Doesn't being fearless sound so fierce, even a little sexy? YEAH! Who doesn't want to be fearless?
I used to believe that I was on the road to fearlessness. I was doing things that once terrified me and they didn’t feel so scary anymore. Fear was a nut that I thought I could eventually crack.
Not so much anymore.
Fear and I go back a ways. In recent years, I felt afraid that something would happen to Steve after we got married. After I gave birth to Olivia I feared anything happening to her. I hear a story of someone losing their entire family in a car crash and the idea of that happening to me tightens my chest in an instant.
As a coach I noticed these fears inside me and often saw them as something that I needed to move past order to live fearlessly. But what if I fully surrendered and let these fears go? As crazy as it may sound, I wondered if then something would actually happen. I met my fear with fear and (what do you know?) I felt more afraid.
Isn't that what so many of us do? We unconsciously think things like, "I'm afraid of losing my daughter! Don't make me give up that fear!" But believing that fear is something that you’ve got to move past or eliminate actually intensifies the fear because you’re meeting the fear with resistance. You’re meeting fear with fear. What else could happen but fear times two?
Taking off your cape
You don’t need to be fearless to be BRAVE.
You don’t need to let go of all of your fears to be wildly successful, blissfully happy or to take major strides in your life or business.
You can be a total bad ass and completely afraid at the same time.
Fear is like dust. Reacting is like allergies.
As awful and intense as fear can feel, it’s actually very innocent. We’re animals. We’re programmed to protect ourselves, our tribe and our young. Due to the programming in our brain, fearful thoughts happen. They can float through our head like particles floating through the air. You can be aware of them without any resistance. Or you can face them in full attack mode like my allergies meet the beginning of spring.
Sometimes I'll notice myself engrossed in a fearful thought and then experiencing the full body feeling of fear. Lately, I've started resting into that feeling and completely allowing it to be while resting for it.
Resting into fear
A really crazy thing happens when I allow my fear to exist and rest for it... the fear diminishes.
Rest is one of the kindest and most compassionate practices that you can give yourself. It's not just for your mind and body, but it's a way of connecting to the deepest part of yourself -- call it your soul or your conscious self -- it's the part of you that is always rested and is always as peace.
The next time you feel a wave of fear, I invite you to rest into that feeling.
Sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes.
Locate the feeling of fear inside your body.
Then mentally repeat to yourself, "I'm resting for my fear now."
Guide the invitation of rest to the part of your body where you feel the most fear.
You might also try, "I'm resting into my fear now."*
Notice the compassion and strength that you give to yourself as you rest for your fear. It's away of allowing all things to be, even bravely allowing yourself to feel afraid.
*Resting technique modified from Dan Howard's, Intentional Resting.