MAKE FEAR YOUR FRIEND

MAKE FEAR YOUR FRIEND

It has been said that fear is a sign that something is important to you.

FEAR AS A SIGNPOST

Ted Gonder, director of MoneyThink, a Chicago-based non-profit that teaches financial skills and entrepreneurial thinking to urban high school students, assures us, “If we think of fear as an accomplice rather than an enemy, then we can be free to lean into it, and pursue our dreams, ideas and projects freely.”

This counterintuitive mindset does actually make sense:  If the thing you are most afraid of is also the thing you really and truly want in your life, then you are actually a very lucky person.  You have a built-in guidance system that will tell you when you’re moving in the direction of your dreams.

(You’ll know you’re on the right road when your head tells you everything is just fine, but your stomach drops to the floor and you’re shaking very badly and there’s a no-no-no-no-no chant cycling in your head.)

If you are able to twist your head around enough so that you can see this, then a number of other ideas arise.  You begin to understand that:

  1.  Fear is a tool.
  2.  Fear is fuel.
  3.  Fear is to be partnered with.

You may even get the idea that you are going to have to walk into your fears and through them in order to get to where you really want to be.  You get to understanding that you have to want your dream more than you fear it and you’ll use the fears to help you keep on moving towards your dream.

gps
GPS by Hernan Pinera via Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0]

GETTING TO THE OTHER SIDE OF FEAR

Here’s a YouTube video by Eddie Pinedo, “The Other Side Of Fear” with another take on fear.   Pinedo is a sought-after motivational speaker who focuses on athletic performance.  He also writes a blog, “Your World Within” and publishes weekly You-Tube videos with almost 11 million views, it says here.  (They are excellent.)

So, how do we do that?  How do we get to the “other side of fear?”

Twyla Tharp, in her book, THE CREATIVE HABIT, suggests that you look at the things that make you shake and shiver and that shrivels you into a quaking nubbin, and think about answers or antidotes to them that work for you.

Here’s me doing yet another Un-Seeing exercise:

“I’m not sure how to do it.” 

 [Ummm….when has that ever stopped you?  Babe, you don’t know how to do lots of things.  The things you do know how to do happened because you started doing them and then just kept going with it until you got good.

We are not talking about building a dam across Maliko Gulch or something.  If you try and it doesn’t work, you can try a different way the next time.  And the time after that. And the time after that.  If you do something badly, you will learn one way not to do it and that’s a start towards learning how you do it right.]

“People will think less of me if I screw up.” 

 [Not the people who matter to you.  Your friends will hug you.  Your kids will still call you “mom.”  Your parakeet will still sing to you.  It’s all good….]

“People will laugh at me.”

[So?  Laughter is a kind of communication too.  And if the people are laughing with you rather than at you, isn’t that a good thing?]

“It may take too much time.” 

[Could be, might can.  Putting it off doesn’t make it happen faster.  If it’s something you want to do, then make the time.  Ho’omanawanui, bebe…make time big!]

“It’s going to cost money.”

[Just living costs money.  Is it something you really want to do?  That’s the question.  Think of it as an investment in yourself.  It never goes to waste.  Even the things that didn’t work the last time turns out to be useful for the next project.]

“Gawd!  It is SO self-indulgent.” 

[An’ den?  What’s your point?]

“Somebody has done it before.”

[Uh-huh.  It’s all been done before, hon.  Nothing’s really original and every idea ever thunk will be thought again.  You can join the line.  Get over yourself.]

“I have nothing to say.” 

 [Now, that one is a lie!  You have lots to say.  Maybe nobody wants to listen, but that is not relevant when you’re just starting out the gate.]

“I’m going to upset somebody I love if I do this….”

[That could happen.  You’re still a good person and you have good intentions.  Your loves will understand or not, and you’ll do what you need to do to make it right if you make a misstep. 

But, not doing something because maybe somebody important to you will be upset  is giving that person too much responsibility for you and your life.  Why are you piling on your regrets on somebody else’s back, silly git!]

“I know that when I do it, the thing is never going to be as good as this idea in my head is.” 

 [True.  Toughen up, baby girl.  It’s better to make an imperfect dome in Florence than build cathedrals in the sky.  A dream that has stepped out of your head and is real in the world has more weight than all the ones that are still floating around in your head. 

Plus, if it doesn’t work, you can always try again to get it right.  And if you keep trying to get it right, eventually there it’ll be and then you can go share it with your friends.  A cool thing….]

“If I do it well, somebody will copy it and I won’t get what I deserve for it.” 

 [Ack!  That is so disgusting, Netta!  The whole point of making stuff is to get people to like it, use it, do whatever.  So what if other nimnuls copy?  It’s not like it’s your one and only idea, f’r pity’s sake!]

Twyla says, “There’s nothing wrong with fear; the only mistake is to let it stop you in your tracks.”

So, what are your shadows?  What fears pop up every time you start dreaming a dream?  What would you say to them?  What might they say back to you? Play with it…and keep on walking.

Here’s a poem:

 


ORACLES

 

Fear it is that

Keeps us going back

To oracles and them,

And trying to make

Sense of a future

That’s obscure and dim.

 

The mists of time,

We think, hide monsters,

Even though we know

That probably they really

Aren’t under the bed.

Daddy said, Mommy said.

 

We have to see.

We want to know

How this thing or

That will flow, grow.

Desire, doubt and fear,

The three, stomping feet.

 

And we forget again

What we always knew:

Change is the rule,

And not the exception:

Up and down and

All around, it changes.

 

We go on despite…

We go on because…

‘As how…we go.

And change’s alchemy works

Its magic once again

And we go on.

by Netta Kanoho

Header Picture credit:  Signpost by Anthony via Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Thanks for your visit.  I’d appreciate it if you’d drop a comment or note below and tell me your thoughts….

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6 thoughts on “MAKE FEAR YOUR FRIEND

  1. I know what its like to be trapped in a certain mind set, like something is out of my reach. Everyday is a struggle for me but I try not to let my fear of learning new things that seem complicated and the unknown in general stop me from moving forward and succeeding. Great post, it made me think.

  2. Any advice that helps you to step outside of your comfort zone, where most of us live most of the time, is good advice. Most steps forward are taken when fear is faced and is essential to progress in any chosen direction. I have to admit that any time I have failed in my life it is because I refused to face the fear and sometimes all you need is a small nudge that posts like this can give you. Many thanks

  3. Wow, what a powerful article.

    You are so incredibly right about fear! It is that boundary between our comfort zone and everything the world has to offer us.

    I’ve found in my life that facing fear is never a bad thing. Either you mess up and go again with more knowledge or you’re successful in seizing an opportunity for yourself. There have been so many times I’ve let fear be my reason, my excuse, and I hated how that made me feel. But there have been so many more times where I’ve recognized the fear as a tool towards my own success. Whether it is an increased heart rate during an interview or when I’m nearing a steep cliff, fear has always prepared me for the present.

    I forget where I read this, but somewhere someone said (that’s super credible, I know) that it isn’t the anxiety itself that causes the body stress and harm overtime but the way we think of that fear and anxiety as something bad. It’s not! It’s perfect!

    Thanks for the awesome read.

    xx

    Helen

    1. Hey Helen:

      Thanks for your visit and for sharing your story as well.  I do appreciate it.

      Please do come again….

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