Fear is your friend! STOP pushing it away.
I keep hearing people say how we should push through our fear. “Just push through the fear!”, they say.
But should we really do that? And what would be the point of a good scary movie if we ignored fear?
Fear is a human emotion tied to the very animal instinct and intuition that helps protect us. It alerts us when we are in clear and present danger. Fear is like the best friend who yells, “Look out!” just in time so I don’t get hit by a car (or step in that giant pile of dog poop). I’m pretty sure you’d agree that this is a friend we want to keep around.
Of course, fear has also been known to show its face when we sense a social danger, real or imagined, or a previous danger triggered by past experience. This fear is like a friend who calls and tells me all the reasons I shouldn’t quit my job or write a tell-all book about my dating life. Do I push our friend (aka fear) aside? Do I try to ignore her…and do that thing anyway?
Hell no! She’s my friend and I trust her. So instead, I get curious. What are her reasons? Are they valid? What is she trying to keep me safe from? Am I really in danger?
This friend (aka Fear) knows me well. I can always count on her to remind me of past mistakes and to play out all the what-if scenarios for me. That’s a good and honest friend.
And although we might conclude that I do need to move forward and take a certain action, we may also agree that I go about it in a much different way than I would’ve in the past.
Honestly, I can’t imagine wanting to, “push through” a relationship, a ski trip, or six months of training for a marathon. It makes it all sound quite miserable.
Instead of just “pushing through” and forcing myself to do something. It might be easier and way more fun, if I try a different tactic, get a new perspective, or put a whole different set of skills into practice.
So why not take my friend Fear by the hand and let it guide me. Together we can get clarity on what it is I’m afraid of and what it is that I’m trying to protect or preserve. What if my old ways of responding to this fear are no longer serving me? I want to know!
A good friend is someone who brings out the best in me. Isn’t that what my friend Fear is doing, too?
The next time you find yourself feeling the fear, know you have a choice. You can push or you can listen and most likely find a much easier (and probably way more fun) path forward.