Don't let fear dominate your life

By Calodagh McCumiskey - Wellbeing & Meditation

Fear is part of life and part of living. When we avoid it, we are avoiding life and living.
Fear is part of life and part of living. When we avoid it, we are avoiding life and living.

We all experience fear. Fear is part of our survival mechanism. So are insecurity, anxiety and ultimately stress. They are all parts of our internal early warning system - to show that something is not quite right - In our thinking, in how we are seeing things or related to the actions we have taken or are about to take, in how we are connecting with others or who we are connecting with or in our environment …. something is not quite right.

Fear never leaves us. It is all in how we temper it. If a warning light comes on in the car do you look to address the problem it is revealing or do you ignore it? If you panic about it, you may drive badly and cause even bigger problems. If you allow it to take you over, you become a liability to yourself and the situation. If you ignore it, the car will break down at some point - with potentially worse consequences. If you look at it and address the underlying issue that is causing it, then it solves.

It is similar for us.

When fear comes, the most important thing is to name it … and assess why it is there. address it to the extent you can …. and then move on. There is fire in fear. There are insights in fear. There is great learning in our fear.

Fear is part of life and part of living. When we avoid it, we are avoiding life and living. Staying in comfort zones is not the answer as this just increases the number of things that bring up fear and amplifies it ultimately. Avoidance is a temporary distraction and a postponement of the inevitable. We are also weakening ourselves in our own minds and undermining our confidence when we do this. As somehow, we are saying that this issue is bigger than me. We are negating our own power.

A line I love: 'Comfort doth make cowards of us all' (a reworking of a line from Hamlet 'Conscience doth make cowards of us all'). So, true.

Fear-We can feed it. We can ignore it. Or we can work through it and get to the bottom of it, connect to what is important in a situation for us, let it go and ultimately grow. What is the warning light pointing to? What adjustments do I need to make-in my thinking, my behaviour or life? What is the fear pointing too within me when I reflect?

If you feed your fear, that is what will dominate. If you distract from it, it will remain and will continue to grow. If you look at it, name it and try it get to the bottom of it and work through it, then you have the chance of tempering it.

Some great books that may help when looking at fear are: 'Feel the Fear but do it anyway' by Susan Jeffers, 'The Four Agreements' by Don Miguel Ruiz or 'The Journey' by Dennis Curran. They have all helped and inspired me address my fears.

It is an ongoing process. Some weeks, life brings up more of it and others less. It depends how we are feeling inside and what is going on outside. I have tried handling it all ways. By ignoring, by obsessing and by working through it. While it takes a little more courage initially, ultimately the quickest and only fruitful path is the last one.

The most important thing to remember in life is that you always have a choice. What choice are you taking in dealing with your fears?

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