister in court because she wants my grandmas money. She has totally slandered my name, told all lies in court, she even has my daughter turned against me which hurts the most. I went and took care of my dad for 6 months with no help from my sister. Then I took care of my mom for 4 months and had to move her over here to Yakima with me. I also had to care for my stepdad because he had a major stroke, AND then, I had to go take care of my grandma because my grandad passed away and she lived in Packwood, which is a little bitty town where it’s not very easy to find a care giver 24/7, so I took care of her as much as I could and then the rest of the week I had someone else come in. Mind you I was going back and forth from Packwood to Yakima, while my sister, who lives in Packwood did absolutely nothing to help me. And now she has the nerve to say all these lies about me, she even called APS on me, but they closed the case because, of course, they found no abuse going on. So I have been trying to face this fear for a year, and I almost let it get the better of me, UNTIL NOW. I am going to feel the fear and do it anyway!! I know I haven’t done anyting wrong so here we go!!!

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