Episode 18: The Paradox of Fear and Courage
Maureen expresses how the things we are often afraid of are not actually that scary. Being embarrassed, falling on your face, being vulnerable…all of these things keep us from taking action. In this episode, Maureen discusses how to face fear and overcome it.
A Fun Activity or A Courage Exercise?
Just close your eyes and imagine eating your favorite meal.
This was the advice given to Maureen before she jumped off a platform 50+ feet above the ground.
This was no death drop, this was simply a fun vacation activity! However, Maureen was terrified of zip lining. She was so scared that she missed out on participating the first day. But as the trip progressed, she decided to face her fears and go! She kept her eyes closed the first two courses, but the third and fourth course, she began to enjoy it!
Check out this definition of fear:
Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
This definition shows us that fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by a belief. If that’s all it is, we can get over it!
It may not always be true, but fear is simply our belief about something or someone. Of course we are afraid of pain or a threat, but fear only serves us in genuinely dangerous situations. In life, most of our fears do not arise out of a truly dangerous situation.
What You Can Learn From Ziplining
While we are often told that fear is necessary and useful, it is often the opposite. Fear can create panic and anxiety when we are not thinking clearly. Being fearful of a car when walking across a highway serves you. Being fearful of taking a chance on a good investment is not useful.
Ask yourself, “Is this fear protecting me? Is it useful? Do I need it right now?” These questions help you talk to your brain rather than listening to your fear. It helps you determine if your fear is not actually protecting you, or if the story you’re telling yourself about the situation isn’t serving you. You can acknowledge the emotions, process them, and then make a decision based on the facts in a situation.
When you are afraid of unpleasant emotions, you do everything possible to avoid them.
However, everything worth doing will bring up some unpleasant emotions! When you think about fear, what you’re truly afraid of is how you will feel emotionally. We are terrified that we will feel something forever, and that we will never be able to escape it.
Courage is a something you develop ONLY when you are exposed to fear. What if you went out there and got yourself some fear?
Use your courage to create your capability, and use your capability to create your CONFIDENCE. If you don’t take the first step in overcoming fear, you won’t be able to overcome a natural part of being human.
If you aren’t putting yourself in a position to use courage, then you aren’t asking enough of yourself in life. EMBRACE your fear, allow it to be there, and move forward anyway!
Allow fear to wake you up, and use these feelings to create the beautiful, bountiful life that you want. What you’re waiting for is on the other side!
What to remember when dealing with fear:
- Learn how to relax into fear
- Embrace fear by moving towards it (feel it, allow yourself to cry, whatever)
- Notice how you want to constrict against fear (if it feels safer)
- Fear is protective when needed and harmless when it’s not